Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 628)

RELIGION
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

Berry, a New Orleans journalist, tips over a religious rock and finds a nest of corruption, deceit, and despair. Read full book review >

ACCEPTABLE RISKS by Jonathan Kwitny
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"For a broader view of the work of AIDS activists, see Peter S. Arno and Karyn L. Feiden's Against the Odds (p. 363)."
An engrossing view from the trenches of the war on AIDS, by investigative reporter Kwitny (The Crimes of Patriots, 1987, etc.). Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"A fascinating tour of the way minorities of any sort—the marginal, the alien, the politically impotent—reflect, adapt to, and influence their cultures."
Here, Miller extends his In Search of Gay America (1989) to foreign societies that are in transition, even crisis, exploring the ways in which gay men and women reflect the political, social, religious, and economic conditions of their cultures—in Egypt, China, Japan, Thailand, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Argentina, Uruguay, Denmark, and Australia. Read full book review >
THE MALE PARADOX by John Munder Ross
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"But Ross's main message—that men must reject simple definitions of masculinity that deny its inherent contradictions—is worth pursuing."
Joining the men's chorus with a different tune, Ross (a psychoanalyst who teaches at both NYU Medical Center and Cornell Medical College) suggests that both new and traditional male stereotypes prevent men from examining the central conflict and mystery within them—the tension between aggressive impulses and what they consider feminine. Read full book review >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

If mother-daughter relationships are socially rather than psychologically or biologically constructed, then the sources of the common paradigms of bonding/separation, love/hate, enmeshment/autonomy are to be found, according to Walters (Sociology, Georgetown Univ.), in films, TV shows, and magazines. ``Mother-bashing,'' Walters says, has dominated these media since the end of WW II, with daughters growing up through rebellion or self-destruction—encouraged, ironically, by the women's movement that blamed ``mom'' for being neglectful and not nurturing, as well as for being a victim, the symbol of what modern women should hold in contempt. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"Providing children with stories of right overcoming wrong—a list of recommended classics is included—is commendable, but the stirring tales may only highlight the morality gap, generating yet more classroom discussion of values."
A flawed but thought-provoking discussion about the moral education—or lack of it—of American children. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"It's debatable whether Akenson's concept of resurgent Old Testament behavior is more theory than reality—his idea that Israel will move ever closer to the covenanting pattern seems confounded by the recent elections—but the author's sweep and grasp are impressive."
Bold, often brilliant, but perhaps strained attempt by Akenson (History/Queen's Univ.) to trace how ancient Hebrew scriptures have ``formed the fundamental pattern of mind of the three societies'' of South Africa, Israel, and Northern Ireland. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"If so, it's a tingling farewell; if not, it's still vintage Leakey. (Forty b&w photographs—not seen.)"
A superb update of the 1977 bestseller Origins, in which famed anthropologist Leakey (One Life, 1984, etc.), assisted by veteran science-writer Lewin (Bones of Contention, 1987), pondered the mysteries of human nature. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 1992

"Thomas's alleged characterization of his sister as a welfare dependent)."
To the likely delight of liberals and the fury of conservatives, this collection of original essays on last year's acrimonious confirmation controversy makes no pretense to ideological balance or impartiality. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 30, 1992

In an alternately provocative and cranky jeremiad on the decline of individual responsibility, Sykes (The Hollow Men, 1990) sounds like a latter-day Walt Whitman—except that he hears America whining, not singing. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 25, 1992

"A worthwhile warning that attempts to hit too many targets, reducing its impact."
Disease-mongering—convincing the healthy that they are sick or the slightly ill that they are very sick—is big business, says Payer (How to Avoid a Hysterectomy, 1987). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
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 >