Category Archives: book reviews

How Kirkus changed its review of American Heart after mob pressure

Yesterday I reported  that Kirkus, one of the three “biggie” reviewing services that vets books for libraries and readers before publication, had removed a prized star from one of its reviews: that of American Heart by Laura Moriarty (out January 2018).  It’s a “young adult” novel describing hypothetical America in which Muslims, as were many Japanese in […]

A book recommendation: “Unwanted Advances” by Laura Kipnis

I recently wrote about the mess that resulted when the Obama administration (the Office of Civil Rights) sent its “Dear Colleague” letter to American colleges, in effect telling them that all cases of sexual assault and harassment on campuses should be adjudicated by a “preponderance of evidence” standard: if it’s more likely than not that […]

“Testosterone Rex”, a biased polemic, wins the Royal Society book prize

I’ve now finished Cordelia Fine’s newest book, Testosterone Rex: Myths of Sex, Science, and Society. I’ve also read her earlier work, Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, so I’ve polished off both of her highly-regarded books on sex differences in behavior. Both books have a similar thesis: there’s essentially no evolved difference […]

Steve Jones reviews Wilson’s book on Darwin in the Times

My old friend Steve Jones, an evolutionary geneticist at University College London,  writer of popular science books, and a collaborator on field work in Maryland and California, has written a review in the Times of A. N. Wilson’s new book on Darwin, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker, With 46 customer reviews on Amazon UK, the book […]

More reaction to A. N. Wilson’s new biography of Darwin

Yesterday A. N. Wilson‘s new debunking biography of Darwin, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker, came out in the UK (it’ll be out the U.S. in December), but a while back it had already caused a fracas among reviewers. While a few reviewers liked it, most of them, including anyone who knew anything about evolution or Darwin, gave it very bad […]

New reviews of A. N. Wilson’s debunking biography of Darwin

The reviews are starting to come in for A. N. Wilson’s new Darwin-debunking book, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker (out on September 7 in the UK, December in the U.S.),which I mentioned here. The book not only trashes Darwin as a white supremacist, careerist, and purloiner of other people’s ideas, but also goes after evolution itself, which Wilson […]

Wilson’s book on Darwin trashed again, this time in the Guardian and the Evening Standard

A. N. Wilson, prolific but seemingly sloppy biographer, at least of Darwin, has published two excerpts of his new book, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker (out on September 7 in the UK, December in the U.S.). One was in the Evening Standard, and the other in the Times, but both were misguided and splenetic. (I haven’t yet read […]

A book on Darwin damned in New Scientist

A while back, several readers sent me an Evening Standard article by A. N. Wilson, “It’s time Charles Darwin was exposed for the fraud he was.” That turned out to be a precis of a new book by Wilson, Charles Darwin: Victorian Mythmaker (out on September 7 in the UK, December in the U.S.). Of course the […]

The New Yorker admits atheism

I’ve been critical before about the New Yorker‘s implicit dissing of science as well as its softness toward religion (see here, here and here, for instance).  After all, the clientele of the magazine is liberal, wealthy, and though they’re probably not religious, they like a gentlemanly, well-fed detente between science and religion. The magazine also has […]

What I’m reading (and you?)

I usually read only one book at a time, but for some reason I’m now engaged with four. That makes it hard, because I have to choose, of an evening, which one to continue; and unless I alternate them frequently, I forget what I’ve read a week ago. Here are the four, one of which […]