Social Sciences Book Reviews

WHY I AM NOT A FEMINIST by Jessa Crispin
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"Forget busting glass ceilings. Crispin has taken a wrecking ball to the whole structure."
A taut and spirited attack on contemporary mainstream feminism. Read full book review >
THE EGYPTIANS by Jack Shenker
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 >

THE NEW ODYSSEY by Patrick Kingsley
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 >
WONDERLAND by Steven Johnson
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 >
CITY OF DREAMS by Tyler Anbinder
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 >

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 >
EXILED IN AMERICA by Christopher Dum
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"Dum's scholarly apparatus is on full display, which will please specialists but should not deter general readers. His exceptional view of what's happening to the weakest among us deserves a place on the same shelf with Matthew Desmond's groundbreaking book Evicted (2016)."
Dum (Sociology/Kent State Univ.) debuts with an ethnographic study of a year in the life of a residential motel. Read full book review >
WE GON' BE ALRIGHT by Jeff Chang
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 >
Released: Aug. 23, 2016

"An essential guide to forces shaping our nation and the 2016 presidential election."
Journalist and Nation Institute fellow Jaffe debuts with an in-depth account of the wave of populist anger driving "a new era of protest and activism" in the United States. Read full book review >
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 >
CAST AWAY by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A powerfully written, well-documented account of a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions."
Giving faces to the headline stories about the flood of immigrants seeking asylum in Europe. Read full book review >
Vets For Vets by Gerald Alpern
Released: May 5, 2016

"A compassionate and eye-opening approach to healing mentally and emotionally wounded soldiers."
A revolutionary look at methods to treat veterans in distress. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >