Social Sciences Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A comprehensive analysis that lays the foundation for a discussion of necessary reforms and how they can be achieved."
Why the theories used to rationalize our beliefs in democracy are broken beyond repair and must be replaced. Read full book review >
ONE by Edward Mapplethorpe
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 1, 2016

"A wonderful portfolio of little monsters—or little angels, as you prefer."
A noted photographer turns from his previous interest in abstract portraiture to immediate, evocative studies of infants in their splendid innocence. Read full book review >

THE NEW ARAB WARS by Marc Lynch
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 26, 2016

"An excellent, clear distillation of recent events in the Middle East."
A keen observer of the violent upheaval in the Middle East since the Arab Spring makes a strong assertion: there is no returning to the old autocratic ways. Read full book review >
THE GUNNING OF AMERICA by Pamela Haag
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 19, 2016

"A refreshingly unusual approach by an author admirably transparent about why she wrote the book and why she chose to avoid more traditional approaches."
An examination of the controversial realm of American gun culture through the perspective of gun manufacturers, with an emphasis on the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Read full book review >
GHETTO by Mitchell Duneier
HISTORY
Released: April 19, 2016

"Americans did not create the ghetto, but in this well-documented study, we see clearly how those urban areas have come to embody so many of our shortcomings when it comes to matters of race."
How communities—especially in the United States—created, ostracized, and condemned the idea and reality of the ghetto. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 19, 2016

"An important account of medicine's role in a world in crisis."
A behind-the-scenes look at the nascent field of humanitarian medicine as it has evolved in recent years of civil wars, famines, tsunamis, and other natural and man-made disasters. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"Racism is the enduring scar on the American consciousness. In this ambitious, magisterial book, Kendi reveals just how deep that scar cuts and why it endures, its barely subcutaneous pain still able to flare."
An accomplished history of racist thought and practice in the United States from the Puritans to the present. Read full book review >
DOOR TO DOOR by Edward Humes
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 12, 2016

"A revealing look at the reality and impact of our 'buy-it-now, same-day-delivery, traffic-packed world.'"
The story of the massive, complex global system that transports people and things from door to door, day and night. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 5, 2016

"Easy-to-read, up-to-date information on the latest research into pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood."
The latest scientific findings on child-rearing from pregnancy through toddlerhood. Read full book review >
CONVICTING THE INNOCENT by Stanley Cohen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 5, 2016

"A valuable accounting of a hidden societal plague, likelier to appeal to attorneys, students, and activists than to the police officers, prosecutors, and 'tough on crime' types who should read it."
A disturbing compendium of wrongful convictions resulting in death sentences, focusing on individual stories and patterns of institutional failure. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 5, 2016

"Tantalizing perspectives on cultivating sharing, honesty, and cooperation via game theory."
Game theory strategies to handle everyday parental quandaries, especially the unpleasant variety. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 15, 2016

"Thoughtful political theory for divisive times."
Longtime national affairs writer Woodard (American Nation: A History of Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, 2011, etc.) builds on his previous analysis of the country's regional differences to focus on the conflict between individualism and collectivism that defines our national character.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frances Stroh
author of BEER MONEY
May 3, 2016

Frances Stroh’s earliest memories are ones of great privilege: shopping trips to London and New York, lunches served by black-tied waiters at the Regency Hotel, and a house filled with precious antiques, which she was forbidden to touch. Established in Detroit in 1850, by 1984 the Stroh Brewing Company had become the largest private beer fortune in America and a brand emblematic of the American dream itself; while Stroh was coming of age, the Stroh family fortune was estimated to be worth $700 million. But behind the beautiful façade lay a crumbling foundation. As their fortune dissolved in little over a decade, the family was torn apart internally by divorce and one family member's drug bust; disagreements over the management of the business; and disputes over the remaining money they possessed. “The author’s family might have successfully burned through a massive fortune, but they squandered a lot more than that,” our reviewer writes about Stroh’s debut memoir, Beer Money. “A sorrowful, eye-opening examination of familial dysfunction.” View video >