Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 68)

THE ENGLISH by Jeremy Paxman
Released: July 31, 2000

"Immensely popular in Britain—and England, too!—Paxman's informative, fact-studded book will enlighten and entertain everyone who seeks to learn of yesterday's England and today's 'Cool Britannia.'"
A deeply serious yet wonderfully lively, witty, and heartfelt study of the Mother Country. Read full book review >
Released: July 20, 2000

"Conservative in bent, expansive in scope, sedulous in scholarship, often wise and wonderful. (16 pages b&w photos, not seen)"
A rigorous, engaging assessment of the impressive post-WWII economic growth in the US by the late business historian Sobel (Coolidge, 1998, etc.). Read full book review >

Released: July 18, 2000

"A model book of practical political science, the best guide imaginable to our political situation in the months before the 2000 elections."
Two experienced analysts blend history, political science, and up-to-date information to bring readers current with American politics in the age of the Internet. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 2000

"Spurling's treatment of Thérèse Humbert's 'fairy-tale' rise is clichéd. But her discussion of how Madame Humbert's nonexistent fortune acquired an aura of credibility rings as true in a 21st-century 'New Economy' as it did in fin-de-siècle France."
Thérèse Humbert, the latest subject of biographer Spurling (The Unknown Matisse, 1998, etc.), reads like a character out of Balzac's La Comédie Humaine—a provincial social climber who became the toast of Parisian salons, only to suffer a grievous fall. Read full book review >
Released: June 15, 2000

"A sharp study that raises troubling questions about the integrity of the research underlying much current educational polemic—and the policies that these polemics have inspired."
A repudiation of the fashionable claims of "girl advocates" by controversial social critic Sommers (Who Stole Feminism?, 1994). Read full book review >

Released: June 1, 2000

"A wake-up call for anyone who cares about the future of American cities."
Another contemporary classic of urban studies from Davis (Ecology of Fear, not reviewed), herald of the good and bad—but mostly bad—times ahead. Read full book review >
YOU CAN’T CATCH DEATH by Ianthe Brautigan
Released: June 1, 2000

"A moving and revealing portrait of a daughter's love and an important writer's life."
A daughter remembers her father—the writer Richard Brautigan (, p. 733)—and tells the story of the insuperably cruel legacy left her by his suicide when she was 24. Read full book review >
ROSA PARKS by Douglas Brinkley
Released: June 1, 2000

"No collection of African-American history should miss this bus."
A graceful, informative biography of the mother of the Civil Rights movement, who wouldn't stand for Jim Crow on her bus. Read full book review >
Released: April 26, 2000

"Reportage of the highest order."
A year in an English class in an inner-city public high school. Read full book review >
AMERICA DAY BY DAY by Simone de Beauvoir
Released: Jan. 1, 1999

"Brainy and imaginative, critical and rhapsodic—and not to be missed."
Originally published in France in 1948, and here translated for the first time into English, this captivating journal records American culture as seen by the young, fiercely intelligent Beauvoir. Read full book review >
THE CHILDREN by David Halberstam
Released: Feb. 18, 1998

"A powerful account of a critical time in American history, related in both close-up and wide view."
Another sprawling book from a master journalist and historian (The Fifties, 1993, etc.), this one focusing on the early years of the civil-rights movement and some of its unlikely heroes. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 2, 1998

"With a third volume to come, this history is taking pride of place among the dozens of fine chronicles of this time of tumult and moral witness in American history."
In this stirring follow-up to his Pulitzer Prizewinning Parting the Waters (1988), Branch recalls the terror, dissension, and courage of the civil-rights movement at its zenith: the mid- 1960s agitation leading to landmark integration and voting-rights legislation. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >