Science & Technology Book Reviews (page 9)

SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 15, 2014

"An eye-opener for anyone concerned about concussion—which the authors persuasively argue should include everyone."
Powerful advocacy for an emerging therapy. Read full book review >
THE GOLDEN THREAD by David D. Weisher
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 11, 2014

"An intriguing exploration of a whirlwind of concepts, from reincarnation to government conspiracy, tied together by one common thread: the presence of ancient aliens on Earth."
Weisher (Mysteries of Consciousness, 2005) endeavors to answer the fundamental questions of human existence: Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Read full book review >

THE HUMEM STATE by Alan Brook
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 11, 2014

"An eye-opening reassessment of the concept of personal data."
A reconceptualization of the very idea of identity—human or otherwise. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 10, 2014

"Through compelling and meditative prose, Ackerman delivers top-notch insight on the contemporary human condition."
A shimmering narrative about how the human and natural worlds coexist, coadapt and interactively thrive. Read full book review >
THE BIG RATCHET by Ruth DeFries
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"An admirable history of human ingenuity that does not claim it will overcome such looming crises as overpopulation and global warming."
A solid, cheerful scientific account of how humans have dealt with disasters throughout history. Read full book review >

AGE OF OPPORTUNITY by Laurence Steinberg
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"A clear and canny look into the adolescent brain that will help influence adolescent lives for the better."
Advice from developmental psychologist Steinberg (Psychology/Temple Univ.; The Ten Basic Principles of Good Parenting, 2004, etc.) on navigating and nurturing the adolescent mind. Read full book review >
RACE UNMASKED by Michael Yudell
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"A challenging, well-researched work that clearly shows the interconnectedness of scientific and social thought."
A history of the concept of race in American scientific thought. Read full book review >
THE COPERNICUS COMPLEX by Caleb Scharf
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Most readers will agree with Scharf's complex but astute arguments that '[w]hile we cannot be at the center of what we now know to be a centerless universe, we nonetheless occupy a very interesting place in it—in time, space, and scale.'"
The universe is massive, and humans occupy an infinitesimal part. Do we matter? In this ingenious mixture of cosmology, evolutionary biology and philosophy, Columbia Astrobiology Center director Scharf (Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos, 2012) gives a thumbs up. Read full book review >
INFORMATION DOESN'T WANT TO BE FREE by Cory Doctorow
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Doctorow has spoken and written on these issues many times before but never quite so persuasively. Required reading for creators making their ways through the new world."
In his best-selling novel Ready Player One, Ernest Cline predicted that decades from now, Doctorow (Homeland, 2013, etc.) should share the presidency of the Internet with actor Wil Wheaton. Consider this manifesto to be Doctorow's qualifications for the job. Read full book review >
THE FUTURE, DECLASSIFIED by Mathew Burrows
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Burrows is an acute observer, but almost all important events in history are spectacularly unexpected. Although this is no news to readers of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's The Black Swan (2007), writers continue to deliver predictions, and this is a fine example of the genre."
As a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and current director of the Atlantic Council's Strategic Foresight Initiative, Burrows is well-qualified to speculate on the future, as he does in this stimulating series of essays. Read full book review >
VIRTUALLY HUMAN by Martine Rothblatt
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"A thoughtful philosophical exploration of the role of virtual humans in our future."
Computers cannot mimic human consciousness, and human-level artificial intelligence may not be possible for centuries, according to many scientists—but not according to the author of this ingenious book, who commissioned a "mindclone" of her spouse, which contains memories and has the ability to talk and express emotions. Read full book review >
DATACLYSM by Christian Rudder
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Demographers, entrepreneurs, students of history and sociology, and ordinary citizens alike will find plenty of provocations and, yes, much data in Rudder's well-argued, revealing pages."
Are you a racist? Plainer-looking than you might wish? Inclined to vote left? Big data knows—and it's talking. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >