Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 625)

WHITEOUT by Ted Conover
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 2, 1991

"A bit scattered and not as smooth as Coyotes—as Conover hops and comments here, there, everywhere—but full of flashes of insight and plenty of fun to read for the many enticing tales of the rich and famous."
Conover, who wrote so well about the low life in Rolling Nowhere (1983: railroad tramps) and Coyotes (1987: migrant workers), now spiritedly chronicles the high life—8000 feet above sea level and worlds above plebeian reality in the glittering ``paradise'' of Aspen. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 2, 1991

"A struggling frankness amid a bonfire of dirty linen."
High-life memoir that smokes like a heat-seeking missile. Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Feminists will find Bailey's discussion of the masculine orientation of standard English particularly illuminating. (Twenty illustrations—not seen.)"
Drawing on his vast erudition about the uses of language, Bailey (English Language and Literature/Univ. of Michigan), associate editor of the Oxford Companion to the English Language, describes the history of the cultural, social, political, and even psychological attitudes toward the English language. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Only a reading of all 40 books in the bibliography could determine whether the reporter who broke the Bay of Pigs story has broken much new ground here, but Szulc has certainly succeeded in assembling the most readable book on the topic. (Photos—not seen.)"
A well-researched, well-written account of the extensive covert activities that allowed two million Jews to steal home. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Expertly translated by Vogel, with intensively researched introductions and annotations by the editors, this is a vital and captivating contribution to immigrant lore."
A monumental feat of popular archivism as the editors (Kamphoefner: History/Texas A&M; Helbich & Sommer: History/Ruhr UniversitÑt Bochum) select from over 5000 letters in the Bochum collection about 350 that are most representative of the German immigrant experience in America, ca. 1830-1930. Read full book review >

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 22, 1991

"A forceful and articulate argument for the reproductive freedom of women, and a clear presentation of how RU-486 can help to ensure safe exercise of that freedom. (Twenty-four b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Dubbed the ``abortion pill'' by the media, and the ``death pill'' and a ``human pesticide'' by some of its opponents, RU-486 is, according to this thorough account by its developer, largely misunderstood. Read full book review >
CHICAGO DAYS/HOBOKEN NIGHTS by Daniel Pinkwater
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 21, 1991

"And Pinkwater fans can have the fun of recognizing germs of his fiction here and there."
Funnyman Pinkwater has written ``about 50'' children's books and illustrated most of them. Read full book review >
RULES OF THE GAME by Michel Leiris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 20, 1991

"Leiris, here, exports less than well."
Leiris (BrisÇes, 1990), best known to American readers through the remarkable autobiographical meditation Manhood (1963), was one of the great midcentury French phenomenologists of the self, a relentless crusher of experience down to crystals ever more fine. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 18, 1991

"A fast-paced tale, frightening in its implications."
When black teenager Yusuf Hawkins was fatally shot on a Brooklyn street one steamy August evening in 1989, his death sent tremors rumbling through New York City. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 18, 1991

"New York underground'' were truly shocking. (Sixteen pages of photographs—not seen.)"
Crime, drugs, prostitution, sexual ambiguity, and the cinema take center stage in this funny but relentlessly self-indulgent memoir by the self-proclaimed ``Venus de Warhol.'' Born Harold Ajzenberg, Woodlawn geared up for a ``roller coaster ride of life'' when he discovered he was ``a shy, skinny kid with buck teeth who happened to have a passion for tight pants, mohair sweaters, and mascara.'' Pressured by a homophobic Catholic upbringing, he ran away at age 15 from Miami to New York with hopes of becoming a ``Superstar.'' The N.Y.C. underground of the late 60's and early 70's is the perfect backdrop for Woodlawn's raucous accounts of rising to fame from the welfare rolls, doing bouts in the slammer, winning the title of ``Miss Donut of Amsterdam, New York,'' and, finally, riding ``the Warhol gravy train''—all told with mirth and untiring vulgarity. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 1991

"A plodding biography of a remarkable woman."
A failed attempt to arouse interest in the work of Dorothea Dix, who, in the 19th century, devoted her considerable talents to establishing hospitals for the needy insane. Read full book review >
LAST PERSON RURAL by Noel Perrin
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 15, 1991

"A grade-A-to-choice gathering, leaving the reader ready to receive more such terminal discourses from farmer Perrin as he tends his happy 90 acres."
Perrin's second ``final'' collection of bucolic essays (some original, the majority reprinted from Smithsonian, Yankee, etc.) appears eight years after his supposedly ultimate compilation (Third Person Rural, 1983)—and it's another convincing bit of rustic Americana. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >