Social Sciences Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: March 21, 2017

"A compelling history of a nation grappling with the moral and legal freedoms that the founders strived to ensure."
Sexual expression, obscenity, contraception, and abortion are the focus of this wide-ranging legal, political, and social history. Read full book review >
NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE by Ron Powers
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 21, 2017

"This hybrid narrative, enhanced by the author's considerable skills as a literary stylist, succeeds on every level."
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Powers (Mark Twain: A Life, 2005, etc.) presents two searing sagas: an indictment of mental health care in the United States and the story of his two schizophrenic sons. Read full book review >

TEARS WE CANNOT STOP by Michael Eric Dyson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"The readership Dyson addresses may not fully be convinced, but it can hardly remain unmoved by his fiery prose."
The provocateur-scholar returns to the pulpit to deliver a hard-hitting sermon on the racial divide, directed specifically to a white congregation. Read full book review >
GLASS HOUSE by Brian Alexander
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A devastating and illuminating book that shows how a city and a country got where they are and how difficult it can be to reverse course."
A journalist examines how corporate America and the politics enabling it have corroded an Ohio city to its very foundation. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"There are countless kernels of amazing achievement and courage throughout this jam-packed, engaging history."
A history of the federal push to bolster women's rights from successive presidents since John F. Kennedy—and the resulting clashes with traditional conservative constituencies. Read full book review >

WHY I AM NOT A FEMINIST by Jessa Crispin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
EXILED IN AMERICA by Christopher Dum
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
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 >
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 >