Social Sciences Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: May 2, 2016

"A thoughtful historical study of the entrenched symbolism of a dreaded bridge in Mississippi, a landmark that 'fixed attention on Jim Crow's brutal excesses and unresolved legacies.'"
History of the most notorious sites in Mississippi for white-on-black violence, from 1918 to 1966. Read full book review >
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 GREAT ACCELERATION by Robert Colvile
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A familiar argument but with interesting twists and a rosier forecast than many other books of social/technological criticism."
A well-paced consideration of the effects of technology on lives made ever busier by it—and whipping by in a whirlwind as a result. Read full book review >
OLD AGE by Michael Kinsley
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: April 26, 2016

"An uneven but ultimately satisfying examination of the importance of 'long years of good health, not long years simply breathing in and out.'"
A short book about aging and baby boomers that mixes memoir and self-help. 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 >
HISTORY
Released: April 26, 2016

"Well written and full of firsthand insight—a good companion to weightier studies such as Timothy Miller's The 60s Communes (1999) and Arthur Kopecky's Leaving New Buffalo Commune (2006)."
If you can remember the '60s, you may have been there—but as a very young person, as this thoughtful history reveals. 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 >
BECOMING GRANDMA by Lesley Stahl
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 12, 2016

"A welcome guide for new grandparents and their children looking to savor the joys and navigate the pitfalls of grandparenting."
Award-winning broadcast journalist Stahl (Reporting Live, 1999) shares the joys of being a grandmother.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Marilu Henner
author of CHANGING NORMAL
April 26, 2016

After they’d been dating only a short while, and as they were falling in love, Marilu Henner and Michael Brown were hit with the ultimate bad news: Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Refusing traditional care, they pieced together a personal and holistic view on battling his cancer, all while forging an unbreakable bond. In this moving and informative book, Marilu pulls back the curtain on how they dealt with the blow. She relates her holistic perspective on health—including the superfoods, exercises, and immunotherapy they used to fight back—and why a diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of romance or of a happy and fulfilling life. “An inspiring love story wrapped in a serious call for new ways to treat disease,” our reviewer writes. View video >