Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 2)

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 >
THE END OF KARMA by Somini Sengupta
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2016

"A compelling portrait of what will soon be the world's most populous nation, one on the verge of great change—for better or worse."
India's young population is growing dramatically, writes Indian-American journalist Sengupta—and it's growing impatient with the roadblocks its elders have erected. Read full book review >

SEX IN THE MUSEUM by Sarah Forbes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A provocative chronicle steeped in eyebrow-raising details and personal honesty."
Dispatches from the front lines of the "Smithsonian of Sex." 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 >
THE MIND CLUB by Daniel M. Wegner
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: March 22, 2016

"Complex science lightly delivered; a pleasure for anyone comfortable with the thought that knowing others' minds will improve our own."
Do the dead have thoughts? The late Harvard psychology professor Wegner (The Illusion of Conscious Will, 2002, etc.), assisted by neuroscientist Gray (Mind Perception and Morality/Univ. of North Carolina), ponders that ethereal question and much more.Read full book review >

WHERE THE LIGHT GETS IN by Kimberly Williams-Paisley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A simply told, moving memoir."
An actress tells the story of how her mother's dementia changed their relationship and affected their family. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 8, 2016

"An authoritative account of the challenges facing progressives wishing to fuse better governance with economic justice."
An energetic if grim discussion of inequality and the coming era of underemployment, viewed through the lens of the forgotten American progressive narrative. Read full book review >
SLEEPING GIANT by Tamara Draut
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 5, 2016

"Readers who concur that we have a 'neoliberal economic system that is systematically rotten to the core' will welcome Draut's impassioned report; others may be unmoved."
A close examination of the plight of the working class, the decline of organized labor's political power, and the stirrings of activism that indicate change may be on the way. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 5, 2016

"With its academic tone and spirited, convincing vision, revolutionary new insights can be gleaned from this book on how to approach life's multifarious situations with both heart and head."
A popular college instructor explains how ancient Chinese thought can be applied to everyday life. 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 >
ALL THE SINGLE LADIES by Rebecca Traister
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 1, 2016

"An easy read with lots of good anecdotes, a dose of history, and some surprising statistics, but its focus on one segment of one generation of single women is a drawback."
A feminist journalist argues that single women, who now outnumber married women in the United States, are changing society in major ways. Read full book review >
PRETENTIOUSNESS by Dan Fox
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 5, 2016

"Not as provocative as it might be, but never pretentious."
A short book puts a positive spin on a term of almost universal disparagement. 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 >