Social Sciences Book Reviews

FREE SPEECH by Timothy Garton Ash
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"A thorough and well-argued contribution to the quest for global free speech norms."
A field guide to the challenges of setting standards for free speech in a "cosmopolis" of diverse cultures. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"A sharp but limited critical analysis of how the role of women in the rise of the tea party is affecting conservative political change."
An academic analysis of the rise of the conservative tea party movement and its uniquely large female membership. Read full book review >

TRIBE by Sebastian Junger
HISTORY
Released: May 24, 2016

"The themes implicit in the author's bestsellers are explicit in this slim yet illuminating volume."
A short book with a solid argument about the downside of civilization's progress. Read full book review >
HELPING CHILDREN SUCCEED by Paul Tough
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Informative and effective methods to help children overcome issues and thrive at home and in school."
Straightforward advice on how to help children overcome adversity at home and in school. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"A forthright testimony by a witness to history."
Triumphs and frustrations mark the author's long legal career. Read full book review >

LABOR OF LOVE by Moira Weigel
HISTORY
Released: May 17, 2016

"An earnest plea to think about love mindfully."
Dating undermines authenticity, the author claims. Read full book review >
RELIGION
Released: May 17, 2016

"An intellectual and provocative perspective challenging Christians and others to reconsider the confines of spiritual interconnection, harmony, and progressive inclusion in modern religion."
In the latest installment of the publisher's enterprising Queer Action/Queer Ideas series, queer Episcopal priest and political strategist Edman brings a fresh approach to the ongoing conundrum between the LGBTQ community and Christianity. Read full book review >
THE BOYS IN THE BUNKHOUSE by Dan Barry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"Gently, empathetically, and indelibly, Barry conveys a tale of unthinkable brutality."
A gripping indictment of society's treatment of "losers." Read full book review >
THE UNDERDOGS by Melissa Fay Greene
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: May 17, 2016

"Dog lovers, parents of special needs kids, and those who love feel-good stories will delight in these heartwarming portraits of dogs and their families."
Personal stories of service dogs in action. Read full book review >
STREET OF ETERNAL HAPPINESS by Rob Schmitz
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 17, 2016

"Probing human-interest stories that mine the heart of today's China."
A study of vastly changing China from the perspective of one busy street in the center of Shanghai. Read full book review >
BOY ERASED by Garrard Conley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 10, 2016

"An engaging memoir that will inevitably make readers long for a more equal future."
In a sharp and shocking debut memoir, Conley digs deep into the ex-gay therapy system. Read full book review >
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE by Tom Vanderbilt
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 10, 2016

"Like it or not, there's much to behold in this exhaustively researched, intellectual assessment of human preference."
The science behind the choices we make. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >