Social Sciences Book Reviews

BLOOD AT THE ROOT by Patrick Phillips
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An impressive reckoning with a shameful piece of the past that 'most natives of Forsyth would prefer to leave…scattered in the state's dusty archives or safely hidden in plain sight.'"
A history of white supremacy's endurance in a Georgia county. Read full book review >
TRAINWRECK by Sady Doyle
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"A well-rounded, thoughtful analysis of what can make and break a woman when she's placed in the spotlight."
How and why women are alternately idolized and then given hell for being the way they are. Read full book review >

JUNIPER by Kelley French
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A fierce and fact-filled love story with few holds barred."
Two skilled journalists collaborate on the most personal of stories: their extremely premature daughter's struggle to survive. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"It's no match for Jesse Sheidlower's fluent, fun The F Word (1995), but Bergen's study is still a winner for the psycholinguistics nerd in the house."
An examination of the sub rosa language that sets us all atwitter—and athwart. Read full book review >
WHEN STRANGERS MEET by Kio Stark
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Hardly groundbreaking but a pleasant little book about making connections."
Don't be a stranger advises this short book on connecting with others. Read full book review >

ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A wide-ranging, highly positive assessment of the El Sistema movement, serving as both inspiration and manual for would-be social activists."
In this follow-up to Tunstall's Changing Lives (2011), which examined the growth of El Sistema in Venezuela, the authors look at the expansion of this artistic-social project around the world. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A comprehensive primer for how to contemplate urban spaces as they evolve for the future."
A creative city planner takes inspiration from the ancients' sense of urban integrity to propound a holistic approach to crafting the city space. Read full book review >
THE NEW BETTER OFF by Courtney E. Martin
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Martin writes with conviction and enthusiasm; whether social scientists concur with her remains to be seen."
An exploration of how success in the United States is being redefined. Read full book review >
WE GON' BE ALRIGHT by Jeff Chang
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations."
In this collection, written "in appreciation of all the young people who would not bow down," outspoken journalist Chang (Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America, 2014, etc.) offers six critical essays addressing racial inequality and inequity and how these provocative, multifaceted issues impact virtually every culture. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 11, 2016

"Repetitive, somewhat circular pleading weakens the case, but Singh's thesis merits discussion for anyone interested in curing a sick health care system."
A well-intended but imperfectly constructed argument for community-based health care by a physician-turned-medical activist. Read full book review >
Indigenous Writes by Chelsea Vowel
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Sept. 9, 2016

"A convincing case for rejecting the prevailing policies of 'assimilation, control, intrusion and coercion' regarding aboriginal people."
A Canadian explores the many misconceptions about her country's indigenous citizens. Read full book review >
THE ART OF WAITING by Belle Boggs
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"In her reporting, researching, and sharing, Boggs has performed a public service for those in a similar position—and for anyone interested in the implications of parenthood or in a story well-told and deeply felt."
So much more than a memoir about trying to conceive. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Melissa Sweet
author of SOME WRITER!
September 26, 2016

“SOME PIG,” Charlotte the spider’s praise for Wilbur, is just one fondly remembered snippet from E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. In Some Writer!, two-time Caldecott Honor winner and 2014 Kirkus Prize finalist Melissa Sweet mixes White’s personal letters, photos, and family ephemera with her own exquisite artwork to tell his story, from his birth in 1899 to his death in 1985. Budding young writers will be fascinated and inspired by the journalist, New Yorker contributor, and children’s book author who loved words his whole life. This authorized tribute is the first fully illustrated biography of E. B. White and includes an afterword by Martha White, E. B. White's granddaughter. “Like Charlotte, Sweet spins a terrific story,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A masterful biography that will enchant young readers.” View video >