Science & Technology Book Reviews

TERMS OF SERVICE by Jacob Silverman
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 17, 2015

"Intelligent, provocative and illuminating in the author's argument that social media companies must examine their ethics and find business models that don't depend on perpetual surveillance of customers."
Freelancer Silverman, a celebrated Jeopardy! champion and contributor to Slate, the Atlantic and other publications, debuts with a deep and disquieting plunge into digital culture.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 2015

"Ingenious, lucid and revealing look at the lives of two brilliant men who changed our way of seeing the world."
A fine addition to the burgeoning genre of dual biography of great figures whose lives were related, if often distantly. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: March 10, 2015

"Let us be grateful that there are writers like Dreger who have the wits and the guts to fight for truth."
Dreger (Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics/Northwestern Univ.; One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal, 2004, etc.) passionately investigates character assassinations in academia and how "[s]cience and social justice require each other to be healthy, and both are critically important to human freedom."Read full book review >
SHRINKS by Jeffrey A. Lieberman
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 10, 2015

"Vastly edifying and vigorously written—a much-needed update on how far the psychiatric industry has come, both medically and from a public perception standpoint."
An intelligent, encouraging survey of the psychiatric industry. Read full book review >
THE AGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT by Jeffrey D. Sachs
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Required reading for policymakers and students, and general readers will finish the book realizing they actually understand what sustainable development is all about."
A leading economist offers a brilliant analysis of the worldwide need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. Read full book review >

LESS MEDICINE, MORE HEALTH by H. Gilbert Welch
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 3, 2015

"Welch's engaging style and touches of humor make this an easy read, and the facts he presents make a convincing case."
A bright, lively discussion of the excesses of medical care to which patients often unwittingly go due to certain false assumptions. Read full book review >
DATA AND GOLIATH by Bruce Schneier
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 2, 2015

"An accessible, detailed look at a disturbing aspect of contemporary life."
A jeremiad suggesting our addiction to data may have made privacy obsolete. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A vital piece of work that demands attention."
Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Scheer (Communication and Journalism/Univ. of Southern California; The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street, 2010, etc.) examines how online convenience has supplanted bedrock American values of personal freedom and the right to privacy.Read full book review >
THE UTOPIA OF RULES by David Graeber
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A sharp, oddly sympathetic and highly readable account of how big government works—or doesn't work, depending on your point of view."
Hate bureaucrats? Then stop supporting violent states. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives."
An alarming view of the burgeoning dark side of the Internet. Read full book review >
SAPIENS by Yuval Noah Harari
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"The great debates of history aired out with satisfying vigor."
Harari (History/Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem) provides an immersion into the important revolutions that shaped world history: cognitive, agricultural and scientific. The book was originally published in Israel in 2011 and became a best-seller. Read full book review >
TOUCH by David J. Linden
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 1, 2015

"So surpassing does Linden make touch seem that even turning the pages of his book becomes a pleasurable experience."
A crisp reminder that the sense of touch is not to be taken lightly. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >