Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 2)

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING LITTLE by Erika Christakis
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A deep, provocative analysis of the current modes of teaching preschoolers and what should be changed to create a more effective learning environment for everyone."
An early childhood educator offers fresh advice on how parents and teachers should be interacting with preschool children to achieve better overall results. Read full book review >
THE BLACK PRESIDENCY by Michael Eric Dyson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Dyson succeeds admirably in creating a base line for future interpretations of this historic presidency. His well-written book thoroughly illuminates the challenges facing a black man elected to govern a society that is far from post-racial."
An early assessment of America's first black presidency. Read full book review >

ONE CHILD by Mei Fong
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Finished just before the announcement of the policy's demise, One Child is a touching and captivating anthropological investigation of one of the most invasive laws ever devised."
Widespread female infanticide and officials jailing pregnant women's families to induce them to surrender to abortions—these are scenes not from a dystopian novel but from China's family planning bureaucracy. Read full book review >
WHILE THE CITY SLEPT by Eli Sanders
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An exceptional story of compelling interest in a time of school shootings, ethnic and class strife, and other unbound expressions of madness and illness."
Disturbing, sometimes-horrifying story of true crime and justice only partially served. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A passionate discussion of race and politics sure to inspire heated debate and, hopefully, proactive solutions."
An activist treatise on how shifting American demographics are changing the political climate. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Quigley's narrative of Terrell and her court case is especially relevant in the wake of numerous well-publicized killings of black citizens by police officers and the latest wave of black activism."
A retelling of the events leading up to the landmark civil rights Supreme Court case District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co., Inc., which invalidated segregated restaurants in the city in 1953.Read full book review >
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 >
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 >