Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 5)

THE CON MEN by Terry Williams
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A thoroughly researched academic study accessible to general readers."
Two sociology professors' survey of New York con artists and how these reviled but crafty opportunists manage to make a living in the city's informal economy. Read full book review >
THE COSMOPOLITES by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A slim but powerful book of great interest to students of international law and current events."
Swiss-Canadian-Iranian journalist Abrahamian looks closely at modern internationality and the legal liminality that can accompany it. Read full book review >

TRACE by Lauret Savoy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Springing from the literal Earth to metaphor, Savoy demonstrates the power of narrative to erase as easily as it reveals, yielding a provocative, eclectic exposé of the palimpsest historically defining the U.S. as much as any natural or man-made boundary."
An earth scientist explores the broad historical branches extending from her own roots. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"A disturbing but necessary book."
An investigative reporter sheds light on a shocking decadeslong sex scandal at a prestigious New York prep school. Read full book review >
LITTLE VICTORIES by Jason Gay
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Gay's observations about his stumbles through life, and the little victories that come from learning from those stumbles, make for a rollicking good read."
Instructive essays in a comedic vein. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"As we head into the presidential primary season, Greenberg's book couldn't be timelier, more disturbing for the Republicans, or more challenging for those looking to lead the Democrats."
A prominent Democratic strategist and pollster lays out a reform agenda for the future. Read full book review >
FALAFEL NATION by Yael Raviv
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Nov. 1, 2015

"Readers wishing for a little more about food and a little less about nationalism may want to look elsewhere, but Raviv delivers an academic yet mostly accessible work of culinary anthropology."
What's in a falafel? By the lights of food-studies and nutrition adjunct professor Raviv, it's not just chickpeas and pita bread, but also identity. Read full book review >
MY WIFE WANTS YOU TO KNOW I'M HAPPILY MARRIED by Joey Franklin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 2015

"A candid, subtly profound collection."
Franklin (English/Brigham Young Univ.) meditates on the nature of manhood by reflecting on his life as a married father of three boys. Read full book review >
WAKING UP FROM WAR by Joseph Bobrow
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 2015

"A sincere, prescriptive text on a vital subject that deserves a stronger treatment."
A practitioner of diverse palliative arts considers the towering problem of war-inflicted trauma on military members, their families, and the community. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A useful history of an important, fairly unknown part of the American contribution to the Allied victory."
A long-overdue, sympathetic treatment of the barrage balloon operators who fought valiantly on the beaches of France. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Not without its flaws, but a good choice for fans of David Halberstam's The Amateurs (1985), Daniel Boyne's The Red Rose Crew (2000), and similar books."
A brightly told story of the triumph of underdogs. Read full book review >
AND STILL I RISE by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"A must for the look-it-up shelf and a poignant reminder of how far we have come—and have yet to go."
A stirring chronology of advances—and some backward steps—in the long struggle for African-American civil rights. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >