Social Sciences Book Reviews

CALLING THE SHOTS by Jennifer A. Reich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 21, 2016

"Recent outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough are focusing attention on this issue, making Reich's able contribution especially pertinent."
Despite warnings from the medical community and the outbreak of preventable diseases, some parents refuse to vaccinate their children. Here, a sociologist puts this group into a cultural context to examine their thinking. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: June 21, 2016

"Comprehensive data backs up a much-tested system that assists parents in getting their children to a calmer state of mind."
Helping your child destress. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 21, 2016

"Indian casinos are likely to be around for a long time to come, and Mitchell's exposé goes a long way toward explaining the whys and hows."
That casino on the nearby reservation? Think of it as revenge for Christopher Columbus, as some wags have put it—but also a sophisticated operation that makes use of every legal loophole available. Read full book review >
WHITE TRASH by Nancy Isenberg
HISTORY
Released: June 21, 2016

"A riveting thesis supported by staggering research."
A rigorously researched study of the entrenched system of racial classification that dispels many myths about American national identity. Read full book review >
THIS IS WHERE YOU BELONG by Melody Warnick
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: June 21, 2016

"Well intended but unsatisfying."
Don't like where you live? Socialize. Volunteer. Make lists. Or you could just move. Read full book review >

THE WAY TO THE SPRING by Ben Ehrenreich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 14, 2016

"Although Ehrenreich feels optimistic about the determination of Palestinians to resist, this visceral book, sorrowfully, portends no end to the horror."
A devastating portrait of unending turbulence in Palestine. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 14, 2016

"Uplifting, well-written story of personal courage and political empowerment."
The moving personal stories behind the landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which established the right of same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states. Read full book review >
ALL STRANGERS ARE KIN by Zora O'Neill
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"A valiant chronicle of the author's 'Year of Speaking Arabic Badly.'"
Returning to study Arabic less formally than as a college student led the author to travel through the Arab world. Read full book review >
THE BUTLER'S CHILD by Lewis M. Steel
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"An articulate, emotionally moving chronicle of a life informed by racial unrest and elevated with dutiful humanitarianism."
A white man borne of privilege dedicates his life to the defense of civil rights. Read full book review >
INVISIBLE INFLUENCE by Jonah Berger
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: June 14, 2016

"Of particular interest to those selling messages of various stripes—marketers, advertisers, etc."
If Johnny told you to jump off a cliff, would you do it? If you're susceptible, like most people, to garden-variety social influence, then the answer is likely to be yes. Read full book review >
INVISIBLE MAN, GOT THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHING by Mychal Denzel Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Realizing that he has more questions than answers, Smith cautiously sketches a useful blueprint for radical and intersectional politics in a country where a black child can grow up to be president but where living while black is still dangerous."
As black men are cut down by the police and self-appointed vigilantes, an activist wrestles with competing claims—from his family and community, his historically black university, the media, and white America—on his blackness and how it is to be lived. Read full book review >
EXONEREE DIARIES by Alison Flowers
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A thoroughly researched, provocative book of justice gone wrong."
Chicago journalist Flowers goes deep into the cases of three innocent men and a woman serving at least a decade in prison for crimes they never committed. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Chris Cleave
June 14, 2016

In bestseller Chris Cleave’s latest novel Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, it’s London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams. “Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave’s miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout,” our reviewer writes, “with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race, and wartime morality.” View video >