Social Sciences Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 22, 2014

"Cleareyed and courageously revealing."
A foreign correspondent examines the intertwining histories of two Tomlinson families—one white, the other black—who shared a common past spent on a Texas slave plantation. Read full book review >
CRASH COURSE by Kim Bearden
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 15, 2014

"Thoughtful and entertaining tales of how students influenced and changed one teacher's perspective on life."
How a teacher learned to live a better life through interaction with her students. Read full book review >

UNRULY PLACES by Alastair Bonnett
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 8, 2014

"A scintillating poke to our geographical imaginations."
A wonderful collection of a few dozen geographical enchantments, places that defy expectations and may disturb and disorient yet rekindle the romanticism of exploration and the meaning of place. Read full book review >
SUSPICIOUS MINDS by Ian Gold
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 8, 2014

"A provocative new perspective on the diagnosis, and therefore treatment, of mental illness."
Brothers Joel Gold (Psychiatry/NYU School of Medicine) and Ian Gold (Philosophy and Psychiatry/McGill Univ.) suggest that to treat delusions simply as manifestations of psychosis, without regard to their cognitive function, is insufficient. Read full book review >
A CHINAMAN'S CHANCE by Eric Liu
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 8, 2014

"An eloquent, thought-provoking and timely memoir."
A noted journalist and educator’s reflections on his Chinese heritage and on “the chance America still has to be something greater than the sum of its many tinted parts.” Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: July 1, 2014

"Hope for the endurance of the human spirit in the face of tragedy."
Two psychologists provide a nontechnical exploration of how certain people not only survive trauma, but actually thrive after a traumatic experience. Read full book review >
THE SKELETON CREW by Deborah Halber
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: July 1, 2014

"Both charming and disturbing, Halber's accessible, personalized style is engaging despite being somewhat at odds with the grisly aspects of her topic."
Account of the eccentric online communities that have transformed the forensic identification of deceased missing persons. Read full book review >
REDEEMING THE DREAM by David Boies
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 17, 2014

"More bromance than a rigorous account of what actually occurred. Turn to Becker's book instead."
The two principal attorneys who faced off over Bush v. Gore in 2000 joined forces in 2009 to fight California's Proposition 8, which outlawed gay marriage, and, now, to write this light account of their adventures in court. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 17, 2014

"The anecdotes are uplifting, but the authors are not persuasive about the ease of adapting these schools' strategies to larger, financially strapped settings."
The authors contend that learning how to learn is the most essential skill for 21st-century students. Read full book review >
THE GLASS CLOSET by John Browne
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 17, 2014

"Valuable encouragement to closeted workers who can afford to heed the author’s advice."
An appeal to LGBT workers and corporations about the benefits of inclusion, from the former CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Read full book review >
INVISIBLES by David Zweig
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 12, 2014

"In Zweig's fascinating world, the limelight doesn't hold a candle to the satisfaction of hard work well done."
An encouraging salute to the world behind the scenes, where the "Invisibles" allow the show to go on. Read full book review >
TEACH A WOMAN TO FISH by Ritu Sharma
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 10, 2014

"Sharma's experiences not only support the idea that "when you teach a woman to fish, everyone eats," but also serve as an aggressive call to action for anyone who cares about ending global poverty."
An international women's issues advocate tells the story of how females all over the developing world are seeking to improve their economic prospects and create better futures for themselves and their families. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Diana Gabaldon
July 21, 2014

Diana Gabaldon was crossing genres in her action-flled Outlander series long before that was considered cool. We talk to Gabaldon about her latest in the series, Written in My Own Heart's Blood, this week on Kirkus TV. View video >