Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 628)

REFLECTIONS OF AN AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BABY by Stephen L. Carter
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 11, 1991

"Americans seems to overlook the harsh historical reality and pervasive attitudes that made affirmative action a necessity."
Affirmative-action programs have ``run their course'' and, according to this overworked, self-referential diatribe from Carter (Yale/Law), that's all to the good. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 10, 1991

"An angry doctor's rambling and repetitious harangue, certain to arouse the ire of the medical establishment."
Kevorkian, gadfly of the medical profession and inventor of the ``suicide machine,'' speaks his mind on the ethics of death. Read full book review >

EDGE CITY by Joel Garreau
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 10, 1991

"Still, a provocative work that brings to popular attention a major restructuring that is, as Garreau says, all around us but largely ignored by professional architects and planners."
After the suburbanization of America in the 50's, when people followed new highways out to new one-family homes, came the malling of America in the 60's and 70's and then, in the 80's, the high- rise office buildings that brought the jobs suburb-ward and added critical mass to dozens of ``urban'' clumps now bigger than many of the major old cities they surround. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 1991

"Feiler's first book (which, the publisher says, is the first book written by a Westerner who has taught in Japanese schools) is warm, intimate, and often very funny, bringing much-needed insight into Japanese grass-roots culture and the role of education in that land."
A young North American spends a year teaching in a rural Japanese school, where he watches day-to-day life with a delighted, observant eye. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 4, 1991

"Moreover, like the GOP, Brown doesn't discuss the S&L debacle, deficits, or any evidence counter to his claim that the GOP serves the economic self-interest of the middle class."
Polemic arguing that the Democratic Party is headed for the dustbin of history because the core electorate—the white middle- class—perceives it as dominated by minority concerns. Read full book review >

MAKE-BELIEVE MEDIA by Michael Parenti
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 2, 1991

"Prickly analysis, peppered with the remains of neatly dissected cultural icons."
Having previously taken aim at, among other topics, American foreign policy (The Sword and the Dollar, 1988) and media propaganda techniques (Inventing Reality, 1986), veteran progressive critic Parenti now delivers a swift kick to the assumption that American mass entertainment, although vapid, remains basically harmless. Read full book review >
ALL BUT THE WALTZ by Mary Clearman Blew
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"A superbly realized vision."
In her first essay collection, Blew (a story collection, Runaway, 1990—not reviewed) joins the top echelon with 11 virtuoso pieces on life and death on the Montana Plains. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Blending scholarship and ironic detachment, an admirably balanced treatment of a politician who provoked anything but objectivity during his Marion Barry-like career. (Thirty-five b&w photographs—not seen.)"
The first full-length biography—and likely the authoritative one for years to come—of the flamboyant black congressman who, as civil-rights gadfly and as libertine, exemplified the gap between our nation's ideals and practices that was given a name in Gunnar Myrdal's ``American Dilemma.'' Blessed with good looks, eloquence, and a bully pulpit (he succeeded his father as head of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, the nation's largest black congregation), Powell became ``Mr. Civil Rights'' in the pre-King era by combining agitation and electoral politics. Read full book review >
WOMEN OF INFLUENCE, WOMEN OF VISION by Helen S. Astin
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"A meandering portrait whose flat, nonchallenging style detracts substantially from the book's effectiveness."
A dry look at late-20th-century feminist leaders in academia, by a psychologist and professor of higher education at UCLA (Astin) and a senior program associate at the Center for Creative Leadership in San Diego (Leland). Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"A disheartening look at the hazards to health we all face, and an urgent appeal to the medical community—and to the individual—to take action to deal with this sea of troubles."
An argument for a systems-approach to health that looks at ``the full spectrum of ills that are afflicting our planet, from the destruction of the seas and rain forests to the compromising of the human immune system.'' Beasley is director of Bard College Center's Institute of Health Policy and Practice. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"Offers some insight into the Klan and its most prominent member in the Midwest during the 20's, but a definitive book on the subject remains to be written."
Here, Tucker, formerly with the Indianapolis News and the Baltimore Sun, listlessly tackles the phenomenon of the KKK's popularity in the Midwest in the wake of WW I, charting its rapid rise to social prominence as well as its equally meteoric decline. Read full book review >
THE GOOD SOCIETY by Robert N. Bellah
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 1991

"An often incisive treatise that debunks some age-old truisms and sounds a cautiously optimistic note for the future."
Five academics (Bellah, Richard Madsen, William Sullivan, Ann Swidler, Steven Tipton) follow up an earlier work (Habits of the Heart, 1985, which examined America's conflict between individualism and social commitment) with one that focuses on institutions. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nelson DeMille
author of RADIANT ANGEL
May 26, 2015

After a showdown with the notorious Yemeni terrorist known as The Panther, in Nelson DeMille’s latest suspense novel Radiant Angel, NYPD detective John Corey has left the Anti-Terrorist Task Force and returned home to New York City, taking a job with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group. Although Corey's new assignment with the DSG-surveilling Russian diplomats working at the U.N. Mission-is thought to be "a quiet end," he is more than happy to be out from under the thumb of the FBI and free from the bureaucracy of office life. But Corey realizes something the U.S. government doesn't: The all-too-real threat of a newly resurgent Russia. “Perfect summer beach reading, with or without margaritas, full of Glock-and-boat action,” our reviewer writes. View video >