Social Sciences Book Reviews

AND THEN I DANCED by Mark Segal
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A jovial yet passionately delivered self-portrait inspiring awareness about LGBT history from one of the movement's true pioneers."
The life and times of an intrepid gay rights activist. Read full book review >
HUMANS OF NEW YORK by Brandon Stanton
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise."
Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects' mouths.Read full book review >

RECLAIMING CONVERSATION by Sherry Turkle
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A timely wake-up call urging us to cherish the intimacy of direct, unscripted communication."
The founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self explores the danger that text messaging is replacing in-depth, face-to-face conversation. Read full book review >
The Ideal in the West by David A. Beardsley
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: May 30, 2012

"A commendable attempt to beat back the darkness and inspire revelation."
A brief philosophical history of the Western understanding of the "Ideal" and the "Good," from the ancient Greeks to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Read full book review >
Germs Are Us: by Melvin A.  Benarde
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Jan. 30, 2015

"An occasionally icky but always fascinating guide to the ecosystem within."
Benarde covers everything you wanted to know—and some of what you didn't—about the interactions of humans and the microbes that live with us in this engrossing exploration of the human biome. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Wildly creative ideas from intelligent females who want more for women, regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference."
A few dozen female writers envision a more balanced world. Read full book review >
Helen Andelin and the Fascinating Womanhood Movement by Julie Debra Neuffer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 15, 2014

"A fascinating study of an icon and the era that created her."
Neuffer offers a study of Helen Andelin, author and founder of the controversial Fascinating Womanhood movement in the 1960s and '70s. Read full book review >
Obama's Challenge to China by Chi Wang
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: July 1, 2015

"An informative, persuasive look at the current state of Chinese-American relations."
Wang (The United States and China Since World War II, 2013, etc.) offers an analysis of Obama's China policy and the continuing points of contention in the Chinese-American relationship. Read full book review >
THEN COMES MARRIAGE by Roberta Kaplan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 5, 2015

"Kaplan delivers a well-rounded, informative, and illuminating perspective on the complexities of nontraditional marriage."
A key litigator who argued and helped defeat the Defense of Marriage Act describes the process, the politics, and the history behind the watershed Supreme Court ruling. Read full book review >
A NATION OF NATIONS by Tom Gjelten
HISTORY
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A timely, well-informed entry into a national debate."
An incisive look at immigration, assimilation, and national identity. Read full book review >
FEAR AND CLOTHING by Cintra Wilson
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Prime sartorial satire for fashionistas aching for a dose of comic relief. Few write as bitingly about pop culture as Wilson."
Irreverent, outspoken culture critic Wilson (Caligula for President: Better American Living Through Tyranny, 2008, etc.) charts the "discovery of my own fashion evolution" through an American road trip.Read full book review >
DRINKING IN AMERICA by Susan Cheever
FOOD & COOKING
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"An intelligently argued study of our country's 'passionate connection to drinking.'"
A distinguished biographer and cultural historian offers a fascinating look at the place and function of alcohol throughout American history. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >