Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 630)

Released: Aug. 23, 1991

"An astute family portrait, rendered in Jamesian style—by turns indirect, ironic, psychologically penetrating, and moving. (Thirty-two pages of photographs—not seen.)"
William James wrote that brother Henry was really ``a member of James family, and has no other country.'' The meaning of that remark becomes abundantly clear in this weighty group biography, which probes how the master novelist, the pioneering psychologist- philosopher, and their siblings were shaped by the formidable legacy of their ancestors. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 22, 1991

"Some hard thoughts about the future of life on this planet by one who clearly enjoys the thinking process but is uneasy about where those thoughts lead."
Philadelphia Inquirer staff-writer Hine, who looked back in his superb Populuxe (1986) at American life of the 50's and 60's, now looks ahead—tentatively—to the future. Read full book review >

TEMPEST, FLUTE, AND OZ by Frederick  Turner
Released: Aug. 20, 1991

"As a collection of aphorisms, this has some merit, but there is insufficient focus for the sort of exposition that the author clearly intends."
A disappointing glimpse of things to come, from a poet and essayist (Spirit of Place; Of Chiles, Cacti, and Fighting Cocks- -both 1990, etc.) who ought to know better. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 19, 1991

"Shedding lots of heat, but nary a glimmer of light, the essays ultimately implode upon themselves, producing only bewilderment and a bit of laughter."
Here, German radical feminist ThÅrmer-Rohr (Women's Studies/Technische UniversitÑt, Berlin) offers a provocative, unsettling, and maddeningly inconclusive critique of women's roles in ``male'' society. Read full book review >
DO OR DIE by Leon Bing
Released: Aug. 14, 1991

narrative that reveals her deep caring for these violent youths. Read full book review >

Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"Entrancing history, then—and there is a great novel to be made of all this."
More a nightmare than a dream, the Tangier that Green (a senior writer for People magazine) depicts so vividly here attracted an international collection of expatriate artists, writers, aristocrats, disaffected rich and their parasites, lovers, criminals, addicts—all drawn by a free-money market, inexpensive living, and a permissive atmosphere. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"An unsparing, honest, and courageous family document. (Eight pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Psychotherapist Ione's emotional family history focuses on the legacy of three generations of her African-American foremothers, exploring the roots of her own upbringing in a fragmented nuclear family. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 1991

"A perceptive, unapologetic self-portrait by an unrepentantly self-involved man."
The founder of Grand Street offers an erudite and prickly memoir about friendships with intellectuals and socialites, dozens of love affairs, and his struggles to emerge from the shadow of his powerful father. Read full book review >
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 >
WHITE IS A STATE OF MIND by Melba Pattillo Beals
Released: March 1, 1999

"Later, she claimed a new life as a journalist—making this an account of the fairly routine stuff of a black woman coming of age in the North."
Beals had one story to tell, and she told it five years ago in her award-winning Warriors Don—t Cry. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 8, 1999

"A book a bit prolix but quite sagacious on an urgent topic, that might serve as a handbook for a new world agency."
The good news is that we are all living longer. Read full book review >
RED STAR SISTER by Leslie Brody
Released: Aug. 3, 1998

"Casually convincing sentences and a steadfast memory make this a representative memoir of a troubled era."
A self-critical but refreshingly unrepentant memoir of '60s radicalism. 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 >