Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 4)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 22, 2014

"First-rate reporting informs this thrilling narrative of hope."
A New York Times reporter delivers a gripping narrative about the recent court battles involving California's Proposition 8 (which outlawed gay marriage) and the Defense of Marriage Act. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 15, 2014

"Compelling childbirth narratives told from fresh perspectives."
Thirty-one female writers (including the editors) narrate their highly personal experiences of giving birth, beginning with the choices they made in advance, and how the reality compared with their expectations. Read full book review >

THE PEOPLE'S PLATFORM by Astra Taylor
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 15, 2014

"Not to be skimmed. A cogent and genuine argument for the true democratization of online culture."
A filmmaker turns her high-powered intellect not just on the Internet and its effect on our lives, but also on the sociological and economic forces that bend and shape it. Read full book review >
Women, Feminism, and Islam by Adeel Zeerak
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: April 12, 2014

"A worthwhile read that corrects several misconceptions."
Zeerak (Islam: A Superior System of Life, 2012) considers the relationships between men and women and the role women play in Islam and the world. Read full book review >
A BIGGER PRIZE by Margaret Heffernan
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 8, 2014

"The step-by-step accumulation of argument and evidence is overwhelming in its thoroughness and attention to detail."
Entrepreneur Heffernan (Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, 2011, etc.) systematically deconstructs the social myths associated with hypercompetitiveness while providing a formidable case about how counterproductive, and even perverse, it can be. Read full book review >

WHY NUDGE? by Cass R. Sunstein
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 25, 2014

"A provocative challenge to the fixed mindsets of left and right alike."
Harvard Law School professor Sunstein (Simpler: The Future of Government, 2013, etc.) takes up the question of the limits to government power in this intriguing revision of the Storrs Lectures on Jurisprudence he gave at Yale in 2012. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"An important book that should be required reading for educators, parents and school boards."
An educator offers a bold prescription to promote equality in America's public schools. Read full book review >
BORDER PATROL NATION by Todd Miller
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"An unsettling but important read."
Solid, absorbing reportage on the government's racist and constitutionally questionable notions of border security in the post-9/11 world. Read full book review >
WISH YOU HAPPY FOREVER by Jenny Bowen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2014

"Memorable and moving, Bowen's story is a gift straight from the heart. A great complement to Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's Half the Sky (2009)."
A social entrepreneur and former filmmaker's account of how adopting two Chinese daughters inspired her to help China reform its child welfare system from within. Read full book review >
HOLD TIGHT GENTLY by Martin Duberman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2014

"A powerful book that displays both the malice and the nobility of our species."
An acclaimed historian and biographer returns with an intimate history of the AIDS crisis and its devastations. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 11, 2014

"A thorough and deeply troubling analysis of a quiet but ominous threat to democracy."
Mettler (Government/Cornell Univ.; The Submerged State:How Invisible Government Policies Undermine American Democracy, 2011, etc.) delivers a broadside to for-profit universities and the politics that enrich them. Read full book review >
SEARCHING FOR PEKPEK by Andrew L. Mack
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 11, 2014

"A genuine adventure that often reads more like a report than a story."
A scientist looks back at his fascinating career and offers a pointed critique of mainstream conservation organizations. 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 >