Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 630)

EVERY SECRET THING by Gillian Slovo
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 1997

"A memorable and emotionally compelling achievement."
Weaving the personal and political tightly together, novelist Slovo creates an incisive and unflinching portrait of her prominent South African family. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 1997

"Best to punctuate the readings with a viewing of Albert Brooks's Mother. (b&w photos, not seen)"
With wrenching precision, 79 women recall their mothers in original letters, essays, poems, and stories, evoking basic truths about the inescapability of mother-daughter similarities, the lifelong rapture of mother for child, and the daughter's unquenchable longing for mother after her death. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1992

"Not quite the grand meditation it sets out to be, but as a portrait of young and old generations finding a way to make the land work in difficult times, this is lovely stuff."
Yuppie angst in a Virginia orchard, with strands of Thoreau, Quaker sternness, and unabashed capitalism. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 18, 1991

"Leder has raised an interesting issue, but fails to explore it with true originality or rigor."
A brother's suicide started Leder (Dead Serious, YA, 1987) pondering the role siblings play in defining one another's lives, but an apparent dearth of scientific research and the author's own lack of expertise have left her with few insights and fewer facts to offer. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 16, 1991

"It's not."
Another, more questionable, attempt to defend ``science'' from attack by groups that Nelkin (The Creation Controversy, 1982, etc.) and Jasper (both Sociology/N.Y.U.) describe as ``absolutist,'' ``uncompromising'' ``fundamentalists.'' One problem is that the authors' own attack is couched in a tone of pseudo-objectivity. Read full book review >

AN IMMODEST VIOLET by Joan Hardwick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 15, 1991

"Read the Belford instead. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs—not seen.)"
Published in Great Britain in 1990, this biography of novelist Violet Hunt by rookie book-author Hardwick, a former schoolteacher, lacks the substance and vivid detail of Barbara Belford's Violet of the same year. Read full book review >
WHITEOUT by Ted Conover
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Dec. 2, 1991

"A bit scattered and not as smooth as Coyotes—as Conover hops and comments here, there, everywhere—but full of flashes of insight and plenty of fun to read for the many enticing tales of the rich and famous."
Conover, who wrote so well about the low life in Rolling Nowhere (1983: railroad tramps) and Coyotes (1987: migrant workers), now spiritedly chronicles the high life—8000 feet above sea level and worlds above plebeian reality in the glittering ``paradise'' of Aspen. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 2, 1991

"A struggling frankness amid a bonfire of dirty linen."
High-life memoir that smokes like a heat-seeking missile. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Feminists will find Bailey's discussion of the masculine orientation of standard English particularly illuminating. (Twenty illustrations—not seen.)"
Drawing on his vast erudition about the uses of language, Bailey (English Language and Literature/Univ. of Michigan), associate editor of the Oxford Companion to the English Language, describes the history of the cultural, social, political, and even psychological attitudes toward the English language. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 1, 1991

"Only a reading of all 40 books in the bibliography could determine whether the reporter who broke the Bay of Pigs story has broken much new ground here, but Szulc has certainly succeeded in assembling the most readable book on the topic. (Photos—not seen.)"
A well-researched, well-written account of the extensive covert activities that allowed two million Jews to steal home. Read full book review >
LAST PERSON RURAL by Noel Perrin
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 15, 1991

"A grade-A-to-choice gathering, leaving the reader ready to receive more such terminal discourses from farmer Perrin as he tends his happy 90 acres."
Perrin's second ``final'' collection of bucolic essays (some original, the majority reprinted from Smithsonian, Yankee, etc.) appears eight years after his supposedly ultimate compilation (Third Person Rural, 1983)—and it's another convincing bit of rustic Americana. Read full book review >
FISHCAMP by Nancy Lord
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 10, 1997

"Lord creates an elegant, evocative portrait of a hard, beautiful place."
In describing her salmon-fishing life along Alaska's Cook Inlet, fiction writer Lord (Survival, 1991) fashions a rich, personal cosmology in prose as fluid as her environment. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >