Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 630)

NON-FICTION
Released: May 10, 1991

"Okay, but not as appealing as Joan Leonard's Tales from Toddler Hell (reviewed above)."
Yet another humorous, sometimes tear-spattered account of the joys and tribulations of first-time motherhood, this one by the author of How to Honeymoon (1986). Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 8, 1991

"No Whitmanesque sentimentality here, but a jaunty, perceptive, and remarkably assured report on the American Dream today."
Can the US still produce ``some fantastic reversal of fortune, some miraculous transfiguration'' for those who migrate to its shores? Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: May 1, 1991

"Second-drawer Rule, but shocking and juicy nonetheless."
Child abuse, adultery, and murder permeate this potentially gripping but overwritten southern California crime story from the best-selling author of Small Sacrifices, The Stranger Beside Me, etc. David Brown was the consummate Eighties entrepreneur: a computer wizard with his own business, plenty of cash, and a home in Orange County's conservative enclave. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 1, 1991

"Neither interesting enough to be a popular history, then, nor informed enough to carry on the magisterial work of, say, Foucault's history of sexuality in Europe."
A carefully structured and methodical study of an explosive topic: the history of ``intimate behavior'' in America, affirming contemporary diversity and choice as opposed to the post-AIDS stigmatization of sex. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 1, 1991

"Military families may have the most interest in (and stamina for) this 512-page portrait, but a more tightly edited version would have greater appeal to civilians."
Having grown up in an Army family and thus a ``military brat'' herself, Wertsch is, in her own words, ``a journalist in search not only of ways to describe the roots I share with my subjects, but ways to understand those roots and their implications.'' Impelled to tackle the subject after a chance viewing of The Great Santini, a movie about a dysfunctional military family not unlike her own, Wertsch contends that not all military families are as troubled as the one in the film, but that all live in a separate subculture, marked by a strict class system, rigid discipline, extreme mobility, alienation from the civilian community, and a strong sense of mission. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: April 23, 1991

"Abstract and intellectualized, but intriguing for its reasoned assault on the philosophical underpinnings of society."
Here, Fox-Genovese (Humanities, History, & Women's Studies/Emory Univ.; co-author, Fruits of Merchant Capital, 1982) collects highly philosophical arguments (all but one chapter previously published in learned journals) comprising a ``feminist critique on the theory of individualism,'' that system of thought in which ``rights'' are ``grounded in the individual.'' Unfortunately, although Fox-Genovese insists that ``feminist history must retain its engagement with women in the world,'' the book itself is grounded in citations rather than human experience. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: April 20, 1991

"Like Richard B. McAdoo's Eccentric Circles (p.34), which revealed an unexpected richness in RV travel, Scheer's zesty report points to an attractive alternative to the drudgery of car travel and the dizzying, impersonal hop from airport to airport. (Maps—not seen.)"
Author of several regional travel guides, Scheer, a radio disc jockey, spent six weeks traveling nearly 14,000 miles on Amtrak. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 4, 1997

"A candid book whose look backward provides a hopeful blueprint for reviving the possibilities that seemed so endless in the 1960s. (Author tour)"
A stunningly revelatory chronicle of a generation long misunderstood. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 19, 1993

"Consoling and poignant: a Catholic feminist moral inquiry that resists New Age simplifications and shares its message of deep faith with courage and dignity."
This is no ordinary book. Read full book review >
ABOVE THE CLOUDS by Jonathan Bach
NON-FICTION
Released: May 18, 1993

"Bach affectingly evokes the anguish of a fatherless childhood- -but less so the reconciliation, as he self-consciously glosses over behavior that, despite high-sounding talk, still seems inexcusable."
An abandoned son comes to terms with a famous father (Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull) in a memoir that mixes a moving account of a child's confused loyalties and sense of loss with a mÇlange of self-help truisms. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 12, 1993

"Rambling oral history without much at the core."
Columbia anthropologist Newman (Falling from Grace, 1988) fords the Hudson River and discovers suburbia—as well as a shrieking discontent that will surprise few. ``In the decades that followed the Great Depression,'' according to Newman, ``Americans came to assume that prosperity was their birthright....The economic realities of the 1980s and 1990s have crushed these expectations.'' The younger residents of Pleasanton, New Jersey, have known this for some time: Despite their college educations and tenacious work habits, they are unable to give their children many of the advantages—large homes, full- time mothers, good schools—that they received as a matter of course from their own, far less privileged, parents. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: May 1, 1993

"T'is no pity she was a whore—but a writer she is not. (Photographs—not seen)"
The title should read Cop to Call Girl to Confessor, since Almodovar—who quit the LAPD in 1982 in order to hook—has apparently given up the life in order to tell all ``and make millions of dollars.'' The money may be forthcoming—but critical raves likely won't. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >