January 1 & 15, 2016 Booklist 21 www.booklistonline.com
a barman and then, after achieving citizenship, as a member of the NYPD. Some rules
are made to be broken. Waters knows that,
acts accordingly, and here details his rise in
the department from a post as a guard for
the wealthy to the “coveted detective’s gold
shield,” a rise helped by his telling jokes, hiding a few details about his background, being
an all-around good guy, and, sometimes,
knowing the right officer in the right job.
This refreshing story serves as an antidote to
similarly titled memoirs that often drip with
blood and sorrow. Certainly, Waters has seen
the worst, but in his telling, he’s seen the
best, too. —Eloise Kinney
A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on
Change and Reform from Fifty Years of
By Robert M. Gates.
Jan. 2016. 256p. Knopf, $26.95 (9780307959492). 352.2.
Is reforming a government bureaucracy
actually possible? The former chief of the
CIA, Department of Defense, and Texas A
& M University resounding declares, yes.
From his years at the helms of those very different institutions, Gates distills advice for
would-be reformers who face a “bureaucratic
battlefield.” Addressing throughout types of
opposition to change inherent in any organization, Gates offers techniques for sidelining
or firing deadwood, building internal support,
and forging ties to outside influential parties,
especially politicians, for whom, readers of his
memoir, Duty (2014), will remember, Gates
has low regard. On the other hand, he exhibits great esteem for people who help a leader
carry out reform, and much of this handbook
counsels about finding and hiring such people.
Failure to enlist supportive talent, in Gates’
view, allows a bureaucracy to mount its most
effective resistance—waiting out the always
finite tenure of the reformer. Refreshingly
free of managerial jargon, Gates’ directness,
practicality, and palpable optimism will prove
encouraging to his audience. —Gilbert Taylor
HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: An author
tour and a 300,000-copy first printing
presage high demand.
Profiles of America: Facts, Figures &
Statistics for Every Populated Place in
the United States. 3d ed.
4v. 2015. 10,000p. illus. Grey House, paper, $795
This compilation of statistical information on more than 46,000 places in the U.S.
breaks down into four regional volumes.
These individual volumes are organized alphabetically by state, county, and place and
include maps from the Bureau of the Census.
State entries feature a black-and-white census
map and an alphabetical place index. County
entries contain statistical information, including population, religion, economy, taxes,
education, housing, health, and presidential
election returns in 2012.
Following the county summaries are com-
The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men
munity profiles ( 43,130 in all). These brief
profiles include further information on hous-
ing, hospitals, safety, and school districts.
There are two new sections to this edition:
“National/Regional Comparative Statistics”
and “National/Regional Rankings,” which
compare 100 of the largest communities. Vol-
ume 1 contains an introductory “Explanation
of Data,” while volume 4 contains the master
alphabetical index. Individual state indexes
are interspersed throughout the set. The set
purchase includes a free subscription to the
online version. Public and academic libraries
owning the previous edition will want to up-
date as use warrants. —Rebecca Vnuk
Who Built the World.
By Sally Denton.
Feb. 2016. 384p. Simon & Schuster, $30
The Bechtel company, still family-controlled
Raising Ryland: Our Story of Parenting
generations after founder Warren Bechtel
made the firm famous with its construction
of the Boulder (now Hoover) Dam, has at-
tracted criticism during its history. How much
becomes clear in Denton’s survey of Bechtel’s
globe-girdling operations. Like Laton Mc-
Cartney in Friends in High Places (1988),
Denton focuses on the executives who carry out
Bechtel’s business model, which is government
contracting. To Denton, these men constitute
a nefarious nexus of influence within the U.S.
government’s national security apparatus. Af-
ter serving in high posts, they bring to Bechtel
their connections and lobbying knowledge. Are
the contracts that ensue evidence of corrupt
crony capitalism or of Bechtel as the best out-
fit to perform a job? Denton dutifully reports
Bechtel’s denials of influence-peddling but
plainly doesn’t believe them. Instead, she maps
coincidences between the government tenure
of a Bechtel executive, such as George Schultz,
and projects his former agency later awarded to
Bechtel. However readers view the company,
Denton’s extensively researched work informs
readers about the firm’s maintenance as a pri-
vately held concern during its growth into a
huge, multinational enterprise. —Gilbert Taylor
a Transgender Child with No Strings
By Hillary Whittington.
Feb. 2016. 272p. Morrow, paper, $15.99
(9780062388889); e-book (9780062388896). 306.76.
Several months after Whittington’s daughter, Ryland, was born, the baby was diagnosed
as profoundly deaf. With cochlear implants
and therapy, Ryland learned by age four to
express herself clearly. One of the things she
said, however, was that she thinks she’s a boy.
Whittington recalls Ryland’s step-by-step journey from uncomfortable little girl to thriving
young man. It wasn’t an easy trip. At first,
Whittington sensed disapproval and disbelief
from her husband, in-laws, family, and friends.
She constantly questioned herself on whether
she was failing Ryland by giving in to her requests. But at the same time, the mother in her
was determined to support her now-son and
listen to his longings. With the help of support
groups, family, and literature searches, Whit-
Appearing below is a list of all the print reference titles reviewed in this issue. Reference
librarians should also remember that all Booklist reference reviews can be accessed by
Booklist subscribers on Booklist Online.
African American Leadership: A Reference Guide. Ed. by Tyson D. King-Meadows. p. 20
Asian American Leadership: A Reference Guide. Ed. by Don Nakanishi. p. 20
Hate Crimes: A Reference Handbook. By Donald Altschiller. p. 28
Historical Atlas of Canada: Canada’s History Illustrated with Original Maps. 2d ed.
By Derek Hayes. p. 28
Hispanic American Leadership: A Reference Guide. Ed. by Victor Rodriguez. p. 20
A History of Photography in Fifty Cameras. By Michael Pritchard. p. 23
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary. Ed. by Pearline Jaikumar. p. 28
Movie Star Chronicles: A Visual History of the World’s Greatest Movie Stars. By Ian
Haydn Smith. p. 28
Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated Story. p. 28
Profiles of America: Facts, Figures & Statistics for Every Populated Place in the United
ProQuest Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2016. p. 28
Sports Leadership: A Reference Guide. Ed. by Mark Dodds and James T. Reese. p. 20
The String Instrument Owner’s Handbook. By Michael J. Pagliaro. p. 28
The Thames & Hudson Dictionary of Photography. Ed. by Nathalie Herschdorfer. p. 28