Social Sciences Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"An impressive debut offering explanations based on coherence between people, cases and the events they adjudicated."
Center for American Progress senior constitutional policy analyst Millhiser assesses the damage caused by the Supreme Court to the Constitution, government and the citizens whose rights have repeatedly been curtailed or abrogated in arbitrary, capricious, bigoted and arrogant proceedings. Read full book review >
THE WILD OATS PROJECT by Robin Rinaldi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"A sensitive, intimate and bold story."
A 40-something journalist's account of her yearlong open-marriage experiment and its consequences. Read full book review >

BETTER THAN BEFORE by Gretchen Rubin
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: March 17, 2015

"The airy, conversational writing style makes this a quick but not terribly substantial read."
A slight twist on the happiness message that made Rubin (Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson, and My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life, 2009, etc.) famous, with few new insights.Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: March 17, 2015

"Bond renders a worthwhile subject into entertaining, informative reading."
London-based writer Bond wades into the murky reaches of the human psyche in this exploration of how other people's opinions shape our behaviors and attitudes. Read full book review >
DEEP VIOLENCE by Joanna Bourke
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 17, 2015

"A thoughtful but sometimes overly academic consideration of why thousands of people are, or should be, marching in the streets."
A dense treatise on the evil that men do to one another in the name of war. Read full book review >

WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU'LL BE by Frank Bruni
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 17, 2015

"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."
New York Times op-ed columnist Bruni (Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater, 2009, etc.) shows why rejection by an Ivy League college need not be a disaster and may even be a blessing. Read full book review >
RECAPITULATIONS by Vincent Crapanzano
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 17, 2015

"Crapanzano's self-conscious, self-analytical style makes this a unique and interesting search for lost time."
A book of memories about the act of remembering. Read full book review >
A TASTE FOR CHAOS by Randy Fertel
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: March 17, 2015

"A smart blend of psychology, philosophy and literary history, well-written if sometimes obscure; of broad interest to students of contemporary literary theory."
An inquisitive examination of the impulse that yields literary improvisation—which is to say, literature itself. Read full book review >
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 >
DETAINED AND DEPORTED by Margaret Regan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Together, Regan's books bring into focus the fates of undocumented people fighting against the odds to make it into America and then, if they get here, struggling, and often failing, to build a life."
A timely look at the inhumane effects of immigration policies in the United States. Read full book review >
DREAMERS by Eileen Truax
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"A forthright, moving piece of advocacy journalism."
In this English-language edition of her first book, an immigrant, LA-based reporter tells the intimate stories of the young people who, by no choice of their own, live without legal status in the United States. Read full book review >
THE WORM AT THE CORE by Sheldon Solomon
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: March 10, 2015

"Insightful but not entirely convincing."
Psychology professors Solomon (Skidmore Coll.), Greenberg (Univ. of Arizona) and Pyszczynski (Univ. of Colorado, Colorado Springs) follow up their study of the psychological effects of 9/11 on the American population (In the Wake of 9-11: the Psychology of Terror, 2003) with a look at how the knowledge of mortality impacts human culture.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 >