Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 628)

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 7, 1992

"Occasionally repetitious, but, overall, a freshly observed and stimulating look at an underappreciated facet of the Big Apple. (Forty-seven b&w illustrations—not seen.)"
Ten sprightly yet scholarly essays on the interplay between N.Y.C. and such elements of ``commercial culture'' as vaudeville, Tin Pan Alley, and the sports pages. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 4, 1992

"Still, a provocative and sobering assessment of how self-government's reach can exceed its grasp."
An angry inquiry into the putative decline of democracy in the US. Read full book review >

A HISTORY OF THE JEWS IN AMERICA by Howard M. Sachar
HISTORY
Released: May 2, 1992

With this comprehensive, insightful, and spirited opus, Sachar (Modern History/George Washington Univ.; A History of Israel, 1976 and 1977, etc.) rises to the position of preeminent Jewish historian of our day. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: May 1, 1992

"Captivating history—a stimulating, highly readable contribution to women's studies. (Black-and-white illustrations throughout.)"
Macdonald (No Idle Hands, 1988) presents a sprightly, informative chronicle of women inventors in America—a two-steps- forward/one-and-a-half-steps-back history that aptly mirrors the rise and fall of feminist movements over two centuries. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 1, 1992

"A superb guidebook to issues most of us would rather not think about—but should."
A practical primer on how to safeguard your right to make your own decisions about medical care. Read full book review >

ANNIE OAKLEY by Shirl Kasper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1992

"A bit wide of the mark but with a worthy enough target to warrant readers giving it a shot. (Thirty illustrations.)"
A fact-filled, if flatly executed, attempt to uncover the truth behind an American legend, by Kansas City Star reporter Kasper. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 1992

"Extraordinary in so many ways, Sartre's 1924-39 letters illuminate his evolving thought and his groundbreaking relationship with Beauvoir—perhaps at its finest in their exchange of written words."
Only three months after Simone de Beauvoir's Letters to Sartre appeared in English, we now have a fine translation of the other side of this rightfully legendary correspondence. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1992

Twain's domestic years (1870-1904) were not what he considered his best. Read full book review >
THE MOTHER SIDE OF MIDNIGHT by Teryl Zarnow
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: May 1, 1992

"Some may find all this amusing and bracingly accurate about the realities of a contemporary mother's life; others may experience it as ultimately somewhat depressing."
From Zarnow (Husband is the Past Tense of Daddy, 1991), short essays that celebrate the small joys and rue the trials of days spent taking care of the house, doing the family chores, and tending three small kids. ``My family is ordinary, my children are generic, and out of 31 possible flavors my life is vanilla,'' Zarnow avows in her preface. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 1992

"He offers a rich and fascinating history, essential for any understanding of modern Africa's troubles—and a welcome contrast to the blame-the-Africans-for-their-problems books that have proliferated in the past decade."
For 40 years, Davidson (Can Africa Survive?, 1974, etc.) has fought to secure Africa's place in world history. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 1, 1992

"An important and previously untold viewpoint, then, vividly rendered. (Film rights sold.)"
False accusations of child sexual abuse are made against a man by his wife, resulting in his prosecution. Read full book review >
DON'T LOOK ROUND by Violet Trefusis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1992

In spite of the intent to charm, Trefusis's collection of observations, anecdotes, and aphorisms—hitherto published only in England, in 1952—reveals again that deeply disturbed and disturbing personality that appeared in Echo (1990), the autobiographical novel of the author's romance with Vita Sackville- West. ``Places make me happy,'' Trefusis complained, and ``people make me miserable''—which accounts for her annoying mannerism of personifying countries (``France is cerebral, Italy sensuous, Spain passionate'') and objectifying people (hair ``the color of potato chips''). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >