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.
In Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist, Alexander Zevin traces the 177-year history of the Economist newspaper, positioning the Economist not only as a lens for understanding reinterpretations of liberalism across different eras, but also as an active participant in influencing policy and public debate. This is a rigorous and meticulously researched study of the Economist’s […]
In Against Borders: Why the World Needs Free Movement of People, Alex Sager makes a timely and thoughtful case for a borderless world, grounded in the principles of freedom and equality. The book offers a compelling argument against borders as a means of unjustified exclusion, writes Marco Bitschnau, and is recommended to all those who have long questioned borders […]
Book Review: Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy by Alexandrea Ravenelle
In Hustle and Gig: Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy, Alexandrea Ravenelle offers a new ethnographic study that examines working life for people in the gig economy that was so lauded as a way out of unemployment after the 2008 financial crisis, focusing on Uber, TaskRabbit, Kitchensurfing and AirBnB. Johannes Lenhard praises the breadth of sectors covered and […]
Andrew Karvonen revisits the classic urban studies book The City by Robert E. Park and Ernest W. Burgess, originally published in 1925, and argues that contemporary scholars can take inspiration from the bold scientific agenda promoted by these influential authors from the Chicago school of sociology.
The City. Robert E. Park and Ernest W. Burgess (with a new foreword by […]
In Muddied Waters: The Fictionalisation of Ethnographic Film, Toni de Bromhead examines twelve documentary films about southern Italy to argue for a definition of ethnographic filmmaking as the ‘responsible and reliable’ gathering of footage through the avoidance of over-aestheticisation and other experimental aspects. While the book is of considerable disciplinary relevance and offers detailed and thought-provoking interrogations of the films under […]
Book Review: Implementing Inequality: The Invisible Labor of International Development by Rebecca Warne-Peters
In Implementing Inequality: The Invisible Labor of International Development, Rebecca Warne-Peters examines the inequalities at play within the development sector, focusing on a democratisation initiative in Angola to consider the social dynamics between in-country development professionals. The book emphasises the need for a thorough examination of the practices of development organisations if decolonisation initiatives are to be successful, writes […]
In Decolonizing Universalism: A Transnational Feminist Ethic, Serene J. Khader unpacks mainstream feminist approaches to women in the Global South – or ‘missionary feminism’ – to shed light on how to do anti-imperialist feminism in specific contexts through a notion of nonideal universalism. This is a timely interrogation and rejection of imperialist frameworks that maintain a distinction between ‘the West’ and ‘the Rest’, writes […]
Book Review: Decolonizing Ethnography: Undocumented Immigrants and New Directions in Social Science by Carolina Alonso Bejarano, Lucía López Juárez, Mirian A. Mijangos García and Daniel M. Goldstein
In Decolonizing Ethnography: Undocumented Immigrants and New Directions in Social Science, Carolina Alonso Bejarano, Lucía López Juárez, Mirian A. Mijangos García and Daniel M. Goldstein present collaborative research on the rights of undocumented migrants in New Jersey, USA, utilising an alternative approach to ethnography that seeks to position it as a powerful tool of self-empowerment, public advocacy and personal transformation. By reworking notions of […]
In Political English: Language and the Decay of Politics, Thomas Docherty offers a new examination of the historical and contemporary linkages between power, politics and the English language, arguing that the impoverishment of language is intimately connected with the impoverishment of political debate today. The book demonstrates the concomitant decline of discourse and democracy and brings a new slant to analyses of racism, classism […]
Book Review: Sharing the Burden: The Armenian Question, Humanitarian Intervention and Anglo-American Visions of Global Order by Charlie Laderman
On 24 April each year, many communities across the world come together to commemorate the mass killing of the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Grant Golub reviews Sharing the Burden: The Armenian Question, Humanitarian Intervention and Anglo-American Visions of Global Order, in which Charlie Laderman shows how the US and British responses to the atrocities were […]