Social Sciences Book Reviews

SO YOU'VE BEEN PUBLICLY SHAMED by Jon Ronson
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: March 31, 2015

"Another intriguing journey from Ronson, who notes that our social media dark side grows ever darker when we believe we're superior to others—and anonymous."
The author of works about everyday psychopathologies takes a hard look at the dark side of shaming on social media. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"To be read as both corrective and supplement to Foucault, Szasz, and Rieff. Often brilliant and always luminous and rewarding."
Far-ranging, illuminating study of minds gone awry across space and time. Read full book review >

THE PRIME OF LIFE by Steven Mintz
HISTORY
Released: April 7, 2015

"A thoughtful and strangely encouraging tour of an often difficult life stage."
Mintz (History/Univ. of Texas; Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood, 2004, etc.) puts into historical perspective the changes and continuities that have marked adulthood over, principally, the last 200 years.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 7, 2015

"A cautionary, timely gay rights manifesto with teeth."
The noted outspoken gay journalist and radio host passionately appeals to the gay community to resist complacency in the struggle for equality. Read full book review >
COOL by Steven Quartz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 14, 2015

"Some points are more provocative than convincing, but the authors put a lively spin on an age-old argument."
A counterintuitive analysis suggesting that consumers instinctively know more about the value of the signals they are sending than their critics do. Read full book review >

THE GREAT DIVIDE by Joseph E. Stiglitz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 20, 2015

"Smart, sometimes-stinging prose that rejects the doctrines of strangled government and artificial austerity, doctrines that require us to 'pay a high economic price for our growing inequality and declining opportunity.'"
Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz (The Price of Inequality, 2012, etc.) examines some of the macro dollars-and-cents issues that separate the haves from the have-nots—and money is just of them. Read full book review >
SPINSTER by Kate Bolick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"A sexy, eloquent, well-written and -researched study/memoir."
An Atlantic contributing editor's refreshingly bold and incisive account of how she came to celebrate her status as a single woman.Read full book review >
SPEAK NOW by Kenji Yoshino
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 21, 2015

"Yoshino claims that he was riveted by the 3,000-page trial transcript; his cogent, incisive narrative is equally captivating."
The story of a crucial trial to legitimize same-sex marriage. Read full book review >
MINDSHARING by Lior Zoref
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: April 28, 2015

"Zoref makes a convincing case for crowdsourcing everything from careers to romance."
Welcome to the virtual village, where the right answers are no farther away than your keyboard. Read full book review >
DISSENT by Ralph Young
HISTORY
Released: May 1, 2015

"Refreshingly democratic—solid supplemental reading to the likes of Terkel and Alinsky, insistent on upholding the rights of political minorities even when they're wrong."
A broad-ranging, evenhanded view of a tradition honed into an art form in America: the use of dissent as "a critique of governance." Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2015

"This valuable look at a national tragedy demands the attention of policymakers."
The overlooked plight of American-born children of undocumented immigrants. Read full book review >
THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A book that will challenge readers as much as the author has challenged herself."
A fiercely provocative and intellectually audacious memoir that focuses on motherhood, love and gender fluidity. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >