Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 5)

THE CON MEN by Terry Williams
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A thoroughly researched academic study accessible to general readers."
Two sociology professors' survey of New York con artists and how these reviled but crafty opportunists manage to make a living in the city's informal economy. Read full book review >
THE COSMOPOLITES by Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"A slim but powerful book of great interest to students of international law and current events."
Swiss-Canadian-Iranian journalist Abrahamian looks closely at modern internationality and the legal liminality that can accompany it. Read full book review >

TRACE by Lauret Savoy
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 2015

"Springing from the literal Earth to metaphor, Savoy demonstrates the power of narrative to erase as easily as it reveals, yielding a provocative, eclectic exposé of the palimpsest historically defining the U.S. as much as any natural or man-made boundary."
An earth scientist explores the broad historical branches extending from her own roots. Read full book review >
Political Compassion by Mohanad Hadid
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 4, 2015

"A well-argued work of political theory that makes a case for a shift away from self-interest."
A philosophical approach to understanding the balance between selfishness and compassion in political systems. Read full book review >
LITTLE VICTORIES by Jason Gay
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 3, 2015

"Gay's observations about his stumbles through life, and the little victories that come from learning from those stumbles, make for a rollicking good read."
Instructive essays in a comedic vein. Read full book review >

BECOMING NICOLE by Amy Ellis Nutt
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 20, 2015

"A timely, significant examination of the distinction between sexual affinity and sexual identity."
How a politically conservative middle-class family defended their transgender daughter against bigotry and won a groundbreaking legal victory affirming gender identity. Read full book review >
FIND ME UNAFRAID by Kennedy Odede
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A well-wrought, inspiring tale of 'change and justice' in a part of the world where they are often sorely lacking."
An impassioned tale of how an unusual Kenyan NGO became globally galvanized by the romance between its embattled Nairobi director and a resolute young Wesleyan University student. Read full book review >
A MIGHTY PURPOSE by Adam Fifield
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"This fine, engrossing portrait reveals Grant's unstoppable passion and remarkable achievements."
A biographical commemoration of a powerful champion of children's health. Read full book review >
DRINKING IN AMERICA by Susan Cheever
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"An intelligently argued study of our country's 'passionate connection to drinking.'"
A distinguished biographer and cultural historian offers a fascinating look at the place and function of alcohol throughout American history. Read full book review >
HUMANS OF NEW YORK by Brandon Stanton
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise."
Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects' mouths.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Wildly creative ideas from intelligent writers who want more for women, regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference."
A few dozen writers envision a more balanced world. Read full book review >
Understanding China by Gary Moreau
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Oct. 9, 2015

"An insightful, compelling introduction to the intricacies of Chinese business and life."
An American expatriate in China explores the country's culture, citizens, and economy in this open-minded meditation. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >