Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 2)

CHASING THE SCREAM by Johann Hari
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"A compassionate and humane argument to overturn draconian drug policies."
Award-winning journalist Hari's multistrand examination of the war on drugs, spanning 100 years from inception to the present day. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF LOVE by Roger Rosenblatt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"When you hear it, you know."
An improvisational, personal meditation on the subject of love. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 6, 2015

"An informative and enlightening appraisal of the regimented tests that American schoolchildren of all ages are subjected to taking on a regular basis."
New debates about the worthiness of standardized testing in schools. Read full book review >
GAY BERLIN by Robert Beachy
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 20, 2014

"A brave new work of compelling research."
An elucidating, somewhat startling study of how early German tolerance and liberalism encouraged homosexual expression. Read full book review >
MEN by Laura Kipnis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 18, 2014

"Dynamite examples rendered in funny, spirited writing."
Feisty, unapologetic forays into the messiness of gender relations. Read full book review >

THE PERFECT KILL by Robert Baer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 28, 2014

"Fascinating reading from an expert."
A best-selling author and former CIA operative chronicles his experiences as an assassin while offering chilling insight into the fine art of political murder. Read full book review >
FRAGRANT by Mandy Aftel
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 16, 2014

"Evocative, heady and overflowing with history and lore."
The history and mystery of the power of scent. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"Comprehensive research underlies this compelling, highly emotional and profoundly important story."
A novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter explores with nearly Javert-ian persistence one of the early cases of traffic fatalities caused by texting while driving.
Read full book review >
THE UNDERGROUND GIRLS OF KABUL by Jenny Nordberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 16, 2014

"An intelligent and timely exploration into contemporary Afghanistan."
A journalist's fascinating study of the Afghan subculture of young girls raised to be boys. Read full book review >
DATACLYSM by Christian Rudder
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Demographers, entrepreneurs, students of history and sociology, and ordinary citizens alike will find plenty of provocations and, yes, much data in Rudder's well-argued, revealing pages."
Are you a racist? Plainer-looking than you might wish? Inclined to vote left? Big data knows—and it's talking. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 2, 2014

"In this fascinating look at the dazzling if suffocating domain of digital information gathering, Tanner concludes that it is returning us to a world of farms and villages, where intimate details of everyone's lives were public knowledge."
Since the 1990s, the avalanche of personal information we voluntarily reveal and which computers easily harvest has endlessly intrigued observers, the latest being Tanner, a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. The author delivers the obligatory announcement that "big data" means the death of privacy, but not before backing it with plenty of entertaining evidence. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 12, 2014

"No one does scandal quite like the British; this one is a real doozy that deserves Davies' entertaining, no-stone-unturned eagle eyes."
The inside—deeply inside—account by the investigative writer who broke the British phone-hacking scandal wide open. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >