Social Sciences Book Reviews

THE COMPLACENT CLASS by Tyler Cowen
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"A book that will undoubtedly stir discussion—as many of Cowen's books do—with readers divided about how they stand based on where they currently sit."
An influential economist seeks to persuade readers that American citizens have gotten overly complacent, that a crisis point is near, and that a widespread rebellion may alter the existing order. Read full book review >
FAST-FOOD KIDS by Amy L. Best
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"The book may be useful for sociology teachers and students, but general readers and policymakers will find this tough to digest."
A cultural analysis of what kids eat and why. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"There are countless kernels of amazing achievement and courage throughout this jam-packed, engaging history."
A history of the federal push to bolster women's rights from successive presidents since John F. Kennedy—and the resulting clashes with traditional conservative constituencies. Read full book review >
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"Solid research into the dilemmas regarding genetic screening and how it is used for fetuses and newborns."
When scientific ability and human desire coalesce into a potent tool that can profoundly change life. Read full book review >
WHY I AM NOT A FEMINIST by Jessa Crispin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Forget busting glass ceilings. Crispin has taken a wrecking ball to the whole structure."
A taut and spirited attack on contemporary mainstream feminism. Read full book review >

OTHER PEOPLE by David Shields
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Uneven but mostly sharp and appealing."
An assortment of musings, cultural critiques, and memoir. Read full book review >
THE KINGDOM OF HAPPINESS by Aimee Groth
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"An intriguing business/sociological chronicle with wider implications for modern corporate practices."
An investigation into the social experiments at the corporate headquarters of Zappos that raises some important questions about entrepreneurship, business management methods, and human values. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A valuable contribution to the history of the early republic and to the scholarly literature of civil rights."
In actual practice, it has been far from self-evident in America that all men—all people—are created equal. Read full book review >
MAY CAUSE LOVE by Kassi Underwood
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A poignant memoir about the years of healing that are often required after having an abortion."
How one woman overcame the traumatic experience of abortion. Read full book review >
GLASS HOUSE by Brian Alexander
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A devastating and illuminating book that shows how a city and a country got where they are and how difficult it can be to reverse course."
A journalist examines how corporate America and the politics enabling it have corroded an Ohio city to its very foundation. Read full book review >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"An entertaining, informative guidebook to some cool places populated by people to whom attention should be paid."
A tour of the territories of the United States, "those scattered shards of earth and populace that make up our outposts far from the North American continent." Read full book review >
HOW MAY I HELP YOU? by Deepak Singh
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"An interesting look at a puzzling society—ours—from the point of view of a sympathetic but not uncritical outsider. Good reading for students of comparative cultures."
An immigrant's thoughtful account of what it means to make a new life in a strange land, in this case the South. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >