Social Sciences Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 7, 2018

"King's analysis of social issues, as delineated in Laurent's useful reappraisal, seems as relevant today."
In her debut book, Laurent (American Studies/Paris Institute of Political Studies) draws on extensive research into Martin Luther King Jr.'s writings, speeches, and papers as well as archival and published sources to make a strong argument that his campaign for social justice went beyond race to encompass broad, transformative social and economic changes for all poor Americans. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"Inspiring, though not as inspiring as actually hearing Barber at the mic."
A collection of Christianly-inflected calls for social justice. Read full book review >

BABEL by Gaston Dorren
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"A deft, spirited exploration of the connection of language to a nation's identity and culture."
Multilingual Dutch journalist and linguist Dorren (Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Languages, 2015, etc.) proves to be a genial, fascinating guide to the modes, manners, and curiosities of the most-spoken languages in the world. Read full book review >
DEAR LOS ANGELES by David Kipen
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"Like the city itself, the book mashes wildly diverse sources into an intriguing and surprising whole."
A Los Angeles native and lion of the city's literary culture gathers writers' impressions of the City of Angels from across several centuries. Read full book review >
HOW WE WIN by George Lakey
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"Clear, encouraging, and potentially empowering."
An activist offers hard-won advice for community organizers. Read full book review >

Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"A riveting, passionate case against lifetime incarceration and a plea for criminal justice reform."
A study on the counterproductive impact of life sentences. Read full book review >
REVOLUTIONARY THREADS by Bobby Sullivan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"An engaging and challenging read."
A post-hardcore rock star, community activist, and social justice intellectual offers an alternative look at countercolonial history through the lens of the Rastafari movement. Read full book review >
CONGO STORIES by John Prendergast
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"No thoughtful reader of this book will look at his or her computer or cellphone the same way again."
Eye-opening reportage from an African nation that has been robbed and despoiled for centuries—but that is now finding paths of resistance. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"A provocative book that lies on the edges of the self-help universe."
Power, money, sex: Those "mitochondrial imperatives" drive us, but the shell surrounding them can be tweaked to make the ride smoother. Read full book review >
THE WARNER BOYS by Curt Warner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2018

"A touching and at times traumatic family story, but always positive and told with love."
Surviving and thriving as a family with autistic twins. Read full book review >
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT RAPE by Sohaila Abdulali
Released: Nov. 27, 2018

"Susan Brownmiller, vitally updated."
In an expansion of her popular 2013 New York Times op-ed, novelist and rape survivor Abdulali (Year of the Tiger, 2010, etc.) calls for franker conversation about rape. Read full book review >
NO PLACE ON THE CORNER by Jan Haldipur
Released: Nov. 27, 2018

"A sharp portrait of one of the many seriously troubled areas of the American criminal justice system—and one without clear solutions."
A focused, emotionally devastating argument against aggressive policing. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >