Book Reviews, Fall 2021

These reviews are now available to read through Project Muse and in the printed Journal, Volume 56 Number 3:

Ideology and Libraries: California, Diplomacy, and Occupied Japan, 1945-1952 by Michael K. Buckland, with the assistance of Masaya Takayama 

Reviewed by Noah Lenstra

"Michael Buckland’s new book is animated by the central question of 'why different libraries do and should develop differently' (xi)."




 Reckonings: Numerals, Cognition and History by Stephen Chrisomalis 

Reviewed by Andrew Dillon

"Stephen Chrisomalis, a professor of anthropology at Wayne State University, has written a compelling and thoroughly entertaining account of how numbers came to be used and represented, situating numeracy within a social and cognitive framing that sheds light on the peculiarly human shaping of numerals as communication."



 Artificial Whiteness: Politics and Ideology in Artificial Intelligence by Yarden Katz 

Reviewed by Gregory Laynor

"Yarden Katz’s Artificial Whiteness: Politics and Ideology in Artificial Intelligence questions why there is all of a sudden so much talk about making AI ethical, fair, and good."




Burning the Books: A History of the Deliberate Destruction of Knowledge by Richard Ovendon 

Reviewed by Miriam Intrator

"Ovendon’s premise is that over time, the destruction of knowledge has repeatedly and heartbreakingly been a deliberate act; therefore, its preservation must be an equally deliberate act."




The Filing Cabinet: A Vertical History of Information by Craig Robertson 

Reviewed by James Lowry

"Robertson’s book uses the filing cabinet as a way into the study of information storage as shaped by the cultural values prevailing when the cabinet was at the height of its use: 'In the early twentieth century an encounter with a filing cabinet was an interaction with an emerging set of economic ideas' (128)."



Book Traces: Nineteenth-Century Readers and the Future of the Library by Andrew M. Stauffer

Reviewed by Tracy Bonfitto

"Andrew Stauffer’s Book Traces argues for the value that 'traces'—the annotations, insertions, and inscriptions left behind in books in circulating libraries—add to our understanding of the roles that nineteenth-century volumes of poetry played in the lives of their original owners and readers."



Ink under the Fingernails: Printing Politics in Nineteenth-Century Mexico by Corinna Zeltsman

Reviewed by Jason Dyck

"Ink under the Fingernails: Printing Politics in Nineteenth-Century Mexico is a fascinating study of the role of printing technologies in state formation, one in which political figures and printers are given equal weight."