Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 4)

SING FOR YOUR LIFE by Daniel Bergner
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A disjointed structure occasionally hobbles this swiftly written life story of music, forgiveness, and resilience."
The biography of an emerging African-American opera singer who overcame a tough Southern childhood. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 30, 2016

"Few of Ingall's useful, reader-friendly prescriptions would be out of place in a goyish child development manual, but the flavor is echt Jewish and plenty tasty at that."
Forget the tiger mom. What an aspiring superchild—or just a mensch, even—needs is a good Jewish mother. Read full book review >

BLOOD AT THE ROOT by Patrick Phillips
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An impressive reckoning with a shameful piece of the past that 'most natives of Forsyth would prefer to leave…scattered in the state's dusty archives or safely hidden in plain sight.'"
A history of white supremacy's endurance in a Georgia county. Read full book review >
LONE WOLF TERRORISM by Jeffrey D. Simon
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"Some of Simon's research validates common-sense conclusions about extreme human behavior, but the book contains enough fresh findings to recommend it to those who want to delve into such dark corners."
In the second edition of his book originally published in 2013, Simon (The Terrorist Trap: America's Experience with Terrorism, 1994, etc.) focuses his scholarship on spree killers who act alone or with minimal assistance. Read full book review >
THE WORLD IN FLAMES by Jerald Walker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"The key to the memoir's cumulative power is Walker's narrative command; the rite of passage is rockier than most, making the redemption well-earned."
A memoir in which a young boy comes to terms with the religious cult that had given his family hope. Read full book review >

OH, FLORIDA! by Craig Pittman
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: July 5, 2016

"An inviting tour through Florida's personality and the colorful characters that make it up."
A chronicle of the eccentric, enigmatic nature of the state of Florida. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
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 >
STRANGERS IN THEIR OWN LAND by Arlie Russell Hochschild
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >
A FIELD GUIDE TO LIES by Daniel J. Levitin
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Valuable tools for anyone willing to evaluate claims and get to the truth of the matter."
A crash course in Skepticism 101. Read full book review >
AGAINST DEMOCRACY by Jason Brennan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"Sure to cause howls of disagreement, but in the current toxic partisan climate, Brennan's polemic is as worth weighing as any other."
A brash, well-argued diatribe against the democratic system. Read full book review >
FASHION IS FREEDOM by Tala Raassi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 1, 2016

"A rare book equally likely to appeal to fans of Project Runway and students of contemporary Middle Eastern cultural history."
Fashion designer Raassi looks back on her years growing up in Tehran and her attempts to grow a business in the United States. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"Brown's humor is pointed inward as often as outward, and he neither glosses over nor languishes on the fact that he has fewer years ahead of him than behind."
A journalist's diary of age 60. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >