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: Russia, BRICS and the Disruption of Global Order by Rachel S. Salzman

Book Review: Russia, BRICS and the Disruption of Global Order by Rachel S. Salzman

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In Russia, BRICS and the Disruption of Global Order, Rachel S. Salzman offers a new study that seeks to understand the driving forces behind the coalition that is BRICS – formed of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa –  and dispel the misconceptions that surround it. The book sheds unique light upon this contested and under-researched group of nations and […]

Book Review: Populism by Benjamin Moffitt

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In Populism, Benjamin Moffitt offers a new study that looks to assess the current state of scholarship on populism. Going a significant way to providing the clarity that can be so lacking when it comes to understanding populism, this is an essential textbook that Jake Scott recommends to anyone looking for an entry into the field. 

Populism. Benjamin Moffitt. Polity. […]

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    Book Review: The Cosmopolitan Tradition: A Noble but Flawed Ideal by Martha C. Nussbaum

Book Review: The Cosmopolitan Tradition: A Noble but Flawed Ideal by Martha C. Nussbaum

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In The Cosmopolitan Tradition: A Noble but Flawed Ideal, renowned philosopher Martha C. Nussbaum offers a set of essays that take their cue from the Cynic and Stoic traditions to explore the tensions within the cosmopolitan ideal through the works of Cicero, Hugo Grotius and Adam Smith. Questioning the book’s positioning of the nation state as the practical and moral […]

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    Book Review: Shadows of Doubt: Stereotypes, Crime, and the Pursuit of Justice by Brendan O’Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi

Book Review: Shadows of Doubt: Stereotypes, Crime, and the Pursuit of Justice by Brendan O’Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi

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In Shadows of Doubt: Stereotypes, Crime, and the Pursuit of Justice, Brendan O’Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi explore the role that stereotypes play in interactions across all elements of the US criminal justice system. This is a gracefully written, analytically precise and hopeful book, writes Abu Turab Rizvi, that will be of particular use to students and scholars of critical race and […]

Book Review: Are Filter Bubbles Real? by Axel Bruns

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As references to echo chambers and filter bubbles become ubiquitous in contemporary discourse, Axel Bruns offers a riposte in Are Filter Bubbles Real?, which questions the existence of these phenomena. While not convinced by all of the author’s arguments, Ignas Kalpokas welcomes the book as a must-read for those looking to critically reflect on some of the assumptions surrounding […]

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    Book Review: The Politics of Weight: Feminist Dichotomies of Power in Dieting by Amelia Morris

Book Review: The Politics of Weight: Feminist Dichotomies of Power in Dieting by Amelia Morris

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In The Politics of Weight: Feminist Dichotomies of Power in Dieting, Amelia Morris challenges the degree to which feminist debates about dieting often take the form of a binary whereby (women’s) bodies are either sites of oppression or liberation. Instead, drawing on interviews with dieters, analyses of dieting programme materials, fat activism and black feminist scholarship, the book posits […]

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    Book Review: Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers by David Scott FitzGerald

Book Review: Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers by David Scott FitzGerald

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In Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers, David Scott FitzGerald argues that the rich democracies of the Global North have developed ways to evade the spirit of international humanitarian laws when it comes to migration, whilst simultaneously de jure adhering to them. With a rich empirical basis and a clear, accessible style, this compelling and topical book will appeal […]

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    Book Review: Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost by Caitlin Zaloom

Book Review: Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost by Caitlin Zaloom

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In Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost, Caitlin Zaloom draws on more than 160 interviews with college students and their families to explore how middle-class households in the US pay for university. This is a timely and accessible study that breaks through the taboo surrounding family finances, making useful sociological points not only about the cost of higher […]

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    Book Review: Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed by Lisa Duggan

Book Review: Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed by Lisa Duggan

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In Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and the Culture of Greed, Lisa Duggan offers a new thesis on the infamous literary, cultural and political icon, Ayn Rand, exploring how the adoption of many of her philosophical and political ideas and beliefs helped fuel the insidious shift towards neoliberalism. Duggan’s skills as a cultural historian and her sharp-witted socio-political commentary fuse seamlessly together […]

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    Book Review: Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America by Anthony Ryan Hatch

Book Review: Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America by Anthony Ryan Hatch

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In Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America, Anthony Ryan Hatch explores the use of psychotropic drugs as part of the US carceral state, focusing not only on jails and prisons, but also foster homes, immigrant detention centres, nursing homes and the military. This is a taut and nimble study, writes Alessandro Ford, that allows the silence around this […]

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