Social Sciences Book Reviews

GIVE US THE BALLOT by Ari Berman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Not just a compelling history, but a cry for help in the recurring struggle to gain what is supposed to be an inalienable right."
An incisive look at the many issues surrounding the right to vote. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"An important, thoughtfully balanced book aimed at shifting thinking and providing concrete steps toward encouraging positive—and realistic—self-image development."
Reflections on the benefits of giving children the chance to experience failure—and how to go about doing it. Read full book review >

SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Given the competing noise about parenting, this book should be required reading for parents."
A guide to stopping the helicoptering, lawn-mowing, and overindulging that can lead to entitled, self-centered thinking in children. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"As laws and mores continue to change at a rapid pace, this engaging study offers helpful historical and legal explanations."
This follow-up to lawyer Berkowitz's Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire (2012) brings Western society's continued attempt at regulating sexual mores to the present.Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A hackle-raising book about nature and human nature, venality and justice, and how disasters—before, during, and after—sharply mirror society."
How the most significant deleterious factor in natural disasters may be the human element. Read full book review >

THE HAUNTING OF THE MEXICAN BORDER by Kathryn Ferguson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"A wise and humane account that draws on a lifetime of exploring the border country and pondering its meaning."
A memoir that grapples with life, death, and documentary filmmaking on the United States-Mexico border. Read full book review >
HOW WE LIVE NOW by Bella DePaulo
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"An informative and inspirational guide to the myriad ways of making a home."
An eye-opening survey of the different living arrangements Americans have come to embrace. Read full book review >
THE MAKING OF ASIAN AMERICA by Erika Lee
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A powerful, timely story told with method and dignity."
A sweeping study of the fastest growing group in the United States that underscores the shameful racist regard white Americans have long held for Asian immigrants. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"The Bennetts administer a highly informative and entertaining smack down to get your head on straight."
Psychiatrist Michael Bennett and his comedy-writer daughter, Sarah, combine to demonstrate "why self-improvement is hard and sometimes impossible, even when we're strong-willed and well guided." Read full book review >
$2.00 A DAY by Kathryn J. Edin
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An eye-opening account of the lives ensnared in the new poverty cycle."
An analysis of the growing portion of American poor who live on an average of $2 per day. Read full book review >
INVISIBLE IN AUSTIN by Javier Auyero
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A scholarly study conducted with dignity and thoroughness."
A sociological study focusing on the experiences of 11 characters toiling in the underbelly of a vibrant American city. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Useful for anyone with a horse in the race regarding law enforcement—in other words, most American citizens."
A handbook for making sense of America's approach to crime and incarceration and its effect on communities across the country. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >