Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 625)

HISTORY
Released: Nov. 16, 1992

"An overdose of unabashed sensationalism, then, that will ultimately turn off all but the most avidly celebrity-hungry ambulance-chasers. (Photos—24 pp.—not seen.)"
A century's worth of crimes, sex scandals, and other foibles of the idle rich, rewarmed by two New York Post reporters who covered the William Kennedy Smith rape trial. Read full book review >
GAY IDEAS by Richard D. Mohr
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 12, 1992

An insightful and iconoclastic series of essays on gay issues, by Mohr (Philosophy/Univ. of Illinois at Urbana; Gays/Justice, 1990, etc.—not reviewed). Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 10, 1992

"Let Us Now Praise Famous Men for the gay community: a substantial, lucid, and lyrical work of journalistic sociology."
A stereotype-shattering work by journalist and gay activist Rist (Christopher Street, The Nation, The Village Voice, etc.). Read full book review >
THE AMERICAN WAY OF BIRTH by Jessica Mitford
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 6, 1992

"Indispensable for prospective parents who may discover that they can just say no to doctor-dictated birth practices and can prescribe their own terms for having a baby."
From the author who 29 years ago roasted the funeral industry in The American Way of Death: a witty, pungent, comprehensive look at the frequently unfortunate practices that guide how American babies are born. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 2, 1992

"Too valuable to be ignored, but too often testing the reader's patience."
Essays from the editor-in-chief of Ms., including: an interesting look back at the feminist wave she helped start 20 years ago; some fine partisan journalism; and some perfectly dreadful flights of fancy. Read full book review >

LATINOS by Earl Shorris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Wide-ranging, groundbreaking, opinionated, and very important."
Personal, impassioned overview of the fastest growing minority in the US. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Many will be convinced by her knowledgeable, persuasive, and entertaining discussion—and the more skeptical will find fascinating tidbits for thought along the way."
Fisher (The Sex Contract, 1981)—research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, former ``house anthropologist'' for The Today Show, and one of our best science-popularizers—may find a large readership for her subject here: the influence of evolutionary biology and genetics on sex, love, marriage, divorce, and today's family. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

Love/hate relationships between sisters in childhood may continue unresolved, affecting self-image and adult relationships- -so says journalist Mathias (The Washington Post, Family Circle, etc.), who here offers shallow exploration as well as gushy encouragement for estranged sisters to reconnect. ``Our parents die, our children leave, we can separate from our husbands or lovers, but a sister remains part of us....'' Sisters, Mathias says, are not bonded by genetics or—because each sister experiences the family in a different way—even by shared history, but rather ``by their gender, which is trained from early childhood to be sensitive to others.'' Mathias's observations, based on interviews with more than 75 women, are intended to encourage therapists to consider more than birth order in evaluating the influence of the sister relationship and to encourage sisters to get past lifelong grievances and to reaffirm their loving connection. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"The road to equality, paved with good intentions—and reams of barbed wire."
Contentious plea for boosting intelligence as the key to a classless society. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"Has the feel of a magazine article padded out with term-paper material into a book."
How prejudices based on skin color (as well as hair texture and facial structure) affect the daily lives and life opportunities of blacks in their dealings with whites and—above all—with each other: A compilation of anecdotes with a familiar historical overview and mostly obvious conclusions. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"In the end, Taylor resembles a physician who uses the most sophisticated equipment to diagnose a patient's condition—and then prescribes bloodletting as the cure."
A stinging, but ultimately one-dimensional, polemic that calls for dismantling race-conscious government, educational, and business policies that, in this conservative's view, worsen the white-black relations they sought to better. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1992

"A thoughtful, expansive appraisal of what market values may or may not be worth in the great ends of—and real business of living in—latter-day America."
A scholar's bold and brilliant, albeit detached, effort to determine the degree to which Americans can achieve self- realization (or secular redemption) in a nation whose primary values are economic. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >