Social Sciences Book Reviews

THE NAUGHTY NINETIES by David Friend
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"A witty, comprehensively researched time capsule from an unforgettable age of excess, scandal, and sex."
How multiculturalism and sexual liberation shaped a distinctive decade. Read full book review >
THE FAR AWAY BROTHERS by Lauren  Markham
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 12, 2017

"One of the most searing books on illegal immigration since Sonia Nazario's Enrique's Journey (2006)."
Markham relies on her roles as a journalist and a worker in the realm of refugee resettlement and immigrant education to craft a powerful narrative about an experience that plays out every day in the United States. Read full book review >

Released: Aug. 1, 2017

"An exemplary, inviting exploration and an inspiration for cooks and genealogists alike."
Food historian Twitty, creator of the Afroculinaria blog, serves up a splendid hearth-based history, at once personal and universal, of the African-American experience. Read full book review >
AMERICAN FIRE by Monica Hesse
NON-FICTION
Released: July 11, 2017

"A true-crime saga that works in every respect."
A captivating narrative about arson, persistent law enforcers, an unlikely romantic relationship, and a courtroom drama. Read full book review >
CHOKEHOLD by Paul Butler
Released: July 11, 2017

"Smart, filled rightfully with righteous indignation, and demanding broad discussion and the widest audience."
"If this chapter reads like a nightmare, it is because that's exactly what the criminal system is for an African American man"—a searing look at the interactions of law enforcement and black men by a former prosecutor. Read full book review >

ALL THE AGENTS AND SAINTS by Stephanie Elizondo Griest
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 10, 2017

"In this well-conceived book, the author demonstrates unforgettably that national borders constitute much more than lines on a map."
An exploration of the borderlands that deftly mixes memoir, groundbreaking sociology, deep reporting, and compelling writing. Read full book review >
WE ARE DATA by John  Cheney-Lippold
NON-FICTION
Released: May 2, 2017

"Essential reading for anyone who cares about the internet's extraordinary impact on each of us and on our society."
How algorithms shape our lives online. Read full book review >
AWAKENING by Nathaniel Frank
NON-FICTION
Released: April 24, 2017

"Frank's strikingly detailed, essential reportage reminds readers of the gay community's enduring fight for equality."
A diligent archive of gay marriage equality from its roots as a hopeful pipe dream to its realization as a civil right. Read full book review >
JANESVILLE by Amy  Goldstein
NON-FICTION
Released: April 18, 2017

"A simultaneously enlightening and disturbing look at working-class lives in America's heartland."
A Midwestern town struggles to survive in the aftermath of an economic disaster. Read full book review >
THIS FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT by Elizabeth Warren
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 18, 2017

"Inspiring words to empower Warren's marching army."
Girded for battle, the senior senator from Massachusetts forcefully lays out the bleak picture of an American government increasingly controlled by corporate greed and special interests. Read full book review >
DOWN THE UP STAIRCASE by Bruce D. Haynes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 11, 2017

"A candid and profoundly personal contribution to America's racial history."
A family's story reflects social upheaval. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: March 21, 2017

"A compelling history of a nation grappling with the moral and legal freedoms that the founders strived to ensure."
Sexual expression, obscenity, contraception, and abortion are the focus of this wide-ranging legal, political, and social history. 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 >