Page by Page: Book Reviews

The Story of the Black People Who Will Vote for Donald Trump

How can remedies for Blacks, because of their unique subjugation, be colorblind and still work? Will they not be simply co-opted by the White majority? To this, the Black conservative responds that Blacks let their race over-determine their views and their fate while intensifying their sense of alienation, failing to understand that they are Americans too and benefit from policies that are good for Americans on the whole.

Mental Illness and the Question of Genetics

Theodore Porter’s contribution to this discussion, Genetics in the Madhouse: The Unknown History of Human Heredity, takes a much broader perspective on the eugenics-genetics divide. Instead of seeing eugenics as either a founding contaminant in genetics, or as a temporary aberration in psychiatric science, Porter looks at the much longer history of data collection within the primary sites for psychiatry over several centuries: asylums or mental hospitals.

The Glory of the American Road

Jeff Guinn’s light-hearted prose takes the reader back to the early twentieth century. The book reads like a musical fugue: Its continuous theme is the annual trip; the variations, the uniqueness of each outing.

The Tie That Binds

Author Yunte Huang underscores throughout Inseparable the extent to which Chang and Eng Bunker valued their privacy, not to mention their struggles to live their adult years far from the stage.

The Mix and Mash-up of Being Human

What exactly does it mean to say that a book will tell us Who We Are and How We Got Here?  The immediate tendency is to conclude that the author really thinks, in the most reductive sense, that the “open sesame” code that will release the answers to human questions of identity is buried in our DNA.