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: The New Urban Crisis: Gentrification, Housing Bubbles, Growing Inequality and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

Book Review: The New Urban Crisis: Gentrification, Housing Bubbles, Growing Inequality and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

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In The New Urban Crisis: Gentrification, Housing Bubbles, Growing Inequality and What We Can Do About It, Richard Florida outlines what he defines as a ‘new urban crisis’ experienced in cities across the world, and establishes new proposals for urban governance. While Jenny McArthur asks fundamental questions of aspects of Florida’s methodology and analysis, she hopes that the agenda […]

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    Book Review: International Express: New Yorkers on the 7 Train by Stéphane Tonnelat and William Kornblum

Book Review: International Express: New Yorkers on the 7 Train by Stéphane Tonnelat and William Kornblum

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In International Express: New Yorkers on the 7 Train, Stéphane Tonnelat and William Kornblum take readers on an underground study of how experiences of the 7 train – part of the iconic New York subway system – shape residents of the city. The frequently captivating insights in this sociological account invite us to question and alter the complex social dimensions of […]

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    Book Review: We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves by John Cheney-Lippold

Book Review: We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves by John Cheney-Lippold

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In We Are Data: Algorithms and the Making of Our Digital Selves, John Cheney-Lippold examines how algorithms increasingly interpret and influence our behaviour. With the author concluding with some pragmatic suggestions for challenging the digital status quo, Daniel Zwi welcomes the book for both capably elucidating the problem of algorithimic regulation and forearming us to tackle this issue.

We Are […]

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    Book Review: The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online by Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner

Book Review: The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity, and Antagonism Online by Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner

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In The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, Oddity and Antagonism Online, Whitney Phillips and Ryan M. Milner explore the contradictions and paradoxes of the internet as a realm of ‘vernacular creativity’ . This is a thought-provoking and original study that diverges from a ‘good or bad’ binary to instead demonstrate the messy ambivalence of internet culture today, writes Dr Zoetanya Sujon. 

The Ambivalent Internet: Mischief, […]

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    Book Review: Crisis and Sustainability: The Delusion of Free Markets by Alessandro Vercelli

Book Review: Crisis and Sustainability: The Delusion of Free Markets by Alessandro Vercelli

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In Crisis and Sustainability: The Delusion of Free Markets, Alessandro Vercelli argues that the concepts of freedom which underpin neoliberal economics are at odds with those required for a sustainable future. The book offers a thorough overview of neoliberal economic history but, in paying only scant attention to the politics of sustainability, Chris Shaw finds this something of a […]

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    Book Review: Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation by Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza

Book Review: Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation by Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza

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In Popular Democracy: The Paradox of Participation, Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza examine contemporary forms of participatory governance by tracing the origins and development of participatory budgeting (PB) from its roots in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to its adoption in two cases, Cordoba, Spain and Chicago, USA. While acknowledging that PB has been seen as being too easily co-opted by neoliberalism, the […]

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    Book Review: Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by David Harvey

Book Review: Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason by David Harvey

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In Marx, Capital and the Madness of Economic Reason, David Harvey provides a new systemisation of Karl Marx’s work in order to uncover, explore and explain the ‘madness of economic reason’ in the twenty-first century. This is an impressively wide-ranging work that draws upon Marx as a toolbox for contending with the crises of capital today, but Joshua Smeltzer is left […]

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    Book Review: A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy

Book Review: A Little History of Economics by Niall Kishtainy

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In A Little History of Economics, Niall Kishtainy details the complex trajectory of economics from ancient Greece to the present, drawing on a wealth of historical knowledge, illuminating anecdotes and examples as well as imaginative metaphors to trace the evolution of economic thinking. But, asks Madeline McSherry, where are the women in this history? 

A Little History of Economics. Niall […]

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    Book Review: Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics by Nicole Hemmer

Book Review: Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics by Nicole Hemmer

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In Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics, Nicole Hemmer argues that broadcasters like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are but the second generation of conservative media activists. Americans, states Hemmer, are used to thinking of such figures as being integral to contemporary conservatism; her book tells the story of the lesser-known […]

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    Book Review: Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty by Scott W. Allard

Book Review: Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty by Scott W. Allard

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In Places in Need: The Changing Geography of Poverty, Scott W. Allard challenges the impression that the American suburbs offer a hub of prosperity and a safe haven from issues such as unemployment and crime. Demonstrating the alarming growth in suburban poverty across the USA and proposing some policy changes to try and fix the decline, this is a […]

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