The Page Boy

By Lavender March 28, 2008

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Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

Mary Roach
Norton
$24.95

Mary Roach tackles—dispassionately, factually, hilariously—the subject of sexual research. What’s not to fascinate? Take Chapter Four, for example. Does not the heading “The Upsuck Chronicles: Does Orgasm Boost Fertility, and What Do Pigs Know About It?” simply scream, “Read me!” Much food for…thought. Roach’s previous book is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers.

Engraving the Savage: The New World and Techniques of Civilization

Michael Gaudio
University of Minnesota Press
$25

Immersed in our own world of stereotyping and classification, we forget that this sort of visual/verbal manipulation is old hat. Michael Gaudio has taken for his fascinating subject the exploration of just how early engravings of New World inhabitants established current meanings of “savage” and “civilized.” He shows how Theodor Bry’s 1590 engravings from John White’s earlier paintings of the Carolina Algonquian Indians created a “savage other.” The rest is history.


The Lyncher in Me: A Search for Redemption in the Face of History

Warren Read
$24.95

When Warren Read—gay, partnered, father of three—sought the roots of his own dysfunctional family, he found, to his horror, that his grandfather, Louis Dondino, had instigated the infamous lynching of three young black men more than 80 years ago in Duluth, Minnesota. With great sensitivity, Read intertwines his own family story with that of the murdered men, including his speech of apology to the people of Duluth, and his reaching out to the relatives of Elmer Jackson, one of the slain.


Making Waves: Navy Women of World War II

Evan Bachner
Abrams
$35

It’s the third in a fine photographic series by Evan Bachner, whose previous volumes include At Ease: Navy Men of World War II and Men of World War II: Fighting Men at Ease, both reviewed earlier in “The Page Boy.” This volume offers more than 150 photographs, most never reproduced before, of some of the 86,000 women serving the nation as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service), as well as factory workers whose presence was crucial in winning the war.

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