Real-Life Mona Lisa, Library Volunteers, Memoir, Psychology, Travel | Social Sciences Reviews

Hales, Dianne. Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered. S. & S. Aug. 2014. 336p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781451658965. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781451658989. HIST

Mona Lisa Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile has captured the imaginations of generations of art lovers. Hales (La Bella Lingua) seeks to understand the story behind the painting by recounting the life of Lisa Gherardini (1479–1542), the widely accepted model for Leonardo da Vinci’s 16th-century masterpiece. ­Gherardini’s ancestry, life, and death are explored, as well as those of her husband (and likely commissioner of the famous portrait) and artist da Vinci. Owing to a dearth of sources on the subject’s life, however, the book reads as an exploration of what life would have been like for a woman of ­Gherardini’s station in Renaissance Florence rather than a retelling of her specific story. The enduring appeal and legacy of the painting are also addressed, although controversies surrounding its subject and origin are only briefly mentioned. Interspersed throughout the narrative are anecdotes about the author’s personal experiences while researching the book, as she uncovers a Florence that is very different from the city as it was in da Vinci’s time. These asides add pathos that casual readers will appreciate but that will frustrate academics. VERDICT This engaging account of a Renaissance woman will appeal to a general audience.—Rebekah Kati, Walden Univ. Lib., Morrisville, NC

redstarHoffman, Morris B. The Punisher’s Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury. Cambridge Univ. (Studies in Economics, Choice, & Society). May 2014. 392p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781107038066. $30. LAW

Punisher's BrainHoffman (law, Univ. of Colorado, Univ. of Denver), a trial judge for the Second Judicial District of the Colorado state court system, has stellar credentials for positing theories about the law, but, perhaps surprisingly, he also invokes science to explore the nature of punishment and its relation to the legal system. This fascinating book transcends categorization. Melding neuroscience, biology, primatology, anthropology, evolutionary psychology, philosophy, history, and, of course, law, Hoffman promulgates a treatise on the evolution of punishment, arguing that it has evolved along with us. Indeed, our notions of punishment and judgment are hardwired in our brains, subject to shifting evolutionary trends. In 11 well-researched chapters, Hoffman explores such phenomena as cheating, blaming, cooperation, conscience, guilt, retaliation, revenge, retribution, and forgiveness. Furthermore, he introduces and analyzes various dissonances and fallacies that shape our legal judgment. The final chapter, “Brains Punishing Brains,” identifies old and new perspectives on the topic, returning to the four traditional directives underlying it: retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. While the author does not resolve the conflicting goals of punishment, he does provide a novel overview of the issues. VERDICT This title is indispensable reading for scholars of jurisprudence who value texts such as Jeremy Bentham’s classic, The Rationale of Punishment.—Lynne Maxwell, West Virginia Univ. Coll. of Law Lib., Morgantown

redstarPickren, Wade E. The Psychology Book: From Shamanism to Cutting-Edge Neuroscience, 250 Milestones in the History of Psychology. Sterling. (Milestones). May 2014. 528p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781402784811. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781402792359. PSYCH

Psychology BookA leading historian in his field, Pickren ­(director, Ctr. for Faculty Excellence, Ithaca Coll.) here assembles 250 milestones in psychology, from shamanism to the 2013 White House BRAIN Initiative (brain research through advancing innovate neuro­technologies). Each entry has a page of concise description and explanation opposite a portrait, document, or work of art—a visual and intellectual pleasure. Milestones include Aristotle’s De Anima; London’s medieval Bedlam (Bethlem Hospital); Robert Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy; Elizabeth Loftus on misinformation effect and false memories; and Bill Moyers’s “Mind-Body Medicine” on PBS. Some topics and pioneers, such as the brain, soul, tests, medications, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung, receive repeat attention. Suggested readings add to the value of this book for readers who wish to delve further into the milestones. There is something for everyone here but, of course, not room for everything: this reviewer regrets the exclusion of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (as examined in Edward Reed’s From Soul to Mind) and psychologist Otto Rank. VERDICT Lay readers and scholars will find treasure and pleasure here. A splendid volume in content and design, this work is recommended for general readers, psychology students, and history buffs.— E. James ­Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC

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The following titles are reviewed in this month's print issue.
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Caron, David. The Nearness of Others: Searching for Tact and Contact in the Age of HIV. Univ. of Minnesota. May 2014. 352p. bibliog. ISBN 9780816691753. $69; pap. ISBN 9780816691791. $24.95. MEMOIR

Chadwick, Bruce. James & Dolley: America’s First Power Couple. Prometheus. 2014. 450p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781616148355. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616148362. BIOG

Fitoussi, Michèle. Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty. Gallic. Jul. 2014. 404p. tr. from French by Kate Bignold & Lakshmi Ramakrishnan Iyer. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781908313461. pap. $15.95; ebk. ISBN 9781908313553. BIOG


Lewis, Edward with Audrey Edwards. The Man from Essence: Creating a Magazine for Black Women. Atria. Jun. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781476703480. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476703503. COMM

Stephens, Mitchell. Beyond News: The Future of Journalism. Columbia Univ. (Journalism Review Bks.). 2014. 256p. notes. ISBN 9780231159388. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780231536295. COMM


Colander, David & Roland Kupers. Complexity and the Art of Public Policy: Solving Society’s Problems from the Bottom Up. Princeton Univ. Jun. 2014. 320p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780691152097. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9781400850136. ECON

Petram, Lodewijk. The World’s First Stock Exchange. Columbia Univ. Jun. 2014. 304p. tr. from Dutch by Lynne Richards. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780231163781. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780231537322. ECON

Saval, Nikil. Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace. Doubleday. 2014. 352p. illus. notes. ISBN 9780385536578. $26.95. BUS

Stoeckel, Howard with Bob Andelman. The Wawa Way: How a Funny Name & 6 Core Values Revolutionized Convenience. Running Pr. 2014. 256p. photos. ISBN 9780762453061. $19; ebk. ISBN 9780762453177. BUS


Martinez, Monica & Dennis McGrath. Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century. New Pr. Jun. 2014. 224p. notes. index. ISBN 9781595589590. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781595589941. ED

Roth, Michael S. Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters. Yale Univ. May 2014. 240p. notes. index. ISBN 9780300175516. $25. ED

Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education. Univ. of Nebraska. 2014. 240p. ed. by Jennifer De Leon. ISBN 9780803245938. pap. $25. ED


Greenblatt, Mark Lee. Valor: Unsung Heroes from Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Home Front. Taylor: Rowman & Littlefield. May 2014. 224p. photos. ISBN 9781589799523. $22.95; ebk. ISBN 9781589799530. MILITARY STUDIES

L’Heureux, Ray with Lee Kelley. Inside Marine One: Four U.S. Presidents, One Proud Marine and the World’s Most Amazing Helicopter. St. Martin’s. May 2014. 224p. ISBN 9781250041449. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466837751. HIST

Lindgren, James M. Preserving South Street Seaport: The Dream and Reality of a New York Urban Renewal District. New York Univ. 2014. 400p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781479822577. $35. HIST

Reynolds, David. The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century. Norton. May 2014. 560p. notes. index. ISBN 9780393088632. $32.50. HIST

Rosen, William. The Third Horseman: Climate Change and the Great Famine of the 14th Century. Viking. May 2014. 320p. maps. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780670025893. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698163492. HIST

Tobin, Fergal. The Irish Revolution 1912–25: An Illustrated History. Gill & MacMillan. May 2014. 224p. illus. maps. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780717156030. $42.95. HIST

Wolmar, Christian. The Iron Road: An Illustrated History of the Railroad. DK. May 2014. 400p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781465419538. $30. HIST

Law & Crime

Bauer, Bryce T. Gentlemen Bootleggers: The True Story of Templeton Rye, Prohibition, and a Small Town in Cahoots. Chicago Review. Jul. 2014. 320p. photos. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781613748480. $27.95. CRIME


Ashman, Bernie. Intuition and Your Sun Sign: Practical Methods To Unlock Your Potential. Llewellyn. Jun. 2014. 360p. ISBN 9780738738949. pap. $18.99. PARAPSYCH

Political Science

Alexander, Jeffrey C. & Bernadette N. Jaworsky. Obama Power. Polity. May 2014. 140p. notes. ISBN 9780745681993. $19.95. POL SCI

Annan, Kofi A. with Edward Mortimer. We the Peoples: A UN for the 21st Century. Paradigm. 2014. 272p. photos. index. ISBN 9781612055589. $27.95. POL SCI

Codevilla, Angelo M. To Make and Keep Peace Among Ourselves and with All Nations. Hoover Institution. May 2014. 248p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780817917142. $24.95; pap. ISBN 9780817917159. $19.95. INT AFFAIRS

Warren, Elizabeth. A Fighting Chance. Metropolitan. 2014. 384p. notes.

ISBN 9781627790529. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781627790536. POL SCI


Hallinan, Joseph T. Kidding Ourselves: The Hidden Power of Self-Deception. Crown. May 2014. 272p. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9780385348683. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780385348690. PSYCH

Phillips, Adam. Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst. Yale Univ. (Jewish Lives). May 2014. 192p. notes. ISBN 9780300158663. $25. PSYCH

Social Science

A Family by Any Other Name: Exploring Queer Relationships. TouchWood. 2014. 240p. ed. by Bruce Gillespie. ISBN 9781771510547. pap. $19.95;ebk. ISBN 9781771510554. SOC SCI

Giridharadas, Anand. The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas. Norton. May 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780393239508. $27.95. SOC SCI

Goffman, Alice. On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City. Univ. of Chicago. 2014. 288p. notes. ISBN 9780226136714. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780226136851. SOC SCI

Hanley, Tim. Wonder Woman Unbound:

The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine. Chicago Review. 2014. 320p. illus. notes. bibliog. ISBN 9781613749098. pap. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9781613749128. SOC SCI

Tizon, Alex. Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self. Houghton Harcourt. Jun. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780547450483. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780544232853. SOC SCI

Travel & Geography

Boyden, Mark. Travels in Zanskar: A Journey to a Closed Kingdom. Liffey. Jun. 2014. 250p. illus. maps. ISBN 9781908308511. pap. $31.95. TRAV

Hederman, Angela & Michael Berman. The Little Bookroom Guide to New York City with Children. Little Bookroom. Jun. 2014. 502p. photos. index. ISBN 9781936941094. pap. $22. TRAV

Hogan, Pete. The Artist on the Island: An Achill Journal. Liffey. 2014. 250p. illus. maps. ISBN 9781908308498. pap. $31.95. TRAV

Mason, Walter. Destination Cambodia: Adventures in the Kingdom. Allen & Unwin. 2014. 266p. bibliog. ISBN 9781742376622. pap. $16.95. TRAV

Miller, Joe. Adventure Carolinas: Your Go-to Guide for Multi-Sport Outdoor Recreation. Univ. of North Carolina. (Southern Gateways). May 2014. 176p. illus. maps. ISBN 9781469614151. $45; pap. ISBN 9781469614168. $20; ebk. ISBN 9781469614175. TRAV

Waters, John. Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America. Farrar. Jun. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780374298630. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374709303. TRAV

Wells, Patricia & others. The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris: The Best Restaurants, Bistros, Cafés, Markets, Bakeries, and More. 5th ed. Workman. 2014. 448p. photos. index. ISBN 9780761173380. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9780761181408. TRAV

Outlier Travel

Bonnett, Alastair. Unruly Places: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies. Houghton Harcourt. Jul. 2014. 288p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 9780544101579. $25. TRAV

In an era when “global communities” are often formed in cyberspace and personal possessions are frequently irrelevant, ­Bonnett’s (What Is Geography?) latest work poses the question as to whether the pursuit of “topophilia” (“a special love for peculiar places”) is an archaic activity. He provides the answer by showing in 47 entries that there is a constant human need for escape, freedom, and creativity. A residential ship that sails the seven seas, remotely located festivals, micronations, and a male-only ­religious community may be unusual, but they all address this need. The author’s fascinating descriptions of lost spaces, enclaves and breakaway nations, floating islands and ephemeral places, hidden geographies, no man’s lands, dead cities, and spaces of exception complement Italo Calvino’s fabricated tales of 55 places in Invisible Cities and serve to prove that “fact is stranger than fiction.” The author tackles psychogeography by exploring places that may soon look very different, if they continue to exist at all, and by navigating a place using the map of another location to intentionally disorient himself, transmitting a vital energy that disrupts our expectations and reshapes our imagination. VERDICT This book will satisfy armchair travelers as well as those who appreciate thought-provoking journeys.—­Victor Or, ­Surrey Libs., BC

Pohlen, Jerome. Oddball Michigan: A Guide to 450 Really Strange Places. Chicago Review. May 2014. 384p. photos. maps. index. ISBN 9781613748930. pap. $16.95. TRAV

Oddball MichiganIn the great state of Michigan, “oddball” can mean many things, but chief among these are giant statues of Paul ­Bunyan, giant cherry pie pans, and giant ice cream cones. To be fair, Pohlen’s ninth in his “Oddball” states series also includes historical sites, natural phenomena, and landmarks related to pop culture icons, such as the hospital where Madonna was born (now an old folks’ home) and a majestic Magic Johnson statue at Michigan State University, his alma mater. Organized by region, this compendium begins with the weirdness that is the Upper Peninsula and ends with the mixed legacy of Detroit, a city that brought the world Henry Ford and the Motown sound, but also has some of the worst urban blight in America (fertile ground for art installations!). In 450 funny blurbs, the author covers sights people might go out of their way for, as well as attractions one might check out while just passing through, providing location, cost, and contact information for each. VERDICT Amusing, brisk, surprising, and slightly educational, this is a great resource for the discerning connoisseur of cheesy and eccentric tourist attractions of the Upper Midwest.—Emilia Packard, Austin, TX

Smith, Daniel. 100 Places You Will Never Visit: The World’s Most Secret Locations. Quercus. 2014. 272p. illus. maps. index. ISBN 9781623651534. pap. $24.99. TRAV

There are places on this earth so secret that ordinary visitors are not allowed nearby, let alone inside. This book explores 100 of these mysterious locations, some well known and others relatively obscure, that would be intriguing to visit or learn more about. The work is organized geographically, covering the western reaches of the Pacific Ocean, the United States and Caribbean, the north Atlantic, the British Isles, Europe, Asia, and Australasia. This beautifully formatted guide includes full-color ­illustrations and excellent quality photographs depicting such amazing places as Area 51, a defense testing base in Nevada; the recipe vault at Coca Cola headquarters in Atlanta; Guantanamo Bay Detention Center in Cuba; the Secret Archives in Vatican City; Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan; and other places. Some of the entries describe locations that are still unknown, such as the definitive whereabouts of the Amber Room, Genghis Khan’s tomb, and the Ten Commandments stone tablets, as well as the location of the items in the Wildenstein art collection, which are dispersed throughout the world. VERDICT Armchair sleuths and conspiracy theorists alike will savor this unconventional book and use the information within to pique their curiosities regarding these and other global mysteries.—Elizabeth Connor, ­Daniel Lib., The Citadel, Military Coll. of South Carolina, Charleston

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