Social Sciences Book Reviews

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 >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A delightfully witty, enjoyable read."
A Brit living in the United States exposes the dark side of the happiness business in her adopted country. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 4, 2016

"A nuanced, forthright, emotionally compelling take on a painful subject."
How family dynamics can reflect racial prejudices in society as a whole. Read full book review >
PLAYING THROUGH THE WHISTLE by S.L. Price
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 >
VITAL LITTLE PLANS by Jane Jacobs
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 11, 2016

"A timely volume that supports Jacobs' aim to 'stir up some independent thinking urgently needed as a wake-up call for America.' A perfect complement to Robert Kanigel's excellent biography, Eyes on the Street (2016)."
A collection of short pieces by an outspoken champion of urban diversity. Read full book review >

THE ATTENTION MERCHANTS by Tim Wu
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"Forget subliminal seduction: every day, we are openly bought and sold, as this provocative book shows."
When something online is free, then the product being sold is you. Wu (Columbia Law School; The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, 2010) elaborates on that sobering note. Read full book review >
CITY OF DREAMS by Tyler Anbinder
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 18, 2016

"An endlessly fascinating kaleidoscope of American history. A fantastic historical resource."
From the Dutch to the British, featuring a concentration on the waves of Irish and German in the late 19th century, this thoroughgoing work offers a host of immigrant sagas that were integral to the creation of the New York City cauldron. Read full book review >
THE DOULAS by Mary Mahoney
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A gripping chronicle that will be especially useful for expectant or aspirational mothers."
The story of the transformative Doula Project. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A lively contribution to popular histories of New York and its institutions, worthy of shelving alongside Robert Caro's The Power Broker and Edwin Burrows and Mike Wallace's Gotham."
An eye-opening history of the Manhattan hospital whose name is a byword for asylums everywhere. Read full book review >
WONDERLAND by Steven Johnson
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"There's an infectious spirit of delight in the prose, which matches the themes in a book that will engage even those not entirely convinced by its thesis to take a look from a different perspective."
An illumination of how civilization advances through the ways in which it plays. Read full book review >
ISLAND PEOPLE by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 22, 2016

"An eminently well-informed narrative."
A geographer's exuberant travel narrative about the nations and people of the Caribbean. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >