Social Sciences Book Reviews

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 >

HISTORY
Released: Feb. 21, 2017

"A valuable contribution to the history of the early republic and to the scholarly literature of civil rights."
In actual practice, it has been far from self-evident in America that all men—all people—are created equal. 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 >
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"An entertaining, informative guidebook to some cool places populated by people to whom attention should be paid."
A tour of the territories of the United States, "those scattered shards of earth and populace that make up our outposts far from the North American continent." Read full book review >

LONG SHOT by Craig Hodges
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A skillfully told, affecting memoir of sports and social activism."
A former professional basketball player looks back on his life on and off the court, with an emphasis on how his outspokenness regarding racial discrimination led to his unofficial banishment from the NBA. Read full book review >
TESTOSTERONE REX by Cordelia Fine
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A fascinating, greatly contemplative discussion of sex and gender and the embedded societal expectations of both."
A cerebral assessment of gender, society, and sexuality. 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 >
#ESOCIETY by David Barker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2017

"A disturbing, affecting, and unforgettable work that remains upbeat while asking difficult questions about society."
A self-made British internet entrepreneur leaves a comfortable life to discover why so many people remain trapped in poverty and unemployment in this debut autobiography and manifesto. Read full book review >
AMERICAN HOOKUP by Lisa Wade
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"An eye-opening, conversation-starting examination of sex on the American college campus."
How and why American college students are engaging in nonintimate one-night stands. 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 >
TALKING BACK, TALKING BLACK by John McWhorter
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A vibrant separation of an African-American vernacular tradition from the thickets of contemporary racial debate."
A compact, lively defense of the grammatical legitimacy of "Black English." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >