Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 8)

AT HOME IN EXILE by Alan Wolfe
RELIGION
Released: Oct. 28, 2014

"A thought-provoking and optimistic look at global Judaism."
In defense of the Jewish diaspora. Read full book review >
SPEED LIMITS by Mark C. Taylor
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 28, 2014

"A timely accompaniment to James Gleick's Faster (1999), this is a stimulating cautionary report for the digital age."
A philosopher and cultural critic ponders the durability of our fast-tracked, multitasked modern world. Read full book review >

WHO WE BE by Jeff Chang
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"An intriguing attempt at cutting through the dissonance of a series of changing cultural milieus."
Sprawling examination of how American society has responded to multiculturalism and demographic diversity. 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 >
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 >
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 >