Social Sciences Book Reviews

AMERICAN HOOKUP by Lisa Wade
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"An eye-opening, conversation-starting examination of sex on the American college campus."
How and why American college students are engaging in nonintimate one-night stands. Read full book review >
THE NEW ODYSSEY by Patrick Kingsley
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A powerful firsthand account of a crisis that will continue to receive even more attention in the years to come."
Bravely following the refugee crisis from the Middle East to the European Union as it gains volume and urgency. Read full book review >

TALKING BACK, TALKING BLACK by John McWhorter
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A vibrant separation of an African-American vernacular tradition from the thickets of contemporary racial debate."
A compact, lively defense of the grammatical legitimacy of "Black English." Read full book review >
Technocracy in America by Parag Khanna
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A refreshingly original contribution to the ongoing analysis of the American political system."
A radical reappraisal of democracy and its decline in the United States. Read full book review >
THE EGYPTIANS by Jack Shenker
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"A troubling yet highly engaging catch-up on the state of incomplete revolution in Egypt."
A sharp jab at the neoliberal economics adopted by Egypt over the last decades, which ultimately spurred grass-roots revolt. 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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
TRANNY by Laura Jane Grace
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2016

"A fascinating, gripping, moving memoir perfect for anyone interested in learning more about gender identity or about the complicated inner workings of the music business.
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A visceral memoir that deftly explores Grace's experience fronting seminal punk band Against Me! as well as the years she spent grappling with gender dysphoria. 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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >