Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 9)

YOU CAN'T TOUCH MY HAIR by Phoebe Robinson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Up-and-down humor that sometimes gets to the heart of the realities of being black in America."
A black female comedian lays it all out there. Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"From the rigidly stratified life in the 1920s and '30s during J&L's 'despotic prime,' to the brief, postwar golden age, 'a moment of civic equipoise,' to today's 'company town without a company,' where the combination of unemployment, drugs, and crime crushes hope, Price's football story is really that of America's Rust Belt in poignant miniature."
A senior Sports Illustrated writer tells a multigenerational story about Aliquippa, a Pennsylvania steel town, and its legendary high school football team. Read full book review >

TO BE ISRAELI by Yair Lapid
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"By turns gloomy, patriotic, defensive, and gracious, Lapid's reflective tone will both resonate with and arouse the ire of many."
Short essays on a changing, vilified Israeli identity. Read full book review >
MESSY by Tim Harford
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"Though not all readers will find this unconventional perspective on disorder particularly sage, Harford's exploration is entertaining and, despite the topic, well-constructed."
An award-winning economist celebrates the myriad advantages of clutter and disarray. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF ISAIAS by Daniel Connolly
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A story of one child of illegal immigrants that has much wider, timely resonance."
Being a child of Hispanic immigrants in modern America. Read full book review >

THE GREAT DERANGEMENT by Amitav Ghosh
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"A slim but certainly significant contribution to the climate crisis dialogue sure to provoke discussion and increased awareness about our imperiled planet."
Fair warning on the perils of ignoring climate change. Read full book review >
THE BITCH IS BACK by Cathi Hanauer
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 1, 2016

"A provocative collection about 'what happens later, after those frantic, demanding, exhausting years with work and very young kids and, sometimes, not enough money.'"
Successful women writers reflect on being mature and female in early-21st-century America. 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 >
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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"An intelligent, rigorous manifesto that could use more direction for action."
An impassioned social and political critique with glimmers of hope for change. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A fruitful if arguable thesis yields a book worth reading in this election year."
A stimulating look at the presidency from the vantage point of the wars America has fought—and, in some instances, the none-too-noble reasons for them. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 27, 2016

"A thoughtful and enthusiastic analysis of how more and more people are inventing and creating truly remarkable products and services."
The story behind modern tinkerers, inventors, and creators of all sorts of good stuff. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Brad Parks
author of SAY NOTHING
March 7, 2017

In Brad Parks’ new thriller Say Nothing, judge Scott Sampson doesn’t brag about having a perfect life, but the evidence is clear: a prestigious job. A beloved family. On an ordinary Wednesday afternoon, he is about to pick up his six-year-old twins to go swimming when his wife, Alison, texts him that she’ll get the kids from school instead. It’s not until she gets home later that Scott realizes she doesn’t have the children. And she never sent the text. Then the phone rings, and every parent’s most chilling nightmare begins. A man has stolen Sam and Emma. For Scott and Alison, the kidnapper’s call is only the beginning of a twisting, gut-churning ordeal of blackmail, deceit, and terror; a high-profile trial like none the judge or his wife has ever experienced. Their marriage falters. Suspicions and long-buried jealousies rise to the surface. Fractures appear. Lies are told. “The nerve-shredding never lets up for a minute as Parks picks you up by the scruff of the neck, shakes you vigorously, and repeats over and over again till a climax so harrowing that you’ll be shaking with gratitude that it’s finally over,” our critic writes in a starred review. View video >