Book Reviews

In this section you can read reviews of academic books covering the USA, and its continental neighbours, Canada and Mexico. Each weekend we publish two reviews, aiming to cover a wide range of books on all aspects of public policy and politics.

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    Book Review: Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes? edited by Rachel Rosen and Katherine Twamley

Book Review: Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes? edited by Rachel Rosen and Katherine Twamley

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In Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends or Foes?, editors Rachel Rosen and Katherine Twamley bring together contributors to explore ways to think about women’s and children’s interests without assuming them to be either antagonists or equivalents. Fabrizia Serafim welcomes the collection for providing a range of alternative theoretical constructs and practical examples of thinking relations with complexity. 

Feminism and the Politics of Childhood: Friends […]

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    Book Review: Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

Book Review: Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think like a 21st-Century Economist by Kate Raworth

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In Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st-Century Economist, Kate Raworth offers a new model for economics, based around the ‘doughnut’, which values human well-being and advocates for a ‘regenerative and distributive economy’. While the book holds multidisciplinary promise and Raworth draws upon appealing and evocative metaphors and examples to convey economic concepts in accessible terms, Maria […]

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    Book Review: When the State Meets the Street: Public Service and Moral Agency by Bernardo Zacka

Book Review: When the State Meets the Street: Public Service and Moral Agency by Bernardo Zacka

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In When the State Meets the Street: Public Service and Moral Agency, Bernardo Zacka draws on eight months of fieldwork working as a receptionist in an anti-poverty agency to challenge dominant understandings of the role that bureaucrats and bureaucracy play in the functioning of the state. Alex Sager praises this as a subtle and thoughtful discussion that opens up a […]

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    Book Review: Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility by Jo Littler

Book Review: Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility by Jo Littler

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In Against Meritocracy: Culture, Power and Myths of Mobility, Jo Littler offers a rich analysis that intricately teases out the grasp ‘merit’ and ‘meritocracy’ have on everyday cultural and social narratives of value and power in contemporary society. This is a rewarding contribution to the shared work of challenging hegemonic, neoliberal myths that uphold the status quo, recommends Sarah Burton, and to […]

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    Book Review: The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

Book Review: The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money by Bryan Caplan

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In The Case Against Education: Why the Education System is a Waste of Time and Money, Bryan Caplan argues that students spend too much time in formal education, which serves less to enhance skills and understanding that to ‘signal’ one’s value to future employers. Caplan’s proposal to reduce education funding is controversial, writes Aveek Bhattacharya, but the book will prove an […]

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    Book Review: The Cost of Being a Girl: Working Teens and the Origins of the Gender Wage Gap by Yasemin Besen-Cassino

Book Review: The Cost of Being a Girl: Working Teens and the Origins of the Gender Wage Gap by Yasemin Besen-Cassino

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In The Cost of Being a Girl: Working Teens and the Origins of the Gender Wage Gap, Yasemin Besen-Cassino contributes to understandings of pay inequality by showing how the gender wage gap is experienced by the youngest members of society. This nuanced study both reveals and challenges the intersecting elements of workplace culture that enable gendered inequalities to exist, and […]

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    Book Review: War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century by David Patrikarakos

Book Review: War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century by David Patrikarakos

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In War in 140 Characters: How Social Media is Reshaping Conflict in the Twenty-First Century, David Patrikarakos explores how social media is shifting the power balance from governments and institutions towards individuals and networks and the impact this is having on contemporary warfare. Relating the personal stories of individuals caught up in conflict, this book underscores the centrality of narratives and […]

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    Book Review: How to be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software by Matthew Fuller

Book Review: How to be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software by Matthew Fuller

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In How to be a Geek: Essays on the Culture of Software, Matthew Fuller explores the bits and bytes that have reshaped our world through a collection of essays that examines the figure of the geek and software cultures. While the lack of cohesive thread and use of terminology means this collection is best suited to scholars already familiar with […]

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    Book Review: News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World edited by An Nguyen

Book Review: News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World edited by An Nguyen

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In News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World, An Nguyen brings together contributors to showcase international research on the integration of statistical reasoning in journalistic education, production and consumption. In a data-driven context marked by concerns about fake news, ‘post-truth’ and the spread of disinformation, this is a thoughtful and accessible contribution to understanding the role of numeracy […]

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    Book Review: Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy by Richard E. Ocejo

Book Review: Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy by Richard E. Ocejo

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In Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy, Richard E. Ocejo explores four traditionally working-class jobs – barbering, bartending, distilling and butchery – that have been increasingly redefined as hip, high-status and ‘middle-class’ for a number of urban workers today. Though the backdrop of gentrification, deindustrialisation and class hierarchy are not examined in depth, Padraic X. Scanlan finds this […]

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