Social Sciences Book Reviews (page 9)

JUST BABIES by Paul Bloom
Released: Nov. 12, 2013

"An engaging examination of human morality."
A developmental psychologist warns against a facile explanation of the origins of morality. Read full book review >
HAPPY CITY by Charles Montgomery
Released: Nov. 12, 2013

"An elegant charting of the intersection of urban design and the ever-shifting conception and appreciation of happiness."
Canadian journalist Montgomery (The Shark God: Encounters with Ghosts and Ancestors in the South Pacific, 2006) explores the many ideas and movements seeking to change the structures and souls of our cities to make them more meaningful, heart-gladdening places. Read full book review >

THE TELL by Matthew Hertenstein
Released: Nov. 12, 2013

"An entertaining look at our oft-maligned intuitive capabilities, offering useful tips on how we may sharpen our powers of observation and increase the accuracy of our predictions."
In his debut, Hertenstein (Psychology/DePauw Univ.) contends that the predictive power of the human brain is exemplified by its ability to draw accurate conclusions "based on observations of brief samples of others' behavior." Read full book review >
WHITE GIRLS by Hilton Als
Released: Nov. 12, 2013

"Als' work is so much more than simply writing about being black or gay or smart. It's about being human."
Meditations, appraisals, fictions and personal inquiries about sex, race, art and more from the longtime New Yorker staff writer and cultural critic. Read full book review >
ROLL WITH IT by Matt Sakakeeny
Released: Nov. 8, 2013

"An occasionally dry but competently told tale of a celebrated musical tradition whose story is rarely told."
A scholarly account of the rites, rituals and traditions of the famed brass bands of New Orleans. Read full book review >

ANGRY WHITE MEN by Michael Kimmel
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"Another worthwhile examination of important issues affecting men and, by extension, everyone else, from an author known for his insight into the subject."
A study of what Kimmel (Sociology and Gender Studies/Stony Brook Univ.; Guyland: The Perilous World Where Boys Become Men, 2008, etc.) calls "aggrieved entitlement" and how it leads to the angry rhetoric and violence endemic to the United States today. Read full book review >
INGENIOUS by Jason Fagone
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"A well-tooled, instructive tale of ingenuity."
The story of the teams who, for $10 million in prize money from the X Prize Foundation, are striving to make a car that will travel 100 miles on the equivalent of a gallon of gas. Read full book review >
THE BABY CHASE by Leslie Morgan Steiner
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"A brisk account of one family's determination and of a burgeoning, international solution."
Steiner (Crazy Love, 2009) overlays the story of Rhonda and Gerry Wile—an Arizona nurse and firefighter whose search for children led them to surrogate pregnancy—on an emotionally heightened, journalistic overview of infertility and the options available to prospective parents. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"Barack Obama smashed down one long-closed door in 2008. This book makes a compelling case for another shattering of barriers sooner rather than later."
Intriguing interviews exploring the role of women in American political leadership. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"A provocative, informative account of a different kind of globalization. Highly recommended reading for policymakers and other readers intrigued by forward-thinking forms of governance."
Political theorist Barber (Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York; Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole, 2007, etc.) asks whether the world's cities, and the mayors who lead them, can come together as an alternative to the failures of the nation-state. Read full book review >
SORRY! by Henry Hitchings
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"John Cleese's observation that the English are the only people on Earth with clenched hair is more economical, but Hitchings' book, if sometimes overgeneralized, is still a pleasure to read."
He might have been a Roosian, a French, or Turk, or Proosian, or perhaps Itali-an: Gilbert and Sullivan aside, the subject of Hitchings' (The Language Wars: A History of Proper English, 2011) latest is the beleaguered, class-obsessed Anglo-Saxon and the very notion of "Englishness." Read full book review >
THE POWER OF GLAMOUR by Virginia Postrel
Released: Nov. 5, 2013

"Interesting topic, impressive execution and stunning visual accompaniments. "
Postrel (The Substance of Style: How the Rise of Aesthetic Value Is Remaking Commerce, Culture, and Consciousness, 2003, etc.) offers a thoroughly researched, analytical, illustrated view on the characteristics, both keen and subtle, that qualify an object, person, event or location as glamorous. Read full book review >