Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 68)

HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Aug. 14, 2002

"Consider inviting Tatiana to your next dinner party—most assuredly there'll never be a dull moment."
In the guise of an advice-to-the-lovelorn column, evolutionary biologist Judson masterfully conveys astonishing facts and figures about the sex lives of many, many creatures great and small. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 6, 2002

"A heroic portrayal of an overlooked, blood-soaked corner of the world."
Photojournalist Voeten examines the curious duality of life in a war zone, where he might narrowly escape death in the morning and be offered a shower and cup of coffee in the afternoon. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 22, 2002

"Smart, evocative, and memorable: nature-writing done right."
Lyrical nature essays set mostly in the American Southwest, with excursions to the tropics to escape the desert sun. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 6, 2002

"An invigorating plunge into the sexual, intellectual, and artistic ferment of the enclave that nurtured 20th-century artists and writers whose work and lives still resonate in the 21st."
Longtime Village Voice theater editor Wetzsteon (1932-1998) celebrates with wit, insight, and love the political radicals, poets, painters, and just plain eccentrics who lived and worked in Greenwich Village during the first half of the 20th century. Read full book review >
BACK THEN by Anne Bernays
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 2, 2002

"Like a Porter melody, the recollections of these saucy, urbane lovers linger and prompt smiles of affection for a bygone era."
Novelist Bernays (Professor Romeo, 1989, etc.) and biographer Kaplan (Walt Whitman, 1980, etc.) follow up The Language of Names (1997) with another joint effort: a zesty intellectual memoir of starting out in the '50s. Read full book review >

THE TIGER LADIES by Sudha Koul
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 14, 2002

"A beautifully rendered, deceptively simple history of the personal and political."
Lyrical recollections of coming of age in Kashmir. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 1, 2002

"The tenacity and availability of life, amply admired and admirably evoked."
From newcomer Foster, a keen and wholly lovely catalogue of seasons growing spuds in the midst of swells. Read full book review >
A SONG FLUNG UP TO HEAVEN by Maya Angelou
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 9, 2002

"Alternately elegiac, meditative, and humorous, a book to savor and remember."
The distinguished poet and playwright brings her six-volume cycle of memoirs to a close. Read full book review >
A BETTER WOMAN by Susan Johnson
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 9, 2002

"A distinguished memoir: one of those rare insights into motherhood that describes the magical and the mundane with equal insight and honesty."
From Australian novelist Johnson (Hungry Ghosts, p. 128, etc.), a beautifully written and remarkably wise look at the realities of becoming a mother, as well as at the unexpected physical consequences of giving birth. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 4, 2002

"Wilkinson learned well from his mentor and brings that emotive, sympathetic bearing, beautiful and melancholy, with great immediacy to this homage."
A lovely tribute to novelist and New Yorker editor William Maxwell (1908-2000), who was for many years a mentor to Wilkinson (A Violent Act, 1993, etc.), as well as a neighbor, a father figure, and a friend. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2002

"Elegant, controversial, and altogether memorable."
A poetic, often contrarian meditation on race in modern America. Read full book review >
BREAKING CLEAN by Judy Blunt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 12, 2002

"Profound, and profoundly moving."
A memoir of growing up a cattleman's daughter in northeastern Montana in the 1950s and '60s. 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 >