Book Hints


The media remind us periodically that Johnny can't read, can't locate Spain on a map, can't do basic math sums, and can't explain how a fulcrum works. For those who want to remedy this situation by taking their child's education into their own hands, two new handbooks provide a gold mine of information: The New Big Book of Home Learning (382 pp., $17.50 paper) and The Next Book of Home Learning (294 pp., $15.00 paper), both by Mary Pride (Westchester, Ill.: Crossway Books).

Ellen Frankel Paul plunges into the debate about comparable worth—the idea that women ought to be paid the same wages as men performing comparable (though not the same) jobs—in Equity and Gender (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books, 143 pp., $24.95/$12.95). Sympathetic to the aspirations that fuel support for comparable-worth legislation, Paul marshals facts and logic to show why the concept is misconceived and backward-looking.

From a Changeling Star (New York: Bantam, 355 pp., $3.95 paper), by Jeffrey Carver, pits the authoritarian Tandesko Triune against the free-marketers of the Auricle Alliance in a harrowing science fiction journey. Incorporating ideas from Eric Drexler's nonfiction work on nanotechnology, The Engines of Creation, Carver takes the reader inside the human cell and into the mind of a dying star.

George Nash, author of The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, provides an in-depth portrayal of Herbert Hoover's "forgotten years," his prepublic career as an engineer and businessman, in The Life of Herbert Hoover: The Engineer, 1874–1914 (New York: W. W. Norton, 768 pp., $25). Nash will delve into Hoover's public life in a subsequent volume.