Social Sciences Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2015

"Schneiderhan leaves it to us to continue the journey these two began. His work, like theirs, is inspiring."
Schneiderhan's (Sociology/Univ. of Toronto) biographical comparison of Jane Addams (1860-1935) and Barack Obama illustrates how little has changed regarding the difficulties of community building. Read full book review >
THE DAD REPORT by Kevin Cook
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 1, 2015

"An enjoyable exploration of baseball, fatherhood, and how 'there's something special about the way families share the game.'"
Stories of fathers, their sons, and a way forward for the troubled game of baseball. Read full book review >

IN SEARCH OF THE MOVEMENT by Benjamin Hedin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 1, 2015

"Thoughtful essays on this significant struggle, ongoing and continuous."
A journalistic foray into the work of unsung heroes in the civil rights struggle, then and now. Read full book review >
GEEK HERESY by Kentaro Toyama
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 26, 2015

"A white paper largely of interest to education theorists and aid specialists, with occasional asides for the Jaron Lanier/Nicholas Carr crowd."
A well-meaning but arid argument, by a former Microsoft executive and current MIT fellow, against the presumed Trojan horses of technology. Read full book review >
THE SOUL OF THE MARIONETTE by John Gray
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: May 19, 2015

"A brief, elliptical inquiry designed to raise more questions than anyone could answer."
Within the debate between Christian and atheist authors, here come the Gnostics. Read full book review >

THE WELL-TUNED BRAIN by Peter C. Whybrow
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: May 18, 2015

"'To reshape the future we need first to better understand and reshape ourselves,' writes Whybrow, and he offers a running start."
Whybrow (Director, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior/UCLA; American Mania: When More Is Not Enough, 2005) addresses significant issues related to the navigation toward a more meaningful life.Read full book review >
MISBEHAVING by Richard H. Thaler
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 18, 2015

"Readers with even the remotest interest in how the world really works will enjoy this work of the dismal science pleasingly, and even exuberantly, done."
The dean of behavioral economics—the study of how people behave in practice rather than in theory when it comes to dollars and cents—gives a spry account of his field. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 13, 2015

"Leach strikes the right balance between a hard-nosed examination of the data and a compassionate, let's-make-this-work pragmatism. This will allow parents to shore up their children's stability when it may feel like everything else is crumbling down."
A guide to managing the fallout for children when parents choose to separate and divorce. Read full book review >
BREAKING THE MALE CODE by Robert Garfield
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: May 12, 2015

"Informative but hardly groundbreaking."
Methods for fostering and enhancing relationships between men. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2015

"A useful hands-on resource for development visionaries."
How an unlikely 15-year partnership between an American college graduate and a South African schoolteacher created a model nonprofit to help stabilize and educate children in the poorest townships. Read full book review >
THE HAPPINESS INDUSTRY by William Davies
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 12, 2015

"Skillfully written intellectual entertainment—prime fodder for postmodern psychologists and New-Age thinkers alike."
Durable reportage on governmental and commercial attempts to influence and propagate national well-being. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 12, 2015

"Well-documented and easy-to-comprehend data on why men need more paid time off to be with their newborn children."
Using his personal experience as a jumping-off point, journalist and "dad columnist" Levs examines the need for more paternity leave in the United States. Read full book review >

Upcoming Kirkus Interview

June 2, 2015
Ace Atkins

P.I. Spenser, knight-errant of the Back Bay, returns in Kickback, the latest in the iconic New York Times–bestselling series from author Ace Atkins. What started out as a joke landed 17-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that’s exactly what happened. This is Blackburn, Massachusetts, where zero tolerance for minors is a way of life. Leading the movement is tough-as-nails Judge Joe Scali, who gives speeches about getting tough on today’s wild youth. But Dillon’s mother, who knows other Blackburn kids who are doing hard time for minor infractions, isn’t buying Scali’s line. She hires Spenser to find the truth behind the draconian sentencing. “It’s great to see Spenser tackle a social evil with its roots in real life,” our reviewer writes.