Social Sciences Book Reviews

THE MAKING OF ASIAN AMERICA by Erika Lee
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A powerful, timely story told with method and dignity."
A sweeping study of the fastest growing group in the United States that underscores the shameful racist regard white Americans have long held for Asian immigrants. Read full book review >
THE ISRAELI MIND by Alon Gratch
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A solid overview of how psychology, rather than violence, might provide the way to peace."
An attempt "to forge a comprehensive, provocative, and accessible narrative about the Israeli mind." Read full book review >

PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"The Bennetts administer a highly informative and entertaining smack down to get your head on straight."
Psychiatrist Michael Bennett and his comedy-writer daughter, Sarah, combine to demonstrate "why self-improvement is hard and sometimes impossible, even when we're strong-willed and well guided." Read full book review >
INVISIBLE IN AUSTIN by Javier Auyero
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A scholarly study conducted with dignity and thoroughness."
A sociological study focusing on the experiences of 11 characters toiling in the underbelly of a vibrant American city. Read full book review >
DATE-ONOMICS by Jon Birger
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Informative and possibly useful to single readers."
A freelance journalist's study of why young single women "struggle to find marriage-material men" while men "with less going for them seem to have little trouble with the opposite sex." Read full book review >

$2.00 A DAY by Kathryn J. Edin
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An eye-opening account of the lives ensnared in the new poverty cycle."
An analysis of the growing portion of American poor who live on an average of $2 per day. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Useful for anyone with a horse in the race regarding law enforcement—in other words, most American citizens."
A handbook for making sense of America's approach to crime and incarceration and its effect on communities across the country. Read full book review >
HOW WE LIVE NOW by Bella DePaulo
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"An informative and inspirational guide to the myriad ways of making a home."
An eye-opening survey of the different living arrangements Americans have come to embrace. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"The fight on behalf of household workers for the '3 P's: pay, protection, and professionalism' continues. Look to Nadasen's history for an understanding of how the struggle began."
Scholar/activist Nadasen (History/Barnard Coll.; Rethinking the Welfare Rights Movement, 2011, etc.) showcases the stories of African-American women who helped organize domestic workers from the 1950s through the 1970s.Read full book review >
NO HOUSE TO CALL MY HOME by Ryan Berg
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Particularly important for caseworkers and social service specialists, who, by Berg's account, are likely to encounter more young people in the LGBTQ population in the near future."
Just as there is a school-to-prison pipeline in this country, so too, this grim report reveals, is there a home-to-homeless paradigm for many young people. Read full book review >
MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED by Tony Wagner
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Of some interest to curriculum-reform advocates and policy planners but without the fire and grace of Ivan Illich, Neil Postman, and others."
Public education is underfunded and undervalued. An education expert and a venture capitalist look to improve the situation. Read full book review >
THE HAUNTING OF THE MEXICAN BORDER by Kathryn Ferguson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"A wise and humane account that draws on a lifetime of exploring the border country and pondering its meaning."
A memoir that grapples with life, death, and documentary filmmaking on the United States-Mexico border. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >