Social Sciences Reviews | February 1, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Bernanke, Ben S. The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis. Princeton Univ.Feb. 2013. 176p. illus. index. ISBN 9780691158730. $19.95. ECON

In March 2012, Federal Reserve chairman Bernanke gave four lectures to undergraduates on the origins and role of the Fed. His texts, charts, and answers to student questions are contained in this slim volume. Bernanke addresses the value of a central bank as an economic stabilizer through its powers as regulator, influencer of interest rates, and lender of last resort. After giving a brief history of the Fed, he describes the financial environment leading up to the 2008 crisis. He talks about how the Fed in concert with the U.S. Treasury and other central banks implemented policies first to dampen the panic, then to strengthen the financial system, and finally to support the economic recovery. He stresses the openness of Fed actions subsequent to 2008 and their consistency with longstanding practices. Bernanke is careful in his wording and presents no revelations; the lectures have been accessible over the Internet. VERDICT This important book deserves to be read widely both because Bernanke admirably explains the Fed and its actions and because his authorship provides a window into his thinking as one of the world’s most powerful financial figures. Former Fed governor Alan S. Blinder (economics, Princeton Univ.) also examines the crisis but with sharper criticism in After the Music Stopped (Jan. 2013). —Lawrence Maxted, Gannon Univ. Lib., Erie, PA

Library Journal Reviews starred review Morris, Larry E. The Perilous West: Seven Amazing Explorers and the Founding of the Oregon Trail. Rowman & Littlefield. 2012. 256p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442211124. $39.95; ebk. ISBN 9781442211148. HIST

Morris ( The Fate of the Corps: What Became of the Lewis and Clark Explorers After the Expedition ) here focuses on the early 1800s Western fur trade, beginning with Robert McClellan and Ramsey Crooks, both of whom started up the Missouri River in 1806, each meeting the returning Lewis and Clark expedition. Despite the title, the adventures of many more than seven major historical figures are presented here in a single integrated narrative about the search for a new overland route to reach the Oregon country. Prominently featured is Marie Dorion, the Iowa Indian wife of interpreter and hunter Pierre Dorian Jr. In 1811–12 she became the second woman in recorded Western history to travel cross-country to the Pacific Ocean, with voyageurs employed by St. Louis fur merchant Wilson Price Hunt. Marie Dorion’s adventures parallel those of Sacagawea of the Lewis and Clark expedition; the two women even seem to have befriended each other between 1809 and 1811. VERDICT Highly recommended for both specialists and general readers, this history of the Western fur trade and early explorers along the Oregon Trail is a welcome addition to the literature . —Nathan Bender, Albany Cty. P.L., Laramie, WY

Geher, Glenn & Scott Barry Kaufman. Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love. Oxford Univ. Feb. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780195396850. $27.95. PSYCH

Geher (psychology, evolutionary studies, State Univ. New York, New Paltz) and Kaufman (psychology, New York Univ.) discuss a new type of intelligence—mating intelligence. Using evolutionary psychology, the authors argue, one can measure, observe, predict, and improve one’s mating intelligence, or essentially one’s ability to attract and keep a mate, the idea being that in a time before birth control, mating intelligence evolved to ensure that more successful progeny would result. Topics covered include biased perceptions of the opposite sex, the role creativity plays in attracting a mate, the function of lying, and the importance of personality. Engaging questions such as “What is attractive to most men and women?” and “Do nice guys finish last?” are discussed in detail. The authors include a mating intelligence test that was successfully used in various studies. VERDICT Since most of the data here were collected from college students, the authors encourage additional investigation. The research will impact our views on mating and what motivates males and females in the mating game. Recommended to readers interested in evolutionary psychology and human sexuality. —Scott Vieira, Sam Houston State Univ. Lib., Huntsville, TX

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


Jacoby, Susan. The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought. Yale Univ. 2013. 256p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300137255. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780300188929 BIOG

Schiavone, Aldo. Spartacus. Harvard Univ. Mar. 2013. 218p. tr. from Italian by Jeremy Carden. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780674057784. $19.95; ebk. ISBN 9780674075801. BIOG

Tuszynska, Agata. Vera Gran: The Accused. Knopf. Feb. 2013. 320p. tr. from French by Charles Ruas. photos. ISBN 9780307269126. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307962393. BIOG

Woods, Randall B. Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA. Basic Bks. Apr. 2013. 560p. notes. photogs. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780465021949. $29.99. BIOG


Lopate, Phillip. To Show and To Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction. Free Pr. Feb. 2013. 240p. pap. ISBN 9781451696325. $16; ebk. ISBN 9781451696332. COMM


Carleson, J.C. Work Like a Spy: Business Tips from a Former CIA Officer. Portfolio Pr. Feb. 2013. 194p. index. ISBN 9781591843535. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101608173. BUS

Fogel, Robert William & others. Political Arithmetic: Simon Kuznets and the Empirical Tradition in Economics. Univ. of Chicago. Apr. 2013. 160p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780226256610. $32. ECON


Frankel, Glenn. The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend. Bloomsbury. Feb. 2013. 416p. photogs. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781608191055. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781620400647. HIST

Library Journal Reviews starred review Garfield, Simon. On the Map: A Mind Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks. Gotham Bks.2013. 448p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781592407798. $27.50. HIST

Halsall, Guy. Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages. Oxford Univ. Apr. 2013. 384p. illus. maps. bibliog. ISBN 9780199658176. $34.95. HIST

Klingaman, William K. & Nicholas P. Klingaman. The Year Without Summer: 1816 and the Volcano That Darkened the World and Changed History. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2013. 352p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780312676452. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250012067. HIST

Levy, Philip. Where the Cherry Tree Grew: The Story of Ferry Farm, George Washington’s Boyhood Home. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2013. 272p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780312641863. $27.99;ebk. ISBN 9781250023148. HIST

Miles, Kathryn. All Standing: The Remarkable Story of the Jeanie Johnston , the Legendary Irish Famine Ship. Free Pr. 2013. 256p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781451610130. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781451610161. HIST

Mires, Charlene. Capital of the World: The Race To Host the United Nations. New York Univ. Mar. 2013. 307p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780814707944. $29.95. HIST


Feld, Barry C. Kids, Cops, and Confessions: Inside the Interrogation Room. New York Univ. 2012. 352p. illus. bibliog. index.ISBN 9780814727775. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780814770672. LAW

Spude, Catherine Holder. “That Fiend in Hell”: Soapy Smith in Legend. Univ. of Oklahoma. 2012. 304p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780806142807. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780806188201. CRIME


Clark, Lynn Schofield. The Parent App: Understanding Families in the Digital Age. Oxford Univ. 2012. 320p. illus. bibliog. index. notes. ISBN 9780199899616. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780199986804. SOC SCI

Saguy, Abigail C. What’s Wrong with Fat? Oxford Univ. Jan. 2013. 272p. illus. bibliog. index. notes. ISBN 9780199857081. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780199968251. SOC SCI