Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 3)

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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"Intensely immersive reading."
A journalist tells the absorbing story of how wartime experiences shaped the lives and friendships of three female soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2014

"A powerful, rational guidebook to creating genuinely effective education, written in a manner useful not just for schoolteachers, but everyone involved in the care of children."
Ideas from a former principal on what makes for an exceptional teacher. Read full book review >
UNRULY PLACES by Alastair Bonnett
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 8, 2014

"A scintillating poke to our geographical imaginations."
A wonderful collection of a few dozen geographical enchantments, places that defy expectations and may disturb and disorient yet rekindle the romanticism of exploration and the meaning of place. Read full book review >
GIVE <i>WAR AND PEACE</i> A CHANCE by Andrew D. Kaufman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 20, 2014

"Kaufman's enticing invitation may well persuade readers to finally dive into one of the world's most acclaimed—and daunting—novels."
At 1,500 pages, with a cast of nearly 600 characters, the book Henry James called a "loose baggy monster" looms as an intimidating project. But Kaufman (Literature/Univ. of Virginia; Understanding Tolstoy, 2011, etc.) thinks reading it is worth the effort: "Times are tough, anxiety and fear are pervasive, and people are searching for answers to questions big and small." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >