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Sex, Genes and Arms Control

Anna Lena Phillips

A survey of the Scientists’ Bookshelf in the 1960s and 1970s reveals some of the preoccupations of the day: alternative energy sources, urbanization, the impacts of computers on human life. Although the tone of the discussion may seem a bit naive compared to contemporary discourse, the contrast highlights the fact that we are still grappling with those subjects. The archives offer perspective on language as well: In the 1970s, Bookshelf reviewers had already begun to use a few of the well-worn phrases that now frequent reviews across venues. (We’ll let you spot those yourself.)

We’ll post some additional reviews from the 1940s to the 1980s at the Scientists’ Bookshelf Online. As always, all reviews published from 1998 to the present are freely available here. And—if I may briefly editorialize—I encourage interested readers to try writing criticism themselves. As a letter writer in this issue of the magazine points out, book reviewers have become a rare, as well as a rarefied, lot.—Anna Lena Phillips


A review of Sex Is for Real (Human Sexuality & Sexual Responsibility), by W. Dalrymple

A review of Mathematical Models of Arms Control & Disarmament: Application of Mathematical Structures to Politics, by T. L. Saaty


A review of Civilizing American Cities, by Frederick Law Olmstead, edited by S. B. Sutton; Autokind vs. Mankind, by Kenneth R. Schneider; and Anatomy of a Park, by Albert J. Rutledge

A review of Patterning of Time, by Leonard W. Doob


A review of Clouds of the World: A Complete Color Encyclopedia, by Richard Scorer

A review of Alternatives to the Internal Combustion Engine: Impacts on Environmental Quality, by Robert U. Ayres and Richard P. McKenna


A review of Ecology and Environment, by Konrad Lorenz, translated by Marjorie Kerr Wilson


A review of Machine Takeover: The Growing Threat to Human Freedom in a Computer-Controlled Society, by Frank George

A review of The Ultimate Experiment: Man-Made Evolution, by Nicholas Wade

A review of Food Production and Its Consequences, by Philip E. L. Smith

A review of Doctors Wanted: No Women Need Apply: Sexual Barriers in the Medical Profession, 1835–1975, by Mary Roth Walsh, and The Hidden Malpractice:How American Medicine Treats Women as Patients and Professionals, by Gena Corea

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