Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 5)

THROWN by Kerry Howley
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 14, 2014

"An original fusion of topic and stance that will appeal to fans of NPR-style social investigations."
A philosophical examination of the maligned subculture of mixed martial arts "cage" fighting. Read full book review >
LOSING OUR WAY by Bob Herbert
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"In vivid anecdotes and moving portraits, Herbert humanizes the many problems he uncovers, and he clearly believes that Americans can, and will, band together to set the nation on a new course."
Former New York Times opinion columnist Herbert (Promises Betrayed: Waking Up from the American Dream, 2005) reports on his cross-country trip investigating the lives of the 99 percent. Read full book review >

GLASS JAW by Eric Dezenhall
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 7, 2014

"More an illumination of the challenge than a pat solution."
Dezenhall (The Devil Himself, 2011, etc.) counsels beleaguered corporations on how to deal with bullying citizens and their social media attacks. Read full book review >
THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE by Edward O. Wilson
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 6, 2014

"A little book with a big message, bound to produce discussion among scientists and discomfort in devout churchgoers."
An exploration of what it means to be human by the noted sociobiologist and naturalist, twice the winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 5, 2014

"'Our view is…a deeply cynical one,' write the authors, and is 'unlikely to change anything about how people argue publicly about their preferred policies.' However, this disturbing book may provoke debate, dismay and considerable anger."
An examination of how selfishness and self-deception characterize political thinking. Read full book review >

THE VULGAR TONGUE by Jonathon Green
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 1, 2014

"In this abundantly detailed history, Green argues that a counterlanguage will always exist, providing a voice for the marginalized and expressing deep—and sometimes dark—human needs."
A lexicographer chronicles the language of the streets. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 1, 2014

"Despite irritating scholarly touches such as footnotes mixed in with text, Sussman delivers a lucidly written, eye-opening account of a nasty sociological battle that the good guys have been winning for a century without eliminating a very persistent enemy."
In this earnest, often angry history of a hot-button subject, Sussman (Physical Anthropology/Washington Univ.; co-author: Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators, and Human Evolution, 2005) argues that "biological races do not exist among modern humans and they have never existed in the past." Read full book review >
IMPOLITE CONVERSATIONS by Cora Daniels
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Lively discussion, occasionally sloppy prose and refreshing candor from two keen observers."
Two accomplished black professionals alternate outspoken, provocative views that revolve around race relations in America. Read full book review >
BLACKBALLED by Darryl Pinckney
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Not a manifesto but a thoughtful examination of ideas that others have been circulating."
A slim volume of two essays that challenge the very notion of a "post-racial" America. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"A pertinent, useful study of significant trends in the American political landscape."
An examination of how, "in the twenty-first century, American politics will be shaped, in large measure, by how Latinos are incorporated into the political system." Read full book review >
THE SOCIAL LIFE OF MONEY by Nigel Dodd
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 28, 2014

"An exhaustive analysis of money as a complex social process—not a thing—that will appeal to scholars in many fields."
A sociologist takes a broad new view of the nature, value and history of money. Read full book review >
A PATH APPEARS by Nicholas D. Kristof
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"The authors deliver a profound message that packs a wallop."
A primer on "finding innovative and effective ways to give back," from Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalists Kristof and WuDunn (Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, 2009, etc.). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >