Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 630)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 1991

"Warm and full of good spirits. (Twenty-four b&w photographs- -not seen.)"
Scatman Crothers offers Haskins one of the liveliest of the writer's 50 or so books (Richard Pryor, Mr. Bojangles, Queen of the Blues: The Story of Dinah Washington, etc.). Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 17, 1991

"A superb study that does much to bring recent Latin American history into sharp focus while at the same time illuminating just what it is that allows societies—wherever they may be—to accept, and sometimes embrace, violence."
Rosenberg, a MacArthur ``genius''-award journalist with a strong sense of narrative, looks far beyond the usual lurid accounts of violence in Latin America to write a personalized book that digs down deeply into the continent's psyche. Read full book review >

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 >
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 >
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 >
UNQUIET DAYS by Thomas Swick
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 29, 1991

"Although beautifully written with loving detail, Swick's portrait contains more lush literary atmosphere than substance or insight."
Lovely but dull memoir of living and teaching English in Poland ten years ago, by the travel editor of the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: June 1, 1998

"Still, as a primer on cutting edge work in health, the environment, And other sciences, and as a vivid tour of the world's obsession with all things technological, One Digital Day is breezily effective. (First serial to Fortune; $300,000 ad/promo; author tour)"
The ubiquitous microchip is celebrated in soma 200 color photographs, taken in the course of one day (July 11, 1997) by approximately 100 photojournalists scattered around the globe. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 1, 1991

"Her flaw: excessive quoting of scholars who don't write as well as she does, illustrating merely that she has done her homework. (Photographs of quilts.)"
The title of this collection of essays (some delivered as lectures at Oxford in 1989) refers to a quilting pattern—the image, as Showalter (English/Princeton; Sexual Anarchy, 1990, etc.) explains, that best describes women's literature in America: its communal and ritual nature, its continuity, its diversity, its history as a domestic art that lapsed into disrepute before being resurrected into a high art in the 60's. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 28, 1991

"A powerful companion to Nicholas Lemann's The Promised Land (p. 32) and Kevin Phillips's The Politics of Rich and Poor (1990) in detailing the racial and class tensions that are rending America's social fabric and poisoning its body politic."
An incisive analysis from Washington Post journalist Edsall (The New Politics of Inequality, 1984) of the political equivalent of a continental drift: the electoral realignment in which Republicans have won the White House five out of the last six times since 1964. Read full book review >
A SMALL COUNTRY LIVING GOES ON by Jeanine McMullen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 28, 1991

"Even if you don't know a whistle stick from a thistle stick, you'll find this one glows. (Eight pages of full-color illustrations.)"
``It is spring again in the valley,'' and for BBC radio host McMullen, time for further vibrant episodes in her personal and professional quest for the breadth of country lore. ``Little has changed but much has happened'' since My Small Country Living (1984) and Wing in the Ash Tree (1988) were published. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >