Page by Page: Book Reviews

The Spirit Level

Over the millennia, holy writings and wisdom become a guide to many of us as we search for the meaning that will shape us as individuals and as communities. There is no certainty here, and doubt and questions and reconsiderations will always accompany us, as it does many who practice science. There is no simple reading of Scripture here, either.

Mary Tyler Mores

Sex and The City would add more sex, shoes, and cocktails; 30 Rock upped the neurosis and goofball antics; while Parks and Recreation added small-town government parody. But it all started with Mary.

Devoured By Desire

Lahr’s work is a unique amalgam of dramatic criticism and biography—one which results in a comprehensive and original re-assessment of the playwright.

Queen Elizabeth

It is with great anticipation that we turn to Warren’s autobiographical narrative for clues as to how someone growing up in crimson red Oklahoma, who considered herself a Republican into the 1990s, came to be a boldly progressive Democrat.

Robert’s Rules

Despite this book’s overarching narratives of racial uplift via education, there is a suggestion that Peace’s narrative could be that of any other young person who came of age when optimism and free spirited partying without consequences gave way to recessions, terrorism, and a new era of anxiety.

Breaking the Code

Haney López constructs a history of “strategic racism,” whereby politicians, regardless of personal attitudes about race, exploit (on the right) or accommodate (on the left) these attitudes. The result, in his view, has been an exacerbation of racial stereotypes, fears, and distortions regarding public discourse and policy.

The Deliberate Knot

Shuler wrote Thirteenth Turn, he tells us, to reveal the “still underdiscussed narrative of violence in American history,” which “includes both a kind of legal ‘justice,’ the death penalty, meted out by the state—with all the biases that kind of justice entails—as well as another, extralegal ‘justice,’ the democracy of the mob.”

Degrees of Hancock

Herbie Hancock’s dazzling autobiography speaks not only to the artist inside the man, but the myriad doors he opened in the music world.