Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 3)

THE BITCH IS BACK by Cathi Hanauer
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"A provocative collection about 'what happens later, after those frantic, demanding, exhausting years with work and very young kids and, sometimes, not enough money.'"
Successful women writers reflect on being mature and female in early-21st-century America. Read full book review >
THE GREAT DERANGEMENT by Amitav Ghosh
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"A slim but certainly significant contribution to the climate crisis dialogue sure to provoke discussion and increased awareness about our imperiled planet."
Fair warning on the perils of ignoring climate change. Read full book review >

TO BE ISRAELI by Yair Lapid
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"By turns gloomy, patriotic, defensive, and gracious, Lapid's reflective tone will both resonate with and arouse the ire of many."
Short essays on a changing, vilified Israeli identity. Read full book review >
VIOLENT BORDERS by Reece Jones
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"With the building of border walls and the deaths of migrants much in the news, this work is both timely and necessarily provocative."
"Tear down this wall!" was Ronald Reagan's ringing challenge to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. Now, a geographer calls for more drastic action, arguing that border walls everywhere should come down. Read full book review >
ON LIVING by Kerry Egan
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 25, 2016

"A moving, heartfelt account of a hospice veteran."
Lessons about life from those preparing to die. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Though passionate and informative, this opus becomes repetitive, meandering, and flamboyant in its implication that women should aspire to a 'whoring' experience."
A part memoir, part polemic about the plight of the upmarket escort takes a range of institutions and groups to task. Read full book review >
THE ATTENTION MERCHANTS by Tim Wu
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Forget subliminal seduction: every day, we are openly bought and sold, as this provocative book shows."
When something online is free, then the product being sold is you. Wu (Columbia Law School; The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, 2010) elaborates on that sobering note. Read full book review >
PLAYING THROUGH THE WHISTLE by S.L. Price
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"From the rigidly stratified life in the 1920s and '30s during J&L's 'despotic prime,' to the brief, postwar golden age, 'a moment of civic equipoise,' to today's 'company town without a company,' where the combination of unemployment, drugs, and crime crushes hope, Price's football story is really that of America's Rust Belt in poignant miniature."
A senior Sports Illustrated writer tells a multigenerational story about Aliquippa, a Pennsylvania steel town, and its legendary high school football team. Read full book review >
VITAL LITTLE PLANS by Jane Jacobs
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"A timely volume that supports Jacobs' aim to 'stir up some independent thinking urgently needed as a wake-up call for America.' A perfect complement to Robert Kanigel's excellent biography, Eyes on the Street (2016)."
A collection of short pieces by an outspoken champion of urban diversity. Read full book review >
EXILED IN AMERICA by Christopher Dum
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Dum's scholarly apparatus is on full display, which will please specialists but should not deter general readers. His exceptional view of what's happening to the weakest among us deserves a place on the same shelf with Matthew Desmond's groundbreaking book Evicted (2016)."
Dum (Sociology/Kent State Univ.) debuts with an ethnographic study of a year in the life of a residential motel. Read full book review >
GRAND HOTEL ABYSS by Stuart Jeffries
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A rich, intellectually meaty history."
Life inside the 20th-century's reigning citadel of pessimism, as told through the lives and (often conflicting) philosophies of its key thinkers. Read full book review >
WORDS ON THE MOVE by John McWhorter
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"As in most of his books, McWhorter proves to be a well-informed and cheerful guide to linguistics."
A brisk look at how and why words change. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >