Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 2)

THE VANISHED by Léna Mauger
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A cheerless little book in which a journalist calls attention to but does not probe deeply into one of the sorriest aspects of life in modern Japan."
Each year, some 100,000 Japanese opt to disappear, a phenomenon depicted here in a small collection of essays and photographs. Read full book review >
STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND by Arlie Russell Hochschild
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A well-told chronicle of an ambitious sociological project of significant current importance."
An acclaimed liberal sociologist examines "the increasingly hostile split" between America's two major political parties and "how life feels to people on the right—that is…the emotion that underlies politics." Read full book review >

A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES by Daniel J. Levitin
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Valuable tools for anyone willing to evaluate claims and get to the truth of the matter."
A crash course in Skepticism 101. Read full book review >
THE WORLD IN FLAMES by Jerald Walker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"The key to the memoir's cumulative power is Walker's narrative command; the rite of passage is rockier than most, making the redemption well-earned."
A memoir in which a young boy comes to terms with the religious cult that had given his family hope. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"The concise and passionate story of how a teenager formed his own school that is 'intellectually demanding of all its students, no matter what their academic history.'"
The story behind one young man's alternative school within a school. Read full book review >

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT by Jessica Luther
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Highly relevant, hard-hitting, much-needed information that reveals the widespread existence of rape by sports players on college campuses."
Investigative reporting that uncovers the rape culture surrounding college sports, particularly football. Read full book review >
CAST AWAY by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A powerfully written, well-documented account of a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions."
Giving faces to the headline stories about the flood of immigrants seeking asylum in Europe. Read full book review >
SUBSTITUTE by Nicholson Baker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"An affecting (long-exposure) snapshot revealing real-life concerns."
The eminent Maine-based author chronicles his lively, maddening month substitute teaching in the local public schools. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"An intriguing assessment of the effectiveness of a variety of global parenting customs."
A close examination of parenting practices across the globe. Read full book review >
EXILED IN AMERICA by Christopher Dum
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Dum's scholarly apparatus is on full display, which will please specialists but should not deter general readers. His exceptional view of what's happening to the weakest among us deserves a place on the same shelf with Matthew Desmond's groundbreaking book Evicted (2016)."
Dum (Sociology/Kent State Univ.) debuts with an ethnographic study of a year in the life of a residential motel. Read full book review >
GRAND HOTEL ABYSS by Stuart Jeffries
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A rich, intellectually meaty history."
Life inside the 20th-century's reigning citadel of pessimism, as told through the lives and (often conflicting) philosophies of its key thinkers. Read full book review >
WORDS ON THE MOVE by John McWhorter
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"As in most of his books, McWhorter proves to be a well-informed and cheerful guide to linguistics."
A brisk look at how and why words change. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >