Social Sciences Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 9, 2015

"A potent introduction to a nearly forgotten part of the civil rights movement and a personalized reminder of what it was truly about."
A powerful memoir of the civil rights movement, specifically the dramatic struggle to integrate the schools in Prince Edward County, Virginia. Read full book review >
THE HILLARY DOCTRINE by Valerie M. Hudson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 30, 2015

"A sound study that carries an urgent message."
A compelling argument for women's rights. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: April 1, 2015

"To be read as both corrective and supplement to Foucault, Szasz, and Rieff. Often brilliant and always luminous and rewarding."
Far-ranging, illuminating study of minds gone awry across space and time. Read full book review >
OUR KIDS by Robert D. Putnam
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"An insightful book that paints a disturbing picture of the collapse of the working class and the growth of an upper class that seems to be largely unaware of the other's precarious existence."
A political scientist calls attention to the widening class-based opportunity gap among young people in the United States. Read full book review >
TERMS OF SERVICE by Jacob Silverman
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 17, 2015

"Intelligent, provocative and illuminating in the author's argument that social media companies must examine their ethics and find business models that don't depend on perpetual surveillance of customers."
Freelancer Silverman, a celebrated Jeopardy! champion and contributor to Slate, the Atlantic and other publications, debuts with a deep and disquieting plunge into digital culture.Read full book review >

THE ARGONAUTS by Maggie Nelson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A book that will challenge readers as much as the author has challenged herself."
A fiercely provocative and intellectually audacious memoir that focuses on motherhood, love and gender fluidity. Read full book review >
SPINSTER by Kate Bolick
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"A sexy, eloquent, well-written and -researched study/memoir."
An Atlantic contributing editor's refreshingly bold and incisive account of how she came to celebrate her status as a single woman.Read full book review >
IS SHAME NECESSARY? by Jennifer Jacquet
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Feb. 17, 2015

"A sharp and surprising dissertation that puts the many facets of shame in a whole new light."
An intellectually stimulating discussion of shame and its enduring place in the digital age. Read full book review >
THE ITALIANS by John Hooper
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 29, 2015

"A thoroughly researched, well-written, ageless narrative of a fascinating people."
A compact but comprehensive study of the people of Italy. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 12, 2014

"No one does scandal quite like the British; this one is a real doozy that deserves Davies' entertaining, no-stone-unturned eagle eyes."
The inside—deeply inside—account by the investigative writer who broke the British phone-hacking scandal wide open. Read full book review >
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Sept. 2, 2014

"In this fascinating look at the dazzling if suffocating domain of digital information gathering, Tanner concludes that it is returning us to a world of farms and villages, where intimate details of everyone's lives were public knowledge."
Since the 1990s, the avalanche of personal information we voluntarily reveal and which computers easily harvest has endlessly intrigued observers, the latest being Tanner, a fellow at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University. The author delivers the obligatory announcement that "big data" means the death of privacy, but not before backing it with plenty of entertaining evidence. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 23, 2014

"Comprehensive research underlies this compelling, highly emotional and profoundly important story."
A novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter explores with nearly Javert-ian persistence one of the early cases of traffic fatalities caused by texting while driving.
Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >