Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 5)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 6, 2015

"An informative and enlightening appraisal of the regimented tests that American schoolchildren of all ages are subjected to taking on a regular basis."
New debates about the worthiness of standardized testing in schools. Read full book review >
GAY BERLIN by Robert Beachy
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 20, 2014

"A brave new work of compelling research."
An elucidating, somewhat startling study of how early German tolerance and liberalism encouraged homosexual expression. Read full book review >

MEN by Laura Kipnis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 18, 2014

"Dynamite examples rendered in funny, spirited writing."
Feisty, unapologetic forays into the messiness of gender relations. Read full book review >
Helen Andelin and the Fascinating Womanhood Movement by Julie Debra Neuffer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2014

"A fascinating study of an icon and the era that created her."
Neuffer offers a study of Helen Andelin, author and founder of the controversial Fascinating Womanhood movement in the 1960s and '70s. Read full book review >
THE PERFECT KILL by Robert Baer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 28, 2014

"Fascinating reading from an expert."
A best-selling author and former CIA operative chronicles his experiences as an assassin while offering chilling insight into the fine art of political murder. Read full book review >

FRAGRANT by Mandy Aftel
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 16, 2014

"Evocative, heady and overflowing with history and lore."
The history and mystery of the power of scent. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"Comprehensive research underlies this compelling, highly emotional and profoundly important story."
A novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter explores with nearly Javert-ian persistence one of the early cases of traffic fatalities caused by texting while driving.
Read full book review >
THE UNDERGROUND GIRLS OF KABUL by Jenny Nordberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 16, 2014

"An intelligent and timely exploration into contemporary Afghanistan."
A journalist's fascinating study of the Afghan subculture of young girls raised to be boys. Read full book review >
DATACLYSM by Christian Rudder
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Sept. 9, 2014

"Demographers, entrepreneurs, students of history and sociology, and ordinary citizens alike will find plenty of provocations and, yes, much data in Rudder's well-argued, revealing pages."
Are you a racist? Plainer-looking than you might wish? Inclined to vote left? Big data knows—and it's talking. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 2, 2014

"In this fascinating look at the dazzling if suffocating domain of digital information gathering, Tanner concludes that it is returning us to a world of farms and villages, where intimate details of everyone's lives were public knowledge."
Since the 1990s, the avalanche of personal information we voluntarily reveal and which computers easily harvest has endlessly intrigued observers, the latest being Tanner, a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. The author delivers the obligatory announcement that "big data" means the death of privacy, but not before backing it with plenty of entertaining evidence. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 12, 2014

"No one does scandal quite like the British; this one is a real doozy that deserves Davies' entertaining, no-stone-unturned eagle eyes."
The inside—deeply inside—account by the investigative writer who broke the British phone-hacking scandal wide open. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 5, 2014

"Intensely immersive reading."
A journalist tells the absorbing story of how wartime experiences shaped the lives and friendships of three female soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >