Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 628)

WAITING FOR THE WEEKEND by Witold Rybczynski
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

A kind of observing philosopher of the domestic, Rybczynski (an architect by profession: The Most Beautiful House in the World, 1989, etc.) here takes a look at time, work, leisure, and recreation—and at that entirely man-made phenomenon, the weekend. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 29, 1991

"Friends, family, and associates are vividly evoked, as are the difficult times Bell lived through, but it is she herself, modest and self-deprecating, who is the real heroine of this poignant story of great loss and some gain."
A wise and affecting memoir, remarkable for its honesty and lack of self-pity, of a life lived in interesting times by Czech- born feminist historian Bell. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: July 25, 1991

"Be that as it may, Sakaiya's musings are too mystical and mystifying to provide a decent return on any time invested trying to make sense of them."
Millennial murk that, under the title Chika Kakumei, was a 1985 best-seller in Japan. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: July 19, 1991

"In spite of its flaws, a generally restrained, well-written account of where the abortion debate stands now, with intimations of what may lie ahead."
Here, Whitney (Uncommon Lives: Gay Men and Straight Women, 1990) surveys the complex intermingling of law, science, and faith in the debate over abortion. Read full book review >
SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL by Suzanne Finstad
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: July 16, 1991

"A complicated yarn, full of seeming inconsistencies, and told with a fervent thoroughness that, rather than adding depth, destroys both tension and narrative flow. (Sixteen pages of photographs—some seen.)"
As in Ulterior Motives (1987), Finstad focuses here on money, megalomania, and mayhem, Texas-style. Read full book review >

PORTRAITS OF FRANCE by Robert Daley
HISTORY
Released: July 14, 1991

"An engaging story of a man's love affair with a country, and a congenial portrait of one writer's life."
Personal reminiscences of an aspiring American writer's life in France, mixed in with a vigorous dose of French history, by the author of A Faint Cold Fear, Year of the Dragon, etc.—a treat for Francophiles and Daley fans alike. Read full book review >
THE PRIVATE WAR OF MRS. PACKARD by Barbara Sapinsley
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: July 1, 1991

"An eye-opener. (Photographs—not seen.)"
All the makings of a TV docudrama in an unlikely source: the story of feisty Elizabeth Packard, little-known 19th-century advocate of the rights of mental patients, by journalist (Newsweek, The New York Times, etc.) and TV-writer Sapinsley. Read full book review >
MALCOLM by Bruce Perry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 1, 1991

"A complex portrait that successfully illuminates the inner conflicts that drove Malcolm X to greatness and destruction."
Perry (ed., The Last Speeches of Malcolm X—not reviewed) uses hundreds of interviews, government records, and Malcolm X's own speeches and letters to present a lively, critical biography of the black nationalist hero. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: June 28, 1991

"No news there!"
Perhaps the clue to this odd rehashing of questions about life and death lies in the credentials of the author: Applewhite's (Cosmic Fishing, 1977) career includes long-term collaboration with Buckminster Fuller (Applewhite co-authored Synergetics) and 25 years as ``one of the chief sifters of intelligence for the CIA.'' Both occupations demand a fiercely inquiring mind, able to rove over the great and the trivial, picking up nuggets along the way. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: June 27, 1991

"Unsentimental and enjoyable, with a useful appendix on how to be a friend to wildlife. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Stretch and Hobe (Lovebound: Recovering From an Alcoholic Family, 1990, etc.) tell the story of The Aark, a Pennsylvania rehabilitation center founded by Stretch for injured and abandoned animals and birds. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: June 25, 1991

"An earnest and thoughtful contribution to the growing literature documenting the development of black consciousness in American society."
To Ely (African-American Studies & Southern History/Yale), Amos 'n' Andy, the first radio comedy series to portray an all- black world, provides a ``small but clear window which, like all windows, reveals more and more as one draws closer to it.'' Here, Ely looks closely at the changing responses of both blacks and whites to Amos 'n' Andy and examines what they reveal about the evolution of racial attitudes during the decades from the 1920's, when the series first aired, to the 50's, when it was transplanted to network TV. Read full book review >
THE CONFIDENCE WOMAN by Eve Shelnutt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 24, 1991

"Passionate, reflective, and playful—an education for the next generation. (For another collection by women on writing, see Janet Sternburg's The Writer on Her Work, p. 37.)"
A refreshing variety of attitudes toward the experience of writing as a woman are inventively presented in this collection of essays by contemporary female poets and writers, whose editor is herself a poet and teacher of writing. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >