Social Sciences Reviews | October 1, 2012

starred review starManchester, William & Paul Reid. The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940–1965. Little, Brown. Nov. 2012. c.1232p. photogs. maps. index. ISBN 9780316547703. $40. BIOG

This is the final volume of Manchester’s magisterial Churchill biography begun more than 30 years ago and producing its first two volumes in 1983 and 1988, after which Manchester moved ahead with this volume. However, with the decline of his health, he was unable to continue writing and asked Reid (former features writer, Cox Newspapers) to collaborate with him. Manchester died in 2004 and Reid took over, using Manchester’s vast collection of notes, interviews, and other sources to complete this massive work. Manchester’s voice permeates the text and the narrative is true to his style. Churchill is revealed, warts and all, as a complex man, given to temper tantrums and moments of brilliance as he led Britain and its empire to victory in World War II. The great majority of this volume is devoted to the war, which most will agree encompassed Churchill’s finest hours. VERDICT This is a big book but reads easily, filled with anecdotes from the principals. Although not a practiced historian, Reid learned well from Manchester, and the finished book is a worthy conclusion to what must be considered one of the most thorough treatments of Churchill so far produced. An essential conclusion to Manchester’s magnum opus.—Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames

James, Harold. Making the European Monetary Union. Belknap: Harvard Univ. Nov. 2012. c.574p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780674066830. $35. BUS

Authorized by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), James (European studies, Princeton Univ; Krupp: A History of the Legendary German Firm) presents this detailed study of the European Monetary Union’s (EMU) creation. The creation of the EMU was an enormous undertaking, and it continues to work toward ensuring European price stability among members by integrating monetary systems and providing a major cross-national currency, the euro. Drawing on newly available archives from the European Community’s Committee of Central Bank Governors and the Delors Committee of 1988-89, James shows that, although the EMU is growing and evolving, it has been plagued with problems: its lack of coordination in policymaking, regulation between member states, and complex decision making due to the sheer number of interrelationships between monetary and economic variables. The text is complemented by many appendixes with additional data and documentation. VERDICT James’s focus on the EMU’s development yields insights about current regional financial crises. This in-depth history will appeal to academic readers looking for extensive details about the EMU from several decades. Recommended.—­Caroline Geck, Peshine Ave. Prep. Sch. Lib., Newark, NJ

Breslaw, Elaine G. Lotions, Potions, Pills, and Magic: Health Care in Early America. New York Univ. Nov. 2012. c.248p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780814787175. $35. HIST

Breslaw (history, adjunct, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville; Dr. Alexander Hamilton and Provincial America) records the history of illnesses, epidemics, and trends in American health care by both professional and folk practitioners prior to European settlement up to the mid-19th century. She skillfully synthesizes information from numerous scholarly works, covering native pandemics, Colonial illnesses and medical practice (professional, folk, and ethnic), nutrition, hygiene, military medical care, childbirth, mental health practices, and public health crises brought on by economic downturns and urbanization. The history is tied to the theme of how conventional doctors earned then lost respect and patronage because of their perceived wisdom and authority, their success or failure in treating or healing, and their disregard for scientific advances in medicine. Cultural, demographic, and economic factors also played important roles in the public’s acceptance of trained physicians. Not until the end of the 19th century, when traditional medical professionals accepted prevailing scientific theories and standardized practices, did conventional medicine and medical practitioners regain the trust of the American public. VERDICT Breslaw’s book is an important compilation of authoritative research, giving the subject a longer reach and shedding light on a little-known and not-so-pretty subject. This will interest general and medical history buffs and professional historians.—Margaret Kappanadze, Elmira Coll. Lib., NY

The following titles are reviewed in the October 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Bew, John. Castlereagh: A Life. Oxford Univ. 2012. c.720p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199931590. $39.95. BIOG

Forrest, Alan. Napoleon: Life, Legacy, and Image: A Biography. St. Martin’s.Dec. 2012. c.352p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250009036. $27.99. BIOG


Deggans, Eric. Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words To Divide a Nation. Palgrave Macmillan. Oct. 2012. c.288p. ISBN 9780230341821. $28. COMM

Gutkind, Lee. You Can’t Make This Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction—From Memoir to Literary Journalism and Everything in Between. Da Capo. 2012. c.272p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780738215549. pap. $16. COMM

Staggs, Sam. Inventing Elsa Maxwell: How an Irrepressible Nobody Conquered High Society, Hollywood, the Press, and the World. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2012. c.352p. photogs. ISBN 9780312699444. $29.99. FILM


Chao, Stanley. Selling to China: A Guide to Doing Business in China for Small and Medium-Sized Companies. iUniverse. Nov. 2012. c.220p. ISBN 9781475911794. $0; pap. ISBN 9781475911787. $15. BUS

How They Got Away with It: White Collar Criminals and the Financial Meltdown. Columbia Univ. Nov. 2012. c.320p. ed. by Susan Will & others. index. ISBN 9780231156905. $89.50; pap. ISBN 9780231156912. $29.50. ECON

Sirolli, Ernesto. How To Start a Business and Ignite Your Life: A Simple Guide to Combining Business Wisdom with Passion. Square One. 2012. c.144p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780757003745. pap. $16.95. BUS

Thorndike, William N., Jr. The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success. Harvard Business Pr. Oct. 2012. c.240p.
ISBN 9781422162675. $27. BUS


Brick, Michael. Saving the School: The True Story of a Principal, a Teacher, a Coach, a Bunch of Kids, and a Year in the Crosshairs of Education Reform. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). 2012. c.274p.
ISBN 9781594203442. $25.95. ED

Danza, Tony. I’d Like To Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High. Crown Archetype. 2012. c.272p. ISBN 9780307887863. $24. ED

Tomar, Dave. The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat. Bloomsbury, dist. by Macmillan. 2012. c.272p. bibliog. ISBN 9781608197231. $25. ED


starred review starBailyn, Bernard. The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America; The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600–1675. Knopf. Nov. 2012. c.656p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9780394515700. $35. HIST

Kaufman, Burton I. The Post-Presidency from Washington to Clinton. Univ. Pr. of Kansas. Nov. 2012. c.672p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780700618613. $45. HIST

Rediker, Marcus. The Amistad Rebellion: An Atlantic Odyssey of Slavery and Freedom. Viking. Nov. 2012. c.280p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780670025046. $27.95. HIST

Robbins, Arthur D. Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained: The True Meaning of Democracy. Acropolis. 2012. c.473p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780967612768. $34.95. HIST

Smith, Douglas. Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy. Farrar. Oct. 2012. c.496p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780374157616. $30. HIST


Ecenbarger, William. Kids for Cash: Two Judges, Thousands of Children, and a $2.6 Million Kickback Scheme. New Pr., dist. by Perseus. Oct. 2012. c.288p. ISBN 9781595586841. $26.95. LAW

Jenkins, John A. The Partisan: The Life of William Rehnquist. PublicAffairs: Perseus. Oct. 2012. c.336p. photogs. index. ISBN 9781586488871. $28.99. LAW

Johnson, John, Jr. & Joel Selvin with Dick Cami. Peppermint Twist: The Mob, the Music, and the Most Famous Dance Club of the ’60s. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Nov. 2012. c.304p. ISBN 9780312581787. $25.99. CRIME

Radin, Margaret Jane. Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law. Princeton Univ. Nov. 2012. c.344p. illus. index. ISBN 9780691155333. $35. LAW

Welch, Larry. Beyond Cold Blood: The KBI from Ma Barker to BTK. Univ. Pr. of Kansas. 2012. c.408p. bibliog. index. photogs. ISBN 9780700618859. $34.95. CRIME


Edward, Mark. Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium. Feral House. 2012. c.220p. illus. ISBN 9781936239276. $18.95. PARAPSYCH


Nicholson, Alexander. Fighting To Serve: Behind the Scenes in the War To Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Chicago Review, dist. by IPG. Oct. 2012. c.288p. index. ISBN 9781613743720. $26.95. POL SCI

Yarbrough, Jean M. Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition. Univ. Pr. of Kansas. 2012. c.368p. index. bibliog. ISBN 9780700618866. $39.95. POL SCI


Tirch, Dennis D. The Compassionate-Mind Guide to Overcoming Anxiety: Using Compassion-Focused Therapy To Calm Worry, Panic, and Fear. New Harbinger. 2012. c.224p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781608820368. pap. $16.95. PSYCH


Barton, Bernadette. Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays. New York Univ. Oct. 2012. c.304p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780814786376. $27.95. SOC SCI


starred review starBetter Than Fiction: True Travel Tales From Great Fiction Writers. Lonely Planet. Nov. 2012. c.320p. ed. by Don George. ISBN 9781742205946. pap. $15.99. TRAV

Guard, Richard. Lost London: An A-Z of Forgotten Landmarks and Lost Traditions. Michael O’Mara, dist. by Trafalgar Square. Oct. 2012. c.192p. illus. index. ISBN 9781843178033. $15.95. TRAV

Townsend, Chris. Grizzly Bears and Razor Clams: Walking America’s Pacific Northwest Trail. Sandstone, dist. by Dufour Editions Inc. 2012. 192p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9781908737045. pap. $26.95. TRAV

starred review starWheeler, Sara. Access All Areas: Selected Writings 1990–2010. North Point: Farrar. Jan. 2013. c.336p. ISBN 9780865478770. pap. $16. TRAV