Social Sciences Book Reviews

THE BORN FREES by Kimberly Burge
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 3, 2015

"An affecting portrait of post-apartheid South Africa, particularly useful for writing instructors serving at-risk constituencies."
Journalist Burge recounts a sojourn in a township outside Cape Town working with a writing group called Amazw'Entombi, or "Voices of the Girls."Read full book review >
THE DRUMMOND GIRLS by Mardi Jo Link
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 14, 2015

"A moving, honest, and laughter-filled account of eight women who gather one weekend every year and enjoy themselves to the fullest."
Loyalty and friendship among eight women. Read full book review >

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 8, 2015

"This moving, potent testament might have been titled 'Black Lives Matter.' Or: 'An American Tragedy.'"
The powerful story of a father's past and a son's future. Read full book review >
AN UNLIKELY UNION by Paul Moses
HISTORY
Released: July 3, 2015

"A brisk, well-researched look at a significant part of New York's boisterous past."
How two ethnic groups made peace. Read full book review >
Obama's Challenge to China by Chi Wang
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: July 1, 2015

"An informative, persuasive look at the current state of Chinese-American relations."
Wang (The United States and China Since World War II, 2013, etc.) offers an analysis of Obama's China policy and the continuing points of contention in the Chinese-American relationship. Read full book review >

THE HILLARY DOCTRINE by Valerie M. Hudson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 30, 2015

"A sound study that carries an urgent message."
A compelling argument for women's rights. Read full book review >
THE GOOD SHUFU by Tracy Slater
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 30, 2015

"A heartfelt and moving tale, coupling insights into two remarkably different cultures with a love story that, as much as any true love story can, delivers a happy ending."
A writer goes to the far side of the world for work and finds a home. Read full book review >
MODERN ROMANCE by Aziz Ansari
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 16, 2015

"Often hilarious, consistently informative, and unusually helpful."
The ever hip and funny comedian and Parks and Recreation star embarks on a surprisingly insightful exploration of the complex realities of dating today. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was truly about."
A powerful memoir of the civil rights movement, specifically the dramatic struggle to integrate the schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 9, 2015

"A provocative discussion of how public investment and private entrepreneurship can combine to shape future advantages from existing used and unused capacities."
Drawing on her business success, Internet entrepreneur and internationally respected transport expert Chase details how digital infrastructure can be used to organize excess capacity and generate profit in service businesses. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"Clynes makes a persuasive case for allowing gifted children the freedom and resources to pursue their interests."
Popular Science contributing editor Clynes (Music Festivals From Bach to Blues: A Travellers Guide, 1996, etc.) uses the story of Taylor Wilson—who, at age 14, became "one of only thirty-two individuals on the planet to build a working fusion reactor, a miniature sun on Earth"—to illustrate the potential for improving our educational system.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 9, 2015

"Tragic, gripping, and authentic, this book deserves a wide audience."
An investigation into the plague of violence engulfing a generation of American youth. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >