Social Sciences Reviews | May 1, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Koppel, Lily. The Astronaut Wives Club: A True Story. Grand Central. Jun. 2013. 304p. photogs. ISBN 9781455503254. $27.99. HIST

In her newest work, Koppel (The Red Leather Diary: Reclaiming a Life Through the Pages of a Lost Journal) takes up the story of the wives of astronauts from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects (with references to wives of astronauts from Space Shuttle missions as well). Her engaging narrative provides an in-depth look at military wives who became instant celebrities when their husbands were chosen for the space program. Along with the fame came intense media scrutiny; the wives felt pressured to compete for Stepford-wife-like perfection. The inability to publicly admit to concerns or problems made them turn to each other for support. Through death, infidelity, and scandalous divorce, these women have formed a network of strength and friendship. Koppel interviewed many of these women and attended one of their regular reunions. ­VERDICT The author’s aim was to uncover the real lives behind the “perfect” astronaut wives, and she hits the mark, crafting an exceptional story that seriously examines the imperfection and humanity of America’s heroic astronauts, their wives, and their families. This work will hold vast appeal for armchair historians, and those interested in feminism, women’s history, and 20th-century history.—Crystal Goldman, San Jose State Univ. Lib., CA

Library Journal Reviews starred review Stout, Nancy. One Day in December: Celia Sanchez and the Cuban Revolution. Monthly Review. 2013. 457p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781583673171. $28.95. BIOG

The Cuban revolution so closely associated with Fidel Castro and Che Guevara also involved those such as Camilo Cienfuegos, Eloy Menoyo, Frank Pais, and Celia Sanchez, all revolutionary heroes in their own right. Sanchez was Castro’s supporter, confidante, and—depending on the source—his lover. In this impressive biography Stout (reference librarian, Fordham Univ. Libs.; Havana: La Habana) utilizes interviews, Cuban archives (to which she was granted special access by Castro himself), letters, and other documents to provide an accurate portrait of Sanchez, who ran the planning organization of the revolution after the death of Pais in 1957. Slight in stature, Sanchez saw combat and was arguably the most influential among Castro’s cadre of revolutionary leaders. Her role during and after the revolution was remarkable, and Stout’s biography tells her story as well as offering insights into other revolutionaries and their contributions. Sanchez’s death from cancer in 1980 shook Castro and all of Cuba but her legacy remains in buildings and projects that bear her name. VERDICT Highly recommended for readers and scholars of Cuban history. With a foreword by Alice Walker.—Boyd Childress, formerly, Auburn Univ. Libs., AL

Nagle, Robin. Picking Up: On the Streets and Behind the Trucks with the Sanitation Workers of New York City. Farrar. 2013. 288p. bibliog. index. notes. ISBN 9780374299293. $26. SOC SCI

Nagle (anthropology & urban studies, New York Univ.) has devoted much of her professional life to the study of garbage! Here she explores the New York City workers who have the Sisyphean task of collecting more than 11,000 tons of household trash daily. Through an absorbing first-person journey as a “san man” herself, she weaves a narrative of personal encounters with fellow workers who have shared both hilarious and harrowing on-the-job accounts. She points out the enormous challenges confronting the garbage collectors, known as “sanitation engineers,” as they face hazards that can cause injury or even death. (She notes that New York’s sanitation workers are well compensated.) One of the more edifying tales is how the cleanup of the New Year’s Eve ball-drop in Times Square is so efficiently accomplished. She combines such stories with a broader historic sweep of the efforts to keep New York’s streets clean, from Colonial times to the present. As one of Nagle’s colleagues reminds us, we may never need a police officer or firefighter, but “we will need a sanitation worker every day.” VERDICT An important study documenting the labors of these municipal workers. Highly recommended for urban anthropologists, waste-management experts, and readers with an interest in New York City. —Richard Drezen, Jersey City, NJ

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


Norgren, Jill. Rebels at the Bar:The Fascinating, Forgotten Stories of America’s First Women Lawyers. New York Univ. 2013. 273p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780814758625. $29.95. BIOG

Perry, Barbara A. Rose Kennedy: The Life and Times of a Political Matriarch. Norton. Jul. 2013. 384p. photogs. notes. index. ISBN 9780393068955. $27.95. BIOG


Alperovitz, Gar. What Then Must We Do? Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution. Chelsea Green. May 2013. 224p. notes. index. ISBN 9781603584913. $27.95; ISBN 9781603585040. pap. $17.95 ECON

Boyd, Drew & Jacob Goldenberg. Inside the Box: A Proven System of Creativity for Breakthrough Results. S. & S. Aug. 2013. 272p. notes. ISBN 9781451659252. $28.50; ebk. ISBN 9781451659306. ECON

Library Journal Reviews starred review Garfield, Bob & Doug Levy. Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results.Portfolio. 2013. 222p. notes. ISBN 9781591845775. $25.95 ebk. 9781101595336. BUS

Grant, Adam. Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success. Viking. 2013. 294p. bibliog. ISBN 9780670026555. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101622841. BUS

Kahnweiler, Jennifer. Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference. Berrett-Koehler. 2013. 168p. ISBN 9781609945626. pap. $17.95. BUS

Schiff, Lewis. Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons from the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons. HarperBusiness. 2013. 256p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062253507. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062253521 BUS


Berler, Ron. Raising the Curve: A Year Inside One of America’s 45,000 Failing Public Schools. Berkley. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780425252680. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101619636. ED

Honore, Carl. The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better in a World Addicted to Speed.HarperOne. 2013. 224p. bibliog. ISBN 9780061128820. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780061907319 CAREERS


1863: Lincoln’s Pivotal Year. Southern Illinois Univ. 2013. 224p. ed. by Harold Holzer & Sara Vaughn Gabbard. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780809332465. $32.95. HIST

Dalley, Stephanie. The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced. Oxford Univ. Aug. 2013. 352p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199662265. $34.95. HIST

Davies, Owen. America Bewitched: The Story of Witchcraft After Salem. Oxford Univ. May 2013. 288p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199578719. $34.95. HIST

Ellis, Joseph J. Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence. Knopf. Jun. 2013. 240p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780307701220. $26.95. HIST

Fleming, Thomas. A Disease in the Public Mind: A New Understanding of Why We Fought the Civil War. Da Capo. May 2013. 368p. notes. index. ISBN 9780306821264. $26.99. HIST

Golay, Michael. America 1933: The Great Depression, Lorena Hickok, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Shaping of the New Deal. Free Pr.: S & S. May 2013. 320p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781476709963. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781439196038. HIST

Haddad, John R. America’s First Adventure in China: Trade, Treaties, Opium, and Salvation. Temple Univ. 2013. 274p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781439906897. $35. HIST

Meyer, Jean. La Cristiada: The Mexican People’s War for Religious Liberty. Square One. May 2013. 224p. illus. index. ISBN 9780757003158. $29.95. HIST

Parker Pearson, Mike. Stonehenge: A New Understanding; Solving the Mysteries of the Greatest Stone Age Monument. Experiment: Workman. Jun. 2013. 432p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781615190799. $27.95. ARCHAEOL


Library Journal Reviews starred review Cullen, Kevin. Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice. Norton. 2013. maps. photogs. index. ISBN 9780393087727. CRIME


Donderi, Don. UFOs, ETs, and Alien Abductions: A Scientist Looks at the Evidence. Hampton Roads. Jun. 2013. 256p. notes. index. ISBN 9781571746955. pap. $22.95. PARAPSYCH


Goldin, Ian. Divided Nations: Why Global Governance Is Failing, and What We Can Do About It. Oxford Univ. Jun. 2013. 200p. illus. notes. bibliog. index.ISBN 9780199693900. $21.95. POLI SCI/INT’L

Parker, Christopher S. & Matt A. Barreto. Change They Can’t Believe In: The Tea Party and Reactionary Politics in America. Princeton Univ. Jun. 2013. 376p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780691151830. $27.95. POLI SCI


Bergner, Daniel. What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire. Ecco. Jun. 2013. 224p. index. ISBN 9780061906084. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062249081 PSYCH

Crissey, Pat. Body Talk: Teaching Students with Disabilities About Body Language. Woodbine. Jun. 2013. 300p. ISBN 9781606131756. pap. $29.95. PSYCH

Greenberg, Gary. The Book of Woe: The Making of the DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry. Blue Rider: Penguin .May 2013. 416p. notes. bibliog. index.ISBN 9780399158537. $27.95. PSYCH

Hammond, Claudia. Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception. HarperPerennial. Jun. 2013. 352p. bibliog. notes. index. ISBN 9780062225207. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062225214. PSYCH

Kagan, Jerome. The Human Spark: The Science of Human Development. Basic Bks: Perseus. Jun. 2013. 336p. notes. ISBN 9780465029822. $28.99. PSYCH

Kriegsman, Kay Harris & Sara Palmer. Just One of the Kids: Raising a Resilient Family When One of Your Children Has a Physical Disability. Johns Hopkins. May 2013. 240p. notes. ISBN 9781421409306. $49; ISBN 9781421409313. pap. $19.95. PSYCH


Christiansen, Erik. Channeling the Past: Politicizing History in Postwar America. Univ. of Wisconsin. (Studies in American Thought and Culture) 2013. 314p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780299289041. pap. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780299289034. $21.95. SOC SCI

Costikyan, Greg. Uncertainty in Games. MIT. (Playful Thinking). 2013. 136p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780262018968. pap. $19.95. SOC SCI