Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 2)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A provocative, well-told story of love at all costs and an incisive examination of the continued violation of women's rights in Afghanistan."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist's account of how two young Afghanis from warring ethnic clans risked disgrace and death to wed each other.Read full book review >
TOWARD A MORE PERFECT UNIVERSITY by Jonathan R. Cole
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"An ambitious and visionary examination of American universities and 'how to develop them still further so that they may maximize their full potential.'"
A distinguished Columbia University sociology professor and former provost examines how American universities must evolve to maintain their global pre-eminence. Read full book review >

THE LAST THOUSAND by Jeffrey E. Stern
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Stern carefully and gingerly sifts through the changes wrought not only by the American presence, but, critically, by their withdrawal."
A personalized rendering of a decade's toll of war on one vilified segment of the Afghan populace determined to change its destiny. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A concise distillation of more than five decades of leadership knowledge—good reading for all of the 2016 presidential candidates."
The former secretary of defense offers insights into being an effective leader. Read full book review >
IN A DIFFERENT KEY by John Donvan
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"An invaluable guide for those dealing with autism and an inspiring affirmation of every individual's contribution to 'the fabric of humanity.'"
How autism has been transformed over the past century into "a threat that stalk[s] the nation," giving pause to prospective parents. Read full book review >

THE POWER OF FIFTY BITS by Bob Nease
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Although each strategy is common-sensical in its own right, taken together, they form a thoughtful, easy-to-digest approach for individuals and organizations seeking to foster better choices."
Useful advice on how to act on your good intentions. Read full book review >
THE END OF AVERAGE by Todd Rose
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"An intriguing view into the evolution and imperfections of our current system but lacking a clear path toward implementing the proposed principles of individuality."
Rose (Director, Mind, Brain, and Education Program/Harvard Univ.; Square Peg: My Story and What it Means for Raising Innovators, Visionaries, and Out-of-the-Box Thinkers, 2013) rejects the faulty benchmark of average and advocates for principles of individuality in schools and businesses. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Readers in Texas—and even nationally—who want change should pay attention and get started on the author's to-do lists. She knows the territory, and she wants it back."
How to change the political landscape in Texas, "the reddest of the red-hot states, covered by a big bubble that protects the most reactionary, radical, and rabid set of officeholders that much of the country has ever seen." Read full book review >
THE <i>DEFENDER</i> by Ethan Michaeli
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A pertinent, well-fashioned American success saga."
This chronicle of the influential black Chicago newspaper simultaneously tracks the important issues pertaining to African-American history from the turn of the 19th century. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Though Zoepf demonstrates a few instances of how 'small reform turns out to be even more transformational than its most devoted proponents could have predicted,' the evolving 'personal agency' she witnessed is almost too subtle (yet) to be perceived."
New America Foundation fellow Zoepf attempts to make "the case for small gestures" by extremely circumscribed Arab women. Read full book review >
THE CONFIDENCE GAME by Maria Konnikova
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"With meticulous research and a facility for storytelling, Konnikova makes this intriguing topic absolutely riveting."
What makes a con artist, and why are we duped by them? New Yorker columnist Konnikova (Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, 2013) takes us deeply into the art and psychology of the con game.Read full book review >
FAKE MISSED CONNECTIONS by Brett Fletcher Lauer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"During his journey through online dating, Lauer offered women 'the illusion that [they] could understand me,' which he extends to readers as well."
The tale of how the author's wife's infidelity sent him into the brave new world of Internet dating. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >