TED Talks, the History of News, the Boston Marathon Attacks, & More | Social Sciences Reviews

redstarGallo, Carmine. Talk Like TED: The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds. St. Martin’s. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781250041128. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466837270. COMM

Talk Like TEDDelivering an effective presentation is a goal for everyone from students to CEOs. Communications coach Gallo (The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs) uses his analysis of more than 500 TED Talks (Technology, Entertainment, Design; speeches given at a global set of conferences owned by the private nonprofit Sapling Foundation) to provide nine tips for great public speaking. The book is divided into three sections, with tips on delivering emotional, novel, and memorable speeches. TEDnotes summarize the main points in each chapter. Following his own advice to presenters, Gallo doesn’t just give facts but also shares stories to make his points more significant to his audience, in this case the reader. In addition to his examination of successful TED presentations, Gallo also includes research from the fields of psychology and communications to explain why these methods work so well. ­VERDICT This book will resonate with readers who want to become skilled orators as well as with anyone seeking to understand what makes TED Talks so inspiring. [See Prepub Alert, 9/30/13.]—Elizabeth Nelson, UOP Lib., Des Plaines, IL

redstarPettegree, Andrew. The Invention of News: How the World Came To Know About Itself. Yale Univ. 2014. 456p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780300179088. $35. COMM

The Invention of NewsThe desire and need to know what is happening in the world around us has deep historic roots. Pettegree (history, Univ. of St. Andrews) carefully documents the history of news in Europe. Beginning with the prepaper world, the author covers the four centuries up to 1800. As Europe developed, the start of a communication network formed to support the information needs of rulers, church officials, and developing commercial enterprises. Early efforts included papal courier services, a postal service for the Holy Roman Empire, and medieval chronicle writing. Previously, news was often delivered orally in town marketplaces, taverns, and churches, and only the elite could afford to subscribe to specialized manuscript messenger services. As print evolved, along came pamphlets, edicts, journals, and broadsheets. Then, when printing materials became cheaper and more accessible, people’s understanding of the world began to change. The book is wonderfully illustrated with examples of early news sources. Pettegree relies on an impressive range of archival sources, including diaries, that illuminate how several individuals acquired and understood everyday events. VERDICT This expansive view of news and how it reached people will be fascinating to readers interested in communication and cultural history.—Judy ­Solberg, Seattle Univ. Lib.

redstarHelman, Scott & Jenna Russell. Long Mile Home: Boston Under Attack, the City’s Courageous Recovery, and the Epic Hunt for Justice. Dutton. Apr. 2014. 352p. notes. index. ISBN 9780525954484. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698157248. CRIME

Long Mile HomeThe Boston Globe’s extensive coverage of the April 15, 2013, attack on the Boston Marathon forms the foundation of this work by Globe reporters Helman and Russell. A compelling and comprehensive narrative woven together from five different perspectives, the title includes a sixth: that of the bombers and their family. It tells the definitive story of the event, starting before the bombings and covering through to their aftermath. Despite the multitude of sources drawn upon, the writing is seamless and riveting; the authors expertly place the reader in the center of the action: on the sidewalk next to the bombers’ backpacks, in a getaway car with the suspects, in a hospital elevator with President Barack Obama, and inside the minds of the responders and investigators. VERDICT This well-crafted tale is likely of most interest to readers similar to the people profiled: marathoners, hospital staff, emergency responders, police, investigators, and Bostonians. Sensitive in its treatment and thrilling in its pace and immediacy, the book will also appeal to those who enjoy reading about crime, disaster-response planning, and current events.—­Ricardo ­Laskaris, York Univ. Lib., Toronto

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.


Balmer, Randall. Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter. Basic: Perseus. May 2014. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9780465029587. $27.99. BIOG


Hopkins, Tom & Ben Katt. When Buyers Say No: Essential Strategies for Keeping a Sale Moving Forward. Business Plus: Grand Central. Apr. 2014. 320p. index. ISBN 9781455550593. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455550586. BUS

Lal, Deepak. Poverty and Progress: Realities and Myths About Global Poverty. Cato Inst. Apr. 2014. 248p. ISBN 9781938048838. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781938048852. ECON

Schwartz, Bernard L. Just Say Yes: What I’ve Learned About Life, Luck, and the Pursuit of Opportunity. Greenleaf. 2014. 336p. photos. ISBN 9781626340749. $25.95. BUS


Young, Triumphant, and Black: Overcoming the Tyranny of Segregated Minds in Desegregated Schools. Prufrock Pr. May 2014. 370p. ed. by Tarek C. Grantham & others. bibliog. ISBN 9781618210296. pap. $17.95. ED


Cheney, Lynne. James Madison: A Life Reconsidered. Viking. May 2014. 576p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780670025190. $36. HIST

Hoffman, Carl. Savage Harvest: A Tale of Cannibals, Colonialism, and Michael Rockefeller’s Tragic Quest for Primitive Art. Morrow. 2014. 336p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780062116154. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780062325310. $18.99. HIST

Rebok, Sandra. Humboldt and Jefferson: A Transatlantic Friendship of the Enlightenment. Univ. of Virginia. Apr. 2014. 232p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780813935690. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780813935706. HIST

Seward, Desmond. The Last White Rose. Pegasus. Apr. 2014. 448p. illus. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781605985497. $28.95. HIST

Law & Crime

Howard, Philip K. The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government. Norton. Apr. 2014. 224p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780393082821. $23.95; ebk. ISBN 9780393242119. LAW

Råstam, Hannes. Thomas Quick: The Making of a Serial Killer. Canongate. Apr. 2014. 460p. tr. from Swedish by Henning Koch. ISBN 9781782110705. pap. $17.95. CRIME

Tsai, Robert L. America’s Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community. Harvard Univ. Apr. 2014. 351p. notes. index. ISBN 9780674059955. $35. LAW

Louis, Anthony. Tarot Beyond the Basics: Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Meanings Behind the Cards. Llewellyn. Apr. 2014. 408p. bibliog. ISBN 9780738739441. pap. $19.99. PARAPSYCH


Aston, Maxine. The Other Half of Asperger Syndrome (Autism Spectrum Disorder): A Guide to Living in an Intimate Relationship with a Partner Who Is on the Autism Spectrum. 2d ed. Jessica Kingsley. 2014. 144p. ISBN 9781849054980. pap. $15.95. PSYCH

redstarRosenbaum, David A. It’s a Jungle in There: How Competition and Cooperation in the Brain Shape the Mind. Oxford Univ. 2014. 272p. illus. ISBN 9780199829774. $29.95. PSYCH

Social Science

redstarCooke, Julia. The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba. Seal: Perseus. Apr. 2014. 256p. bibliog. ISBN 9781580055314. pap. $17. SOC SCI

The Right To Amend

Stevens, John Paul. Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution. Little, Brown. Apr. 2014. 304p. index. ISBN 9780316373722. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780316373746. LAW

Six AmendmentsFormer Supreme Court justice Stevens has written a timely title discussing six changes he believes should be made to the Constitution. These revisions, he says, will decrease government gridlock, end corruption, and lessen gun violence. Each chapter of the book tackles a different subject that is currently of interest to the public and the Court. These topics include the death penalty, gun control, campaign finance reform, and political gerrymandering, which is the drawing of Congressional and other political districts to benefit a particular political party. Stevens writes about each of these issues clearly, adding background and history, and explaining how amendments will bring about the changes he proposes. The author does not ask for any completely new amendments to the Constitution but suggests additions to the text that clarify his view of the framers’ intent. While Stevens offers his opinions throughout the work, he is careful to provide legal footing and history for all the viewpoints he expresses. VERDICT This is an intriguing volume with wide appeal—general readers, students, and law students will want to read it.—Becky ­Kennedy, Atlanta-Fulton P.L.

Waldman, Michael. The Second Amendment: A Biography. S. & S. May 2014. 224p. notes. index. ISBN 9781476747446. $24; ebk. ISBN 9781476747460. LAW

The 27 words of the Second Amendment guarantee the right to bear arms. But questions concerning by whom and subject to what regulations have generated thousands more words by historians, law professors, and judges—most importantly in two key U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2008 and 2010 that ruled that having a gun is an individual right and not a collective right of state militias. The role of the militia in colonial days is where Waldman (Brennan Ctr., New York Univ. Law Sch.) begins. The author discusses the debate in the First Congress on the Bill of Rights, the passage of which was the price for ratification of the Constitution. The story is thin on the next 150 years, jumping ahead to the late 20th century when a new generation of scholars—and the National Rifle Association (NRA)—worked to show the courts that the Second Amendment protected individuals’ rights. VERDICT Relatively short and readable, this text is a good introduction to judicial and academic debate on the meaning and origins of the Second Amendment with enough endnotes to show the way for those who want to read further.—Michael O. Eshleman, Kings Mills, OH

La Via Italiano

Coles, Polly. The Politics of Washing: Real Life in Venice. Robert Hale. Apr. 2014. 208p. ISBN 9780719808784. pap. $14.95. TRAV

The Politics of WashingSurely, the dream of travel writers—iconically exemplified by Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence—is to find out, “What would it be like to live here?” by going ­native. Anthropologist Coles crashes the fascinatingly stuck-in-time and often paradoxical paradigm of Venice with her family of six, offering a view of how all ages experience life there. Most of the adventures involve the domestic and logistical peculiarities of living on water, and while the author’s search for the authentic Venice often yields more questions than answers, she captures the nuances of daily life. Through inter­actions with neighbors and locals she finds the humor and centuries-old quirks of life in an “environment of stone, punctuated by water.” Coles’s year-in-the-life approach unmasks the mysterious history of an aboveground Atlantis with a singularly domestic yet worldly perspective and touch. The titular essay begins by wondering how far is acceptable from one’s window to hang laundry and extrapolates the business of space and separation to the metaphoric proportion of airing one’s washing on an island. Doing so is inescapable, and she offers that perhaps it was this difficulty to conceal that led to the Venetian predilection for masks. VERDICT For lovers of excursions, travel writing, and adventurous living.—­Benjamin Malczewski, ­Toledo–Lucas Cty. P.L.

Italy: 2014. DK. (Eyewitness Travel). 2013. 372p. ed. by Francesca Machiavelli & others. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781465400574. pap. $30. TRAV

Whether the tickets have been purchased and the bags have been packed, or the prospect of a European tour is a far-off fantasy, this book is a wonderful resource for planning that dream trip. The guide provides an introduction to the historical, cultural, and artistic underpinnings of Italian civilization, from its roots in the Roman Empire to the present. But Italy was only unified as a country in the late 1800s and so offerings vary widely from region to region. DK represents this fact skillfully with subguides to regional highlights and detailed sections on major cities such as Rome, Florence, and Venice, along with brief spotlights of smaller cities. The major focus in any DK guide is on art, architecture, and cultural attract­ions, and this work delivers with annotated cut-away guides to sumptuous churches, historic neighborhoods, and Roman ruins as well as full-color photos of art, sculpture, and scenic vistas. For visualizing where to go and what to see, this volume is ideal; for exact details on getting there and practical concerns once you’ve arrived (eating, shopping), other titles or Internet resources might have more up-to-the-minute information. ­VERDICT A beautiful, detailed resource to start planning the perfect trip to Italy.—Emilia Packard, Austin, TX

Professional Media

redstarMaxwell, Robert L. Maxwell’s Handbook for RDA: Explaining and Illustrating RDA; Resource Description and Access Using MARC21. ALA Editions. Apr. 2014. 912p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780838911723. pap. $85. PRO MEDIA

Maxwell’s (special collections and formats catalog dept., Brigham Young Univ.; Maxwell’s Guide to Authority Work) handbook is intended to help practitioners understand RDA as well as to learn how to apply the rules in conjunction with MARC21. Through full and numerous cataloging examples, the author covers FRBR (functional requirements for bibliographic records) basics and how to record the attributes for entities such as manifestations, items, persons, corporate bodies, places, expressions, and works. The examples are not limited to just the print format but also include electronic materials, music, series, and maps. Supplementary material consists of 14 appendixes such as “Series Authority Records,” “Printed Books and Sheets,” “Notated Music,” “Audio Recordings,” “Moving Image Resources,” and “Digital Resources.” This very comprehensive resource is designed to be used as a supplement to, not a substitute for, RDA: Resource Description and Access Print (ALA Editions). VERDICT An essential tool for catalogers in all libraries and cataloging instructors.—Susan E. Ketcham, Long Island Univ. Post Lib., Brookville, NY

redstarThe RDA Workbook: Learning the Basics of Resource Description and Access. Libraries Unlimited: ABC-CLIO. 2014. 188p. ed. by Margaret Mering. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781610694896. pap. $55 w/CD; ebk. ISBN 9781610694902. PRO MEDIA

RDA WorkbookFor nearly a year now the Library of Congress and gradually other libraries and institutions have begun the process of implementing RDA cataloging (which uses the Resource Description and Access standard). If you are new to the cataloging field or just beginning to implement RDA into your catalog records, this book is for you. Mering (coordinator of cataloging and metadata, Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln) and contributors provide a basic introduction to the standard. The workbook begins by reviewing the theoretical framework of RDA, which is followed by chapters that outline the essentials, compare RDA to AACR2, and introduce the elements of authorized access points. The last chapter lays out the steps to take in order to establish a time line to implement the RDA changes discussed in the previous sections. In addition to the record examples and quick guides, a strength of this book is the provision of miniexercises that are sprinkled throughout and the longer exercises at the end of each chapter. Answers to these exercises and a glossary are also helpful. The accompanying CD contains the extended practice records and the short guides. VERDICT A useful, engaging, and well-­written book that is recommended to catalogers and staff in all libraries and cataloging instructors and their students.—Susan E. ­Ketcham, Long Island Univ. Post Lib., Brookville, NY

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