Alibi V.13 No.4 • Jan 22-28, 2004 

Speed Reader

Waxwings

Jonathan Raban
Pantheon Books
hardcover
$24

In Raban's first novel since the mid '80s, readers come into gruesome contact with the disintegrating marriage of a pretentious writing professor and his neglected wife. Advance readers say one of the best aspects of the book is its frighteningly accurate depiction of Seattle during the dotcom boom.

In the Name of Science: A History of Secret Programs, Medical Research and Human Experimentation

Andrew Goliszek
St. Martin's Press
hardcover
$27.95

Biology professor Andrew Goliszek presents a deeply disturbing book covering the whole sordid history of "medical" abuse throughout the ages, but focussing mainly on our own government's dubious experiments on unwilling human subjects. Creepy but fascinating stuff.

Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy

Elizabeth R. Varon
Oxford University Press
hardcover
$35

The title sums it up nicely. Van Lew grew up in a slave-owning family in Virginia. When the Civil War broke out, she not only helped Union prisoners escape, but built up a formidable intelligence network to aid the North. An extraordinary biography.

One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West Before Lewis and Clark

Colin G. Galloway
University of Nebraska Press
hardcover
$30.95

Covering a gigantic swath of time from prehistory to the 17th century, Galloway examines Native American existence before contact with Europeans. In the process, he dismantles several aspects of conventional wisdom about indigenous American cultures.