Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 3)

JUNIPER by Kelley French
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A fierce and fact-filled love story with few holds barred."
Two skilled journalists collaborate on the most personal of stories: their extremely premature daughter's struggle to survive. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"It's no match for Jesse Sheidlower's fluent, fun The F Word (1995), but Bergen's study is still a winner for the psycholinguistics nerd in the house."
An examination of the sub rosa language that sets us all atwitter—and athwart. Read full book review >

Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Hardly groundbreaking but a pleasant little book about making connections."
Don't be a stranger advises this short book on connecting with others. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A wide-ranging, highly positive assessment of the El Sistema movement, serving as both inspiration and manual for would-be social activists."
In this follow-up to Tunstall's Changing Lives (2011), which examined the growth of El Sistema in Venezuela, the authors look at the expansion of this artistic-social project around the world. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A comprehensive primer for how to contemplate urban spaces as they evolve for the future."
A creative city planner takes inspiration from the ancients' sense of urban integrity to propound a holistic approach to crafting the city space. Read full book review >

THE NEW BETTER OFF by Courtney E. Martin
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Martin writes with conviction and enthusiasm; whether social scientists concur with her remains to be seen."
An exploration of how success in the United States is being redefined. Read full book review >
WE GON' BE ALRIGHT by Jeff Chang
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations."
In this collection, written "in appreciation of all the young people who would not bow down," outspoken journalist Chang (Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America, 2014, etc.) offers six critical essays addressing racial inequality and inequity and how these provocative, multifaceted issues impact virtually every culture. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 11, 2016

"Repetitive, somewhat circular pleading weakens the case, but Singh's thesis merits discussion for anyone interested in curing a sick health care system."
A well-intended but imperfectly constructed argument for community-based health care by a physician-turned-medical activist. Read full book review >
Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowel
Released: Sept. 9, 2016

"A convincing case for rejecting the prevailing policies of 'assimilation, control, intrusion and coercion' regarding aboriginal people."
A Canadian explores the many misconceptions about her country's indigenous citizens. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"In her reporting, researching, and sharing, Boggs has performed a public service for those in a similar position—and for anyone interested in the implications of parenthood or in a story well-told and deeply felt."
So much more than a memoir about trying to conceive. Read full book review >
THE VANISHED by Léna Mauger
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
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 >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >