Social Sciences Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A comprehensive analysis that lays the foundation for a discussion of necessary reforms and how they can be achieved."
Why the theories used to rationalize our beliefs in democracy are broken beyond repair and must be replaced. Read full book review >
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: April 5, 2016

"Easy-to-read, up-to-date information on the latest research into pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood."
The latest scientific findings on child-rearing from pregnancy through toddlerhood. Read full book review >

AMERICAN GIRLS by Nancy Jo Sales
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"For parents with young daughters, this book is an ice-cold, important wake-up call."
What happens to teenage girls when their social lives play out online? Read full book review >
DOOR TO DOOR by Edward Humes
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 12, 2016

"A revealing look at the reality and impact of our 'buy-it-now, same-day-delivery, traffic-packed world.'"
The story of the massive, complex global system that transports people and things from door to door, day and night. Read full book review >
GHETTO by Mitchell Duneier
HISTORY
Released: April 19, 2016

"Americans did not create the ghetto, but in this well-documented study, we see clearly how those urban areas have come to embody so many of our shortcomings when it comes to matters of race."
How communities—especially in the United States—created, ostracized, and condemned the idea and reality of the ghetto. Read full book review >

THE END OF KARMA by Somini Sengupta
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2016

"A compelling portrait of what will soon be the world's most populous nation, one on the verge of great change—for better or worse."
India's young population is growing dramatically, writes Indian-American journalist Sengupta—and it's growing impatient with the roadblocks its elders have erected. Read full book review >
THE GUNNING OF AMERICA by Pamela Haag
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 19, 2016

"A refreshingly unusual approach by an author admirably transparent about why she wrote the book and why she chose to avoid more traditional approaches."
An examination of the controversial realm of American gun culture through the perspective of gun manufacturers, with an emphasis on the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: March 8, 2016

"An authoritative account of the challenges facing progressives wishing to fuse better governance with economic justice."
An energetic if grim discussion of inequality and the coming era of underemployment, viewed through the lens of the forgotten American progressive narrative. Read full book review >
THE SOUTH SIDE by Natalie Y. Moore
HISTORY
Released: March 22, 2015

"In a highly readable, conversational style, Moore demonstrates refreshing candor about how racial inequality infuses every aspect of daily life."
A journalist who grew up comfortably in a black South Side Chicago neighborhood examines how racial segregation harms everybody. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 15, 2016

"Thoughtful political theory for divisive times."
Longtime national affairs writer Woodard (American Nation: A History of Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, 2011, etc.) builds on his previous analysis of the country's regional differences to focus on the conflict between individualism and collectivism that defines our national character.Read full book review >
STREETFIGHT by Janette Sadik-Khan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 8, 2016

"An impressive tactical look back at an urban redevelopment pioneer who changed the look and manageability of countless New York City streets."
A former New York City transportation commissioner maps out her adroit street design blueprint for alleviating traffic congestion and improving urban aesthetics. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 12, 2016

"Racism is the enduring scar on the American consciousness. In this ambitious, magisterial book, Kendi reveals just how deep that scar cuts and why it endures, its barely subcutaneous pain still able to flare."
An accomplished history of racist thought and practice in the United States from the Puritans to the present. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >