Social Sciences Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 22, 2016

"An elucidating, nuanced study of gender and feminist dynamics perfect for our current political moment."
A timely study of gender and media that reaches back before the present American election to earlier delineations of white manhood and presidential power. Read full book review >
THE END OF WHITE CHRISTIAN AMERICA by Robert P. Jones
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 12, 2016

"A missed opportunity to explore an important cultural change in the making."
A pundit considers the decline of Christian religious influence on American politics and culture. Read full book review >

A BOOK ABOUT LOVE by Jonah Lehrer
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: July 12, 2016

"While the book adequately covers a good deal of research and systematically examines the rewards and challenges of intimacy, it doesn't make love sound like a whole lot of fun."
Journalist Lehrer addresses the power of human attachment. Read full book review >
THE VOYEUR'S MOTEL by Gay Talese
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 12, 2016

"Undoubtedly creepy and unnerving but also an entirely compelling slice of seamy American life."
The disturbing private world of the sleaziest motel manager since Norman Bates. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: July 5, 2016

"Not the how-to book that its title suggests but Fish presents a compelling argument about the necessity of argument."
The acclaimed literary theorist and law professor addresses the concept of argument. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 5, 2016

"A culturally rich and rewarding personal chronicle of ethnic faith and intermingled tradition."
A heartfelt memoir plumbs the multilayered experience of being Muslim in America. Read full book review >
UNLATCHED by Jennifer Grayson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: July 5, 2016

"Persuasive arguments backed by scientific research that clearly demonstrate the benefits of breast-feeding for as long as possible."
A new analysis of the controversy surrounding women breast-feeding their children. Read full book review >
LIFT by Daniel Kunitz
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: July 5, 2016

"An excellent contribution to the literature of athletic performance and of interest to anyone with a penchant for self-improvement—and not just physical."
A wide-ranging history of fitness. Read full book review >
OH, FLORIDA! by Craig Pittman
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 5, 2016

"An inviting tour through Florida's personality and the colorful characters that make it up."
A chronicle of the eccentric, enigmatic nature of the state of Florida. Read full book review >
750 Laws in Sociology by Mark Bird
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: July 1, 2016

"An engaging but overreaching sociological treatise."
An eclectic mix of sociological facts, opinions, and other fodder for the curious. Read full book review >
THE NORDIC THEORY OF EVERYTHING by Anu Partanen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 28, 2016

"An earnest, well-written work worth heeding, especially in our current toxic political climate."
A Finnish journalist offers a surprising theory of why Americans are neither currently upwardly mobile nor free. Read full book review >
JACKSON, 1964 by Calvin Trillin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 28, 2016

"Haunting pieces that show how our window on the past is often a mirror."
A veteran reporter collects some significant pieces about race that originally appeared in the New Yorker, his publishing home since 1963. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >