Social Sciences Reviews | April 1, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewArana, Marie. Bolívar: American Liberator. S. & S. Apr. 2013. 624p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781439110195. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781439124956. BIOG

The cliché goes that history is written by the winners; in the case of Simón Bolívar, a remarkable military leader who liberated six South American countries from Spanish rule, this is not the case. Bolívar’s legacy has been tarnished by many right up to the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Arana (former editor in chief, Washington Post Book World; Lima Nights) presents a human story of a wealthy Creole who, inspired by Enlightenment ideas, sought to bring South Americans of all colors responsible and representative government. As Arana aptly points out, his vision of equality went much further than the ideals of George Washington. Today, Bolívar is viewed either as the archetype of the Latin American strongman or an impossibly faultless crusader of equality. In her work, Arana adeptly finds the statesman behind the images. Drawing on Bolívar’s voluminous correspondence and political writings, she assembles a chronological narrative that does justice to both Bolívar’s august achievements and his human imperfections. This well-rounded work reveals not just an accomplished military tactician but also an able statesman. VERDICT This vivid biography flows smoothly and makes an important contribution to Bolívarian studies. It should appeal to readers both lay and academic, the more so as this is the bicentennial year of Bolívar’s first independence campaign. [See Prepub Alert, 10/28/12.]—Brian Renvall, Mesalands Community Coll., Tucumcari, NM

Atkinson, Rick. The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944–1945. Holt. (Liberation Trilogy, Bk. 3). May 2013. 896p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780805062908. $40; ebk. ISBN 9781429943673. HIST

Atkinson (former senior editor, Washington Post) has won Pulitzer Prizes in both journalism and history (An Army at Dawn). In this last book in his “Liberation Trilogy” on World War II, he continues to tout the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers and airmen. The book stands out from others on World War II because it successfully explores the fallibility of participants at all levels. Atkinson acknowledges the impact of infighting among volatile Allied generals, who egotistically pursued their own agendas and timelines, risking thousands of lives. He portrays the fighting as equal parts courage, cowardice, and chaos. Intermingled with the lurking fears among all involved was their feeling of being intensely alive. In exposing the vulnerabilities and imperfections of the enlisted men and officers, Atkinson does not diminish the overall heroism of their actions but instead humanizes their contributions. ­VERDICT This is not a detailed account of any one particular battle but a sweeping epic, yet it is packed with fascinating details. Highly recommended to all who read World War II history, although those seeking detailed information about a specific unit or action may not find it here. [See Prepub Alert, 11/19/12.]—Beth Dalton, Littleton, CO

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewGee, Alison Singh. Where the Peacocks Sing: A Palace, a Prince, and the Search for Home. St. Martin’s. 2013. 288p. illus. ISBN 9780312378783. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250028372. TRAVEL

Journalist Gee left Los Angeles behind, looking for a new life abroad. When she landed in hectic Hong Kong, she lived a life of luxury, decked out in designer clothing and hobnobbing at swank parties with the rest of the city’s jet set. But deep down, Gee knew something was missing, and when she met soulful fellow journalist Ajay, a correspondent from India, the sparks flew. Gee embarked on a journey she never expected—one that brought her to an Indian palace, a new family, and a much-needed reconciliation with the past. After she let the sights, sounds, and tastes of India take over, Gee was able to find an authenticity in living a more simple, humble, and full life. VERDICT Like Eat, Pray, Love but with more heart and less sulking, Gee’s story of Mokimpur, India, is insightful without being pretentious. This book manages to be dazzlingly romantic and yet still very real; a unique and uplifting read that’s as much about traveling to India as it is about finding happiness.—Melissa Culbertson, Homewood, IL

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


Bordo, Susan. The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England’s Most Notorious Queen. Houghton Harcourt. Apr. 2013. 368p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780547328188. $27. BIOG

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewCochran, Sherman & Andrew Hsieh. The Lius of Shanghai. Harvard Univ. Apr. 2013. 472p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780674072596. $39.95. BIOG

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewKirschner, Ann. Lady at the O.K. Corral: The True Story of Josephine Marcus Earp. Harper. 2013. 304p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780061864506. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062199003. BIOG

Shelden, Michael. Young Titan: The Making of Winston Churchill. S. & S. 2013. 416p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781451609912. $30. BIOG

Taliaferro, John. All the Great Prizes: The Life of John Hay, from Lincoln to Roosevelt. S & S. May 2013. 672p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781416597308. $35. BIOG


Rowe, Jonathan. Our Common Wealth: The Hidden Economy That Makes Everything Else Work. Berrett-Koehler. Apr. 2013. 144p. ed. by Peter Barnes. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781609948337. pap. $16.95. ECON


Sydow, Debbie L. & Richard Alfred. Re-visioning Community Colleges: Positioning for Innovation. Rowman & Littlefield. (ACE Series on Community Colleges). 2012. 148p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442214866. $65. ED

Terhune, Tori Randolph & Betsy A. Hays. Land Your Dream Career: 11 Steps To Take in College. Rowman & Littlefield. 2013. 226p. index. ISBN 9781442219465. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781442219489. CAREERS


Adams, John M. The Millionaire and the Mummies: Theodore Davis’s Gilded Age in the Valley of the Kings. St. Martin’s. Jul. 2013. 384p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250026699. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 97814250026705. HIST

Eisner, Peter. The Pope’s Last Crusade: How an American Jesuit Helped Pope Pius XI’s Campaign To Stop Hitler. Morrow. 2013. 304p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062049148. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062049162. HIST

Frieda, Leonie. The Deadly Sisterhood: A Story of Women, Power, and Intrigue in the Italian Renaissance, 1427–1527. Harper. Apr. 2013. 432p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780061563089. $32.50. HIST

Jones, Dan. The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England. Viking. Apr. 2013. 560p. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780670026654. $36; ebk. ISBN 9781101606285. HIST

Kiernan, Denise. The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II. Touchstone: S. & S. 2013. 400p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781451617528. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781451617542. HIST

Rieder, Jonathan. Gospel of Freedom: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail and the Struggle That Changed a Nation. Bloomsbury. Apr. 2013. 240p. notes. index. ISBN 9781620400586. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781620400609. HIST


Harper, Steven J. The Lawyer Bubble: A Profession in Crisis. Basic Bks: Perseus. Apr. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780465058778. $25.99. LAW

Lapsley, Phil. Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell. Grove. 2013. 416p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780802120618. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780802193759. CRIME

Library Journal Reviews starred reviewPerlin, Michael L. Mental Disability and the Death Penalty: The Shame of the States. Rowman & Littlefield. 2013. 200p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442200562. $45; ebk. ISBN 9781442200586. $44.99. LAW

Reski, Petra. The Honored Society: The History of Italy’s Most Powerful Mafia. Nation Bks. 2013. 288p. tr. from German by Shaun Whiteside. illus. index. ISBN 9781568589732. pap. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781442200586. CRIME


Atwan, Abdel Bari. After bin Laden: Al Qaeda, the Next Generation. New Pr. 2013. 304p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781595588999. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781595589002. $27.95. INT AFFAIRS

Haass, Richard N. Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America’s House in Order. Basic Bks: Perseus. May 2013. 192p. notes. ISBN 9780465057986. $25.99. POLI SCI/INT’L

Hill, Fiona & Clifford G. Gaddy. Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin. Brookings Inst. (Brookings Focus Books). 2013. 400p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780815723769. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780815723776. POLI SCI/INT’L

Stein, Jason & Patrick Marley. More Than They Bargained For: Scott Walker, Unions, and the Fight for Wisconsin. Univ. of Wisconsin. Apr. 2013. 344p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780299293840. pap. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780299293833. POLI SCI


Lawhorne-Scott, Cheryl & Don Philpott. Military Mental Health Care: A Guide for Service Members, Veterans, Families, and Community. Rowman & Littlefield. 2012. 240p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781442220935. $34.95. PSYCH

Morgentaler, Abraham. Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex. Holt. Apr. 2013. 320p. notes. ISBN 9780805094244. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781429947442. PSYCH

Samuel, Lawrence R. Shrink: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in America. Univ. of Nebraska. Apr. 2013. 312p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780803244764. $34.95. PSYCH

Shrand, Joseph & Leigh Devine. Outsmarting Anger: 7 Strategies for Defusing Our Most Dangerous Emotion. Jossey-Bass. 2013. 246p. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781118135488. $24.95. PSYCH


Bullough, Oliver. The Last Man in Russia: The Struggle To Save a Dying Nation. Basic Bks.: Perseus. May 2013. 296p. bibliog. ISBN 9780465074983. $27.99. SOC SCI

Chamberlin, J. Edward. Island: How Islands Transform the World. BlueBridge. 2013. 256p. notes. index. ISBN 9781933346564. $19.95. SOC SCI

Dyhouse, Carol. Girl Trouble: Panic and Progress in the History of Young Women. Zed, dist. by Palgrave Macmillan. Apr. 2013. 272p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781780324944. $134.95; pap. ISBN 9781780324937. $24.95. SOC SCI


Bach, Richard. Travels with Puff: A Gentle Game of Life and Death. NiceTiger. 2013. 234p. photogs. ISBN 9781937777036. $27.99. TRAVEL

Hessler, Peter. Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West. Perennial: HarperCollins. May 2013. 368p. ISBN 9780062206237. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062206244. TRAVEL