Social Sciences Reviews | May 15, 2013

Library Journal Reviews starred review Rose, Andrew. The Woman Before Wallis: Prince Edward, the Parisian Courtesan, and the Perfect Murder. Picador. May 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781250040695. $28. CRIME

During the 1920s, well-known Parisian courtesan Marguerite Alibert was accused of murdering her husband, an Egyptian prince, at the Savoy Hotel in London. British lawyer Rose first wrote about the Show Trial, as it was later called, in his 1991 book Scandal at the Savoy: The Infamous 1920s Murder Case. Though a significant amount of testimony was presented, Alibert was not convicted. Among her many “acquaintances” was Prince Edward, heir to the British throne—they had exchanged letters during their brief fling while he was residing in Paris. After their affair, he destroyed all correspondence with her. The early adventures of the young prince are described using original source materials, newly uncovered by the author, while he traversed Europe during World War I and afterwards. Readers are left wondering what may have happened to the letters the Prince wrote to Marguerite. Did they factor in the decision to acquit her of murder? How did the Egyptian prince’s family react? What happened to Marguerite after the trial? VERDICT An interesting read for those fascinated by the British royal family, but the book may be somewhat dry for American readers because of the significant amount of source material included. Claire Franek, Greenville, KY

Library Journal Reviews starred review Armstrong, Elizabeth A. & Laura T. Hamilton. Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality. Harvard Univ. 2013. 340p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780674049574. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780674073517. ED

Researchers Armstrong (sociology, Univ. of Michigan) and Hamilton (sociology, Univ. of Calif., Merced) offer data and commentary on their five-year comprehensive ethnographic study on how the structures of higher education encourage social inequality, especially among women. Focusing on the pathways leading to the college experience, the authors reveal an honest, if at times unflattering, look at the reality of the academic experience for women of both high and low socioeconomic status. Packed in with the data derived from the authors’ interviews is an intimate portrait of the study’s participants combined with researcher commentary that clarifies what the data represent: an unsettling picture of universities failing to lessen the disadvantages facing many of their students. VERDICT For the advanced researcher or graduate student who is willing to trample through dense text this work will provide spectacular insights into gender and schooling and serve as a useful example of how to report ethnographic research. Rachel Wadham, Brigham Young Univ. Libs., Provo, UT

Library Journal Reviews starred review Walsh, Kenneth T. Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America’s Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership. Paradigm Publishers. Jun. 2013. 256p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781612051604. $27.95. POLI SCI

Walsh, (former White House correspondent, US News & World Report; Family of Freedom: Presidents and African Americans in the White House) evaluates the attempts from Franklin Roosevelt’s third term through President Obama’s first to keep in touch with the country. The book is based on previous presidential studies, the author’s interviews with White House advisers, and newly available presidential papers. It examines each administration’s methods, including initiatives by first ladies, to access the public mood from within an increasingly insular White House. Rather than being organized chronologically, the book is organized around the theme of an administration’s level of success in maintaining connection with public opinion: those that lost contact with it (Nixon and Carter); two administrations that proactively worked on public opinion to establish new agendas (Kennedy’s civil rights campaign and George W. Bush’s war on terror); and administrations that maintained contact with the American public (Clinton and Reagan). Lastly, the book discusses the evolution and abilities of presidential pollsters, or “wizards,” from Roosevelt’s Hadley Cantril to Obama’s Joel Benenson, men charged with keeping the administration connected to the people. VERDICT This insightful and informative work will appeal to anyone interested in the evolving U.S. presidency and the ability of each administration to break out of the White House bubble and stay connected with the nation.—Marcus Kieltyka, Central Washington Univ. Lib., Ellensburg

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


Mandler, Peter. Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War and Lost the Cold War. Yale Univ. May 2013. 352p. photogs. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300187854. $40. ANTHROPOLOGY


Dennison, Matthew. The Twelve Caesars: The Dramatic Lives of the Emperors of Rome. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2013. 400p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781250023537. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250023544. BIOG

Norman, Jesse. Edmund Burke: The First Conservative. Basic Bks: Perseus. May 2013. 304p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780465058976. $27.99. BIOG

Library Journal Reviews starred review Sugden, John. Nelson: The Sword of Albion. Holt. Jun. 2013. 944p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780805078077. $45. BIOG

Thompson, Neal. A Curious Man: The Strange and Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe it or Not!” Ripley. Crown Archetype. May 2013. 432p. illus. ISBN 9780770436209. $26; ISBN 9780770436216. BIOG


Bagli, Charles V. Other People’s Money: Inside the Housing Crisis and the Demise of the Greatest Real Estate Deal Ever Made. Dutton. 2013. 416p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780525952657. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101609620. BUS

Gerzema, John & Michael D’Antonio. The Athena Doctrine: How Women (and the Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule the Future. Jossey-Bass.2013. 256p. notes. ISBN 9781118452950. $27.95. BUS

Squillaro, Tish & Timothy I. Thomas. HeadTrash: Cleaning Out the Junk That Stands Between You and Success. Emerald. May 2013. 160p. ISBN 9781937110512. $21.95; ebk. ISBN 9781937110529. BUS


Kay, Andrea. This Is How To Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want. AMACOM: American Management Assn. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9780814432211. pap. $16. CAREERS


Caillot, Marc-Antoine. A Company Man: The Remarkable French-Atlantic Voyage of a Clerk for the Company of the Indies. Historic New Orleans Collection. 2013. 182p. ed. by Erin M. Greenwald. tr. from French by Teri F. Chalmers. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780917860614. $40. HIST

Carter, Greg. The United States of the United Races: A Utopian History of Racial Mixing. New York Univ. May 2013. 288p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780814772508. pap. $24. HIST

Crytzer, Brady J. Guyasuta and the Fall of Indian America. Westholme. Jun. 2013. 312p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781594161742. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781594165580. HIST

Holway, Tatiana. The Flower of Empire: An Amazonian Water Lily, the Quest to Make it Bloom, and the World It Created. Oxford Univ. 2013. 336p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780195373899. $29.95. HIST

Jager, Sheila Miyoshi. Brothers at War: The Unending Conflict in Korea. Norton. Jul. 2013. 608p. illus. maps. notes. index. ISBN 9780393068498. $35. HIST

Lyons, Jonathan. The Society for Useful Knowledge: How Benjamin Franklin and Friends Brought the Enlightenment to America. Bloomsbury: Macmillan.Jun. 2013. 240p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781608195534. $27. HIST

Rashke, Richard. Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals. Delphinium. 2013. 640p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781883285517. $29.95. HIST

Roberts, Paul. Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum. Oxford Univ. May 2013. 320p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780199987436. $45. HIST

Stauffer, John & Benjamin Soskis. The Battle Hymn of the Republic: A Biography of the Song that Marches On. Oxford Univ. Jun. 2013. 416p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780199837434. $29.95. HIST


Collins, Paul. Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America’s First Sensational Murder Mystery. Crown. May 2013. 288p. notes. ISBN 9780307956453. $26. CRIME

Leamer, Laurence. The Price of Justice: A True Story of Two Lawyers’ Epic Battle against Corruption and Greed in Coal Country. Times Books. May 2013. 448p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780805094718. $28. LAW

McDade, Travis. Thieves of Book Row: New York’s Most Notorious Rare Book Ring and the Man Who Stopped It. Oxford Univ. Jun. 2013. 304p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780199922666. $27.95. CRIME

Muehlberger, James P. The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James. Westholme. Jun. 2013. 272p. illus. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781594161735. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781594165573. CRIME


Kaiser, Robert G. Act of Congress: How America’s Essential Institution Works, and How It Doesn’t. Knopf. May 2013. 448p. notes. index. ISBN 9780307700162. $27.95. POLI SCI

Samuels, Richard J. 3.11: Disaster and Change in Japan. Cornell Univ. 2013. 296p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780801452000. $29.95. POLI SCI


Grand, David. Brainspotting: The Revolutionary New Therapy for Rapid and Effective Change. Sounds True.2013. 256p. bibliog. ISBN 9781604078909. pap. $17.95. PSYCH

Library Journal Reviews starred review Hart, Carl. High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know about Drugs and Society. Harper. Jun. 2013. 352p. notes. ISBN 9780062015884. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062198938. PSYCH

Thomas, M.E. Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight. Crown. May 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780307956644. $25. PSYCH


Library Journal Reviews starred review Gragg, Larry. Bright Light City: Las Vegas in Popular Culture. Univ. Press of Kansas. (Culture America). 2013. 368p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780700619030. $34.95. SOC SCI

Savage, Dan. American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics. Dutton. May 2013. 320p. notes. ISBN 9780525954101. $26.95. SOC SCI

Wisse, Ruth R. No Joke: Making Jewish Humor. Princeton Univ. Jun. 2013. 256p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9780691149462. $24.95. SOC SCI


Hogan, Pete. The Log of the Molly B. Liffey Press. Feb. 2013. 194p. illus. ISBN 9781908308214. pap. $29.95. TRAV

Lipscomb, Suzannah. A Journey Through Tudor England: Hampton Court Palace and the Tower of London to Stratford-Upon-Avon and Thornbury Castle. Pegasus. Jun. 2013. 336p. index. ISBN 9781605984605. $26.95.TRAV