Social Sciences Book Reviews

WHITE TRASH by Nancy Isenberg
HISTORY
Released: June 21, 2016

"A riveting thesis supported by staggering research."
A rigorously researched study of the entrenched system of racial classification that dispels many myths about American national identity. Read full book review >
THE WAY TO THE SPRING by Ben Ehrenreich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 14, 2016

"Although Ehrenreich feels optimistic about the determination of Palestinians to resist, this visceral book, sorrowfully, portends no end to the horror."
A devastating portrait of unending turbulence in Palestine. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 14, 2016

"Uplifting, well-written story of personal courage and political empowerment."
The moving personal stories behind the landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which established the right of same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states. Read full book review >
THE BUTLER'S CHILD by Lewis M. Steel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"An articulate, emotionally moving chronicle of a life informed by racial unrest and elevated with dutiful humanitarianism."
A white man borne of privilege dedicates his life to the defense of civil rights. Read full book review >
INVISIBLE MAN, GOT THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHING by Mychal Denzel Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Realizing that he has more questions than answers, Smith cautiously sketches a useful blueprint for radical and intersectional politics in a country where a black child can grow up to be president but where living while black is still dangerous."
As black men are cut down by the police and self-appointed vigilantes, an activist wrestles with competing claims—from his family and community, his historically black university, the media, and white America—on his blackness and how it is to be lived. Read full book review >

EXONEREE DIARIES by Alison Flowers
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A thoroughly researched, provocative book of justice gone wrong."
Chicago journalist Flowers goes deep into the cases of three innocent men and a woman serving at least a decade in prison for crimes they never committed. Read full book review >
THE LYNCHING by Laurence Leamer
HISTORY
Released: June 7, 2016

"An engrossing true-crime narrative and a pertinent reminder of the consequences of organized hatred."
A powerful account of how a Ku Klux Klan-sanctioned lynching in Mobile, Alabama, paved the way for legal victories against such hate groups. Read full book review >
THE FATE OF GENDER by Frank Browning
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A timely, thoughtful contribution to a much-debated issue."
A journalist and cultural critic investigates the "shifting terrain of gender." Read full book review >
WHO COOKED ADAM SMITH'S DINNER? by Katrine Marçal
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 6, 2016

"An exciting reassessment of the global economy that provocatively extends the frontiers of the feminist critique."
A Swedish political and economic writer shows why "feminism's best-kept secret is just how necessary a feminist perspective is in the search for a solution to our mainstream economic problems. Read full book review >
THE GEEK FEMINIST REVOLUTION by Kameron Hurley
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: May 31, 2016

"Passion and commitment permeate the writing as Hurley illuminates the online cultural vanguard from a feminist's perspective."
A feminist manifesto from the front lines of fantasy fiction, Internet flaming, and Gamergate battles. Read full book review >
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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Chris Cleave
June 14, 2016

In bestseller Chris Cleave’s latest novel Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, it’s London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams. “Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave’s miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout,” our reviewer writes, “with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race, and wartime morality.” View video >