Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 68)

GELLHORN by Caroline Moorehead
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"A tough woman and marvelous writer gets her due."
A grand journalist and feminist emerges from Papa's shadow in this high-toned—but oh-so-juicy—life by veteran biographer Moorehead (Dunant's Dream, 1999, etc.). Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"A magnificent account, swift and compelling, of obsession, scholarship, and, ultimately, philanthropy of the first magnitude. (30 b&w illustrations, not seen)"
The conception, gestation, and birth of the world's most comprehensive and authoritative dictionary. Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Oct. 1, 2003

"Informative and entertaining, full of vivid stories that reveal not only what women were doing but how they felt about it."
Illuminating cultural history of American women from the first colonists to the present day. Read full book review >
WHERE I WAS FROM by Joan Didion
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 29, 2003

"Demonstrates how very thin is the gilt on the Golden State."
With humor, history, nostalgia, and acerbity, Didion (Political Fictions, 2001, etc.) considers the conundrums of California, her beloved home state. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 26, 2003

"A remarkable story that resonates with intelligence and insight."
The author of The Jew Store (1998), which vividly described growing up in a small Tennessee town where her relatives were the only Jews, just as memorably recalls her peripatetic life as a war bride. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 17, 2003

"Whatever the explanation, the survival of the hospital was nothing short of a miracle, one that Silver captures with all due astonishment."
Fascinating footnote to Holocaust history that staggers the imagination, revealing the existence of a Jewish hospital in the heart of Berlin that treated patients to the very end of Hitler's reign. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 2, 2003

"An absolutely top-drawer exploration of racist politics and its strange players, who remain legion."
An utterly well-written, utterly fascinating study of a racially inspired murder in Oregon, documenting the mutant Nazism that emerged in the Reagan era. Read full book review >
NIXON’S SHADOW by David Greenberg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"Thought-provoking from start to finish."
"No postwar politician did more to educate Americans to the primacy of image in politics" than Richard Nixon. So argues historian Greenberg in a rich work full of lessons and implications for spin doctors. Read full book review >
THE WHITE HEADHUNTER by Nigel Randell
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2003

"A fabulous ethnographic tale inside a larger tragedy of cultural genocide and retaliatory murders. (8 pp. b&w photos, maps, index)"
Documentary filmmaker Randell debuts with the story of a young Scottish sailor's eight-year stay on a South Pacific island. Read full book review >
SHE’S NOT THERE by Jennifer Finney Boylan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"Serious, real, funny. Told so disarmingly that it's strong enough to defang a taboo. (Photographs)"
The limpid, soul-rich story of novelist James Boylan (Getting In, 1998, etc.) becoming Jennifer Boylan. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Aug. 1, 2003

"Great fun."
A lighthearted exploration of the human body, drawing on myth, religion, art, pop culture, history, biology, and any other -ology that suits the purpose here: to delight, astound, and inform. Read full book review >
THE SECRET LIFE OF A SCHOOLGIRL by Rosemary Kingsland
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 8, 2003

"Bitter and sweet memories in an affectionate recollection of an unusual past."
A remarkably forgiving account of the author's teenage affair with married actor Richard Burton and her youth in a turbulent household with congenitally self-absorbed parents. 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 >