Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 626)

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 >
TRIALS OF THE EARTH by Helen Dick Davis
Released: Oct. 31, 1992

"A splendid and long overdue addition to the pioneering canon."
Life at the turn of the century in the lumber camps of the Mississippi Delta, as recalled by a woman pioneer who cooked for hundreds; raised a family; and, with humor and courage, overcame a host of daunting obstacles. Read full book review >

CATHOLIC GIRLS by Amber Coverdale Sumrall
Released: Oct. 29, 1992

"Perhaps—but this anthology will provoke more yawns than yelps."
Not, as the title suggests, about Catholic girlhood per se, but rather about girls and young women who rebel against their religious upbringing. Read full book review >
THE CHANGE by Germaine Greer
Released: Oct. 26, 1992

"Intensively researched, intelligently written, this erudite, literate work—a brilliant philosophical complement to Gail Sheehy's bestselling The Silent Passage (p. 381)—should inspire change in how we think about The Change."
It may be that menopause saw Greer (Daddy, We Hardly Knew You, 1989, etc.) coming and quaked, for surely the subject will never be quite the same again. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 26, 1992

"Insightful, poignant, and rife with honest revelations. (Photographs—32 pp.—not seen.)"
The story of a black Russian's life in pre-glasnost Russia, and of her quest to discover and connect with her American and African roots. Read full book review >

SHE'S A REBEL by Gillian G. Gaar
Released: Oct. 23, 1992

"Essential reading for rock fans—particularly those with large record collections and open minds. (Sixty b&w photographs—not seen.)"
A first-rate rock-'n'-roll history with enough lively detail and thoughtful analysis to put to shame the marginalization of women rockers decried by Gaar (editor of the music magazine The Rocket). Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 22, 1992

"As such, a joy. (B&w photos—not seen.)"
A vastly enjoyable excursion into American obsessions. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 21, 1992

"A nice ending, then, for an upbeat, reassuring tale."
In explaining the circumstances of her daughter's conception, birth, and adoption, British actress Collins (the Upstairs, Downstairs series; star of Shirley Valentine) provides a warm, appealing account of her own English childhood—and of her experiences with acting companies in Ireland, and at the convent she took refuge in while hiding her pregnancy from her family. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 21, 1992

"Clairs—one sure to interest any serious student of the Middle Ages. (Thirty- two pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
In a highly eclectic approach to medieval history, the prolific Sinclair (Spiegel, 1987, etc.) explores links between his ancestors—the St. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 21, 1992

"Nonetheless, those seeking a clear and consistent analysis of the meaning of free speech will be disappointed."
In a sometimes confused, sometimes admirable polemic, Hentoff (John Cardinal O'Connor, 1988, etc.) argues against restraints on free expression in a wide variety of contemporary contexts. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 19, 1992

"Fascinating for its documentation of tribal cultures; admirable for its ability to keep the humanitarian aims of anthropological study always within reach."
An unsentimental look at the ways in which ``primitive'' or ``folk'' societies, independent of colonial influence, engender in their inhabitants the anxiety, alienation, and suffering we have historically attributed to urban civilization. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 19, 1992

"An amiable handbook to the great debate: intelligent, personable, and informed, if not managing to become unusually cutting or deep."
From Atlas (Delmore Schwartz, 1977; The Great Pretender, 1986)—a slim, plain, and mainly sensible little guide to the crisis in the university. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >