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New Books in Public Policy

869 EpisodesProduced by Marshall PoeWebsite

Interviews with Scholars of Public Policy about their New BooksSupport our show by becoming a premium member!

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Martin Reynolds and Sue Holwell, "Systems Approaches to Making Change: A Practical Guide" (Springer, 2020)

July 27th, 2021


Practitioners from all professional domains are increasingly confronted with incidences of systemic failure, yet poorly equipped with appropriate …

Meena Bose and Andrew Rudalevige, "Executive Policymaking: The Role of the OMB in the Presidency" (Brookings, 2020)

July 22nd, 2021


The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is sometimes described as “the most important governmental office no one has ever heard of” and it …

Jacob Lederman, "Chasing World-Class Urbanism: Global Policy Versus Everyday Survival in Buenos Aires" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

July 22nd, 2021


What makes some cities world class? Increasingly, that designation reflects the use of a toolkit of urban planning practices and policies that …

Anna Stenning et al., "Neurodiversity Studies: A New Critical Paradigm" (Routledge, 2020)

July 21st, 2021


Building on work in feminist studies, queer studies and critical race theory, this volume challenges the universality of propositions about human …

David Scott, "For Abolition: Essays on Prisons and Socialist Ethics" (Waterside Press, 2020)

July 20th, 2021


According to Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) 'Laws are like cobwebs, which may catch small flies, but let wasps and hornets break through.' Connecting the …

Megan D. McFarlane, "Militarized Maternity: Experiencing Pregnancy in the U. S. Armed Forces" (U California Press, 2021)

July 19th, 2021


The rights of pregnant workers as well as (the lack of) paid maternity leave have increasingly become topics of a major policy debate in the United …

Mallory E. SoRelle, "Democracy Declined: The Failed Politics of Consumer Financial Protection" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

July 19th, 2021


Americans rely on credit to provide for their food, clothing, shelter, transportation, and other daily necessities and the 2008 financial crisis demonstrated how they relied on private financial institutions that …

Karma R. Chávez, "The Borders of AIDS: Race, Quarantine, and Resistance" (U Washington Press, 2021)

July 16th, 2021


As soon as US media and politicians became aware of AIDS in the early 1980s, fingers were pointed not only at the gay community but also at other …

William Walters, "State Secrecy and Security: Refiguring the Covert Imaginary" (Routledge, 2021)

July 13th, 2021


In State Secrecy and Security: Refiguring the Covert Imaginary (Routledge, 2021), William Walters calls for secrecy to be given a more central place in critical security studies and elevated to become a core concept …

Nafiseh Ghafournia, "Faith in Freedom: Muslim Immigrant Women Experiences of Domestic Violence" (Melbourne UP, 2019)

July 9th, 2021


In Faith in Freedom: Muslim Immigrant Women’s Experiences of Domestic Violence (Melbourne University Press, 2019), Nafiseh Ghafournia explores …

Sergio Lopez-Pineiro, "A Glossary of Urban Voids" (Jovis Verlag, 2020)

July 5th, 2021


Hello, this is Eric LeMay, a host on the New Books Network. Today I interview Sergio Lopez-Pineiro about his new book, A Glossary of Urban Voids (2020). It's one of the more fascinating books I've encountered in some …

Joseph Gfroerer, "War Stories from the Drug Survey: How Culture, Politics, and Statistics Shaped the National Survey on Drug Use and Health" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

July 2nd, 2021


Joseph Gfroerer spent nearly 40 years working as a statistician for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Starting in 1988, when the …

Ashley T. Rubin, "Rocking Qualitative Social Science: An Irreverent Guide to Rigorous Research" (Stanford UP, 2021)

July 2nd, 2021


Unlike other athletes, the rock climber tends to disregard established norms of style and technique, doing whatever she needs to do to get to the …

Yanzhong Huang, "Toxic Politics: China's Environmental Health Crisis and its Challenge to the Chinese State" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

July 2nd, 2021


Popular discussions of China’s growth prospects often focus on the success or failure specific industries. They might address the challenges rising …

Heather Douglas, "Women, Intimate Partner Violence, and the Law" (Oxford UP, 2021)

July 1st, 2021


Every year, millions of women turn to law to help them escape intimate partner violence. The legal processes are complex and varied, often enmeshing …

J. Laite, "Common Prostitutes and Ordinary Citizens: Commercial Sex in London, 1885-1960" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2012)

June 30th, 2021


Between 1885 and 1960, laws and policies designed to repress prostitution dramatically shaped London's commercial sex industry. J. Laite's book 

Sophie L. Gonick, "Dispossession and Dissent: Migrants and the Struggle for Housing in Madrid" (Stanford UP, 2021)

June 29th, 2021


Since the 2008 financial crisis, complex capital flows have ravaged everyday communities across the globe. Housing in particular has become …

Alec Karakatsanis, "Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System" (New Press, 2019)

June 23rd, 2021


From an award-winning civil rights lawyer, a profound challenge to our society's normalization of the caging of human beings, and the role of the …

No Choice: Why Is It So Hard to Get an Abortion in the South?

June 22nd, 2021


Today we are talking with Becca Andrews, a journalist at Mother Jones, where she writes about reproductive rights and gender. The story we discuss is “When Choice is 221 Miles Away: The Nightmare of Getting an Abortion …

William G. Tierney, "Get Real: 49 Challenges Confronting Higher Education" (SUNY, 2020)

June 21st, 2021


Listen to this interview of William Tierney, University Professor Emeritus and Founding Director of the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the …

Natalie West and Tina Horn, "We Too: Essays on Sex Work and Survival" (Feminist Press, 2021)

June 21st, 2021


This collection of narrative essays by sex workers presents a crystal-clear rejoinder: there's never been a better time to fight for justice. …

François Matarasso, "A Restless Art: How Participation Won, and Why it Matters" (CGF, 2019)

June 16th, 2021


It is almost twenty years since contemporary art took a ‘participation turn’. Now, just about every museum or theatre company has a participation or engagement department. It is nothing short of orthodoxy that one of …

Erika Dyck and Maureen Lux, "Challenging Choices: Canada's Population Control in the 1970s" (McGill-Queen's UP, 2020)

June 15th, 2021


Between the decriminalization of contraception in 1969 and the introduction of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, a landmark decade in the …

Martin Halliwell, "American Health Crisis: One Hundred Years of Panic, Planning, and Politics" (U California Press, 2021)

June 11th, 2021


Despite enormous advances in medical science and public health education over the last century, access to health care remains a dominant issue in American life. U.S. health care is often hailed as the best in the world, …

Amaka Okechukwu, "To Fulfill These Rights: Political Struggle Over Affirmative Action and Open Admissions" (Columbia UP, 2019)

June 11th, 2021


In 2014 and 2015, students at dozens of colleges and universities held protests demanding increased representation of Black and Latino students and …

George Szmukler, "Men in White Coats: Treatment Under Coercion" (Oxford UP, 2017)

June 9th, 2021


The laws that govern psychiatric treatment under coercion have remain largely unchanged since the eighteenth century. But this is not because of their effectiveness, rather, these laws cling to outdated notions of …

George Klosko, "Why Should We Obey the Law?" (Polity Press, 2018)

June 9th, 2021


In his new book Why Should We Obey the Law? (Polity Press, 2018), George Klosko, the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Professor of Politics at the …

Katrinell M. Davis, "Tainted Tap: Flint's Journey from Crisis to Recovery" (UNC Press, 2021)

June 9th, 2021


After a cascade of failures left residents of Flint, Michigan, without a reliable and affordable supply of safe drinking water, citizens spent years demanding action from their city and state officials. Complaints from …

David Skarbek, "The Puzzle of Prison Order: Why Life Behind Bars Varies Around the World" (Oxford UP, 2020)

June 9th, 2021


Many people think prisons are all the same-rows of cells filled with violent men who officials rule with an iron fist. Yet, life behind bars varies …

Rachel Stuart on the Unmet Health Needs of London Sex Workers

June 8th, 2021


Doctors of the World, also known as Médecins du Monde, is an international network of more than 400 programmes across 80 different countries, …

Hannah Jones, "Violent Ignorance: Confronting Racism and Migration Control" (Zed Books, 2021)

June 7th, 2021


An elected politician is assassinated in the street by a terrorist associated with extreme political groups, and the national response is to …

Lamis Elmy Abdelaaty, "Discrimination and Delegation: Explaining State Responses to Refugees" (Oxford UP, 2021)

June 7th, 2021


States face choices when people forced to leave their states due to persecution or violence seek refuge. They may assert their sovereignty by either …

Andrea Wenzel, "Community-Centered Journalism: Engaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust" (U Illinois Press, 2020)

June 4th, 2021


At a time when trust in the media is low and "news deserts" are increasing across the United States, engaged journalism offers a framework for connecting people, community organizations, and news organizations in ways …

Maneesha Deckha, "Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders" (U Toronto Press, 2021)

June 4th, 2021


In Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders (University of Toronto Press, 2021), Maneesha Deckha critically examines how Canadian law and, by extension, other legal orders around the world, …

Francine Tremblay, "Organizing for Sex Workers’ Rights in Montréal: Resistance and Advocacy" (Lexington Books, 2020)

June 4th, 2021


Francine Tremblay's book Organizing for Sex Workers’ Rights in Montréal: Resistance and Advocacy (Lexington Books, 2020) is based on a case study about Stella, l’amie de Maimie a Montréal sex workers' rights …

Gregg D. Caruso, "Rejecting Retributivism: Free Will, Punishment, and Criminal Justice" (Cambridge UP, 2021)

June 1st, 2021


According to an intuitive view, those who commit crimes are justifiably subject to punishment. Depending on the severity of the wrongdoing constitutive of the crime, punishment can be severe: incarceration, confinement, …

Ellen Peters, "Innumeracy in the Wild: Misunderstanding and Misusing Numbers" (Oxford UP, 2020)

May 31st, 2021


To many mathematicians and math enthusiasts, the word "innumeracy" brings to mind popular writing like that of John Allen Paulos. But inequities in …

Christoph Brumann, "The Best We Share: Nation, Culture and World-Making in the UNESCO World Heritage Arena" (Berghahn, 2021)

May 25th, 2021


The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is one of the most widely ratified international treaties, and a place on the World Heritage List is a widely coveted mark of distinction. Building on ethnographic fieldwork at …

Jennifer Sherman, "Dividing Paradise: Rural Inequality and the Diminishing American Dream" (U California Press, 2021)

May 24th, 2021


How rural areas have become uneven proving grounds for the American Dream. Small-town economies that have traditionally been based on logging, mining, farming, and ranching now increasingly rely on tourism, second-home …

Aaron Shapiro, "Design, Control, Predict: Logistical Governance in the Smart City" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

May 19th, 2021


The “smart” city of today looks little like what experts of yesteryear expected them to. In this book, Aaron Shapiro, Ph.D. takes readers on a behind …

Erin Stewart, "The Missing Among Us: Stories of Missing Persons and Those Left Behind" (NewSouth, 2020)

May 19th, 2021


'To be missing, you must be missed'. Erin Stewart's 2021 book examines missing for just about every point of view. 

In Australia 38,000 people are reported missing each year and in the US it's over 600,000. In the UK …

Marc Brackett, "Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive" (Celadon, 2019)

May 18th, 2021


Marc Brackett is a professor in Yale University's Child Study Center and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In his 25 years as an emotion scientist, he has developed a remarkably effective …

Giulia Zampini on Researching Drug Taking

May 18th, 2021


Today I talked to Giulia Zampini about her research into drug taking, and particularly about the "People and Dancefloors" project. Based on a 

David Hardin, "Standpipe: Delivering Water in Flint" (Belt, 2021)

May 17th, 2021


A brief, elegant memoir of the author's work as a Red Cross volunteer delivering emergency water to residents of Flint, Michigan, Standpipe sets the …

Doron Taussig, "What We Mean by the American Dream: Stories We Tell about Meritocracy" (Cornell UP, 2021)

May 14th, 2021


Doron Taussig invites us to question the American Dream. Did you earn what you have? Did everyone else? The American Dream is built on the idea that Americans end up, in our working lives, roughly where we deserve to be …

Cristina Beltrán, "Cruelty As Citizenship: How Migrant Suffering Sustains White Democracy" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

May 13th, 2021


Cristina Beltrán has written a thoughtful and interrogating analysis of the concept of citizenship, particularly in the United States, and how the …

Tim Jackson, "Post Growth: Life after Capitalism" (Polity, 2021)

May 7th, 2021


I spoke with Prof. Tim Jackson about his latest book: Post Growth, Life after Capitalism, published by Polity Books in 2021.

The book starts with a …

David Alan Sklansky, "A Pattern of Violence: How the Law Classifies Crimes and What it Means for Justice" (Harvard UP, 2020)

May 7th, 2021


In the wake of the George Floyd killing, many Americans are engaging in a renewed debate about the role violence and especially police violence, …

M. Vollman Makris and M. Gatta, "Gentrification Down the Shore" (Rutgers UP, 2020)

May 6th, 2021


In Gentrification Down the Shore (Rutgers University Press, 2020), Molly Vollman Makris and Mary Gatta engage in a rich ethnographic investigation of …

Adam Hochschild, "Rebel Cinderella: From Rags to Riches to Radical, the Epic Journey of Rose Pastor Stokes" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020)

May 4th, 2021


In the political ferment of early twentieth century New York City, when socialists and reformers battled sweatshops, and writers and artists thought …

Jessi Streib, "Privilege Lost: Who Leaves the Upper Middle Class and How They Fall" (Oxford UP, 2020)

May 3rd, 2021


Talking about social class and the American class structure is a challenge. It can be easy to talk about the class system too rigidly, implying that “the rich stay rich while the poor stay poor.” Yet in our …

Daniel Greene, "The Promise of Access: Technology, Inequality, and the Political Economy of Hope" (MIT Press, 2021)

May 3rd, 2021


Why do we keep trying to solve poverty with technology? What makes us feel that we need to learn to code--or else? In The Promise of Access: …

Matthew A.M. Thomas et al., "Examining Teach For All: International Perspectives on a Growing Global Network" (Routledge, 2020)

April 30th, 2021


Teach for America (TFA) continues to be the single largest preparation program for teachers in the United States. As that program grew in the US (attracting attention, support, and controversy in the process), it also …

Jeanne Shea et al., "Beyond Filial Piety: Rethinking Aging and Caregiving in Contemporary East Asian Societies" (Berghahn, 2020)

April 29th, 2021


Known for a tradition of Confucian filial piety, East Asian societies have some of the oldest and most rapidly aging populations on earth. Today …

Jarvis R. Givens, "Fugitive Pedagogy: Carter G. Woodson and the Art of Black Teaching" (Harvard UP, 2021)

April 26th, 2021


Welcome to New Books in African American Studies, a channel on the New Books Network. I am your host, Adam McNeil. On today’s podcast, I am interviewing Dr. Jarvis R. Givens, Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate …

Rachel Z. Friedman, "Probable Justice: Rethinking the Politics of Risk" (U Chicago Press, 2020)

April 20th, 2021


The emergence of individual and commercial insurance in Early Modern Europe required an understanding of probability. In Probable Justice: Rethinking …

Carolyn J. Heinrich, et al., "Equity and Quality in Digital Learning: Realizing the Promise in K-12 Education" (Harvard Education Press, 2020)

April 20th, 2021


The COVID19 pandemic has profoundly changed the landscape of K-12 education in our society. Last March, many states closed their brick-and-mortar …

Matthew O. Jackson, "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviors" (Vintage, 2019)

April 19th, 2021


Social networks existed and shaped our lives long before Silicon Valley startups made them virtual. For over two decades economist Matthew O. Jackson, a professor at Stanford University, has studied how the shape of …

Postscript: Biden's First 100 Days

April 19th, 2021


Much has long been made of the bold legislative action that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt marshalled forward in his first 100 days in office in …

Graham Smith, "Can Democracy Safeguard the Future?" (Polity, 2021)

April 16th, 2021


Our democracies repeatedly fail to safeguard the future. From pensions to pandemics, health and social care through to climate, biodiversity and …

Johana Londoño, "Abstract Barrios: The Crises of Latinx Visibility in Cities" (Duke UP, 2020)

April 16th, 2021


The rapid gentrification of Black and brown neighborhoods in urban areas by predominantly upper-class white and other white-adjacent peoples is largely facilitated by urban redevelopment and revitalization projects. …

Charley E. Willison, "Ungoverned and Out of Sight: Public Health and the Political Crisis of Homelessness in the United States" (Oxford UP, 2021)

April 15th, 2021


If health policy truly seeks to improve population health and reduce health disparities, addressing homelessness must be a priority. Homelessness is …

Anita Hardon, "Chemical Youth: Navigating Uncertainty in Search of the Good Life" (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020)

April 14th, 2021


Anita Hardon's Chemical Youth: Navigating Uncertainty in Search of the Good Life (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020) explores how young people engage with chemical substances in their everyday lives. It builds upon and …

Karen Petrou, "Engine of Inequality: The Fed and the Future of Wealth in America" (Wiley, 2021)

April 13th, 2021


Following the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy placed much greater focus on stabilizing the market than on helping …

Alexandra Kemmerer, "Human Dignity in Context" (Nomos/Hart, 2018)

April 12th, 2021


Human dignity is the key term that the Universal Declaration on Human Rights placed at the center of legal discourse on a global level. In 1949, Germany incorporated the concept of human dignity in its Basic law.

Human …

Bertram Levine and Grande Lum, "America's Peacemakers: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights" (U Missouri Press, 2020)

April 8th, 2021


The Community Relations Service (CRS) came into being alongside the Voting Rights Act—as part of the Act itself. And this organization was integrated into the Voting Rights Act in 1964 because President Lyndon Johnson …

Stuart P. Green, "Criminalizing Sex: A Unified Liberal Theory" (Oxford UP, 2020)

April 7th, 2021


Starting in the latter part of the 20th century, the law of sexual offenses, especially in the West, began to reflect a striking divergence. On the one hand, the law became significantly more punitive in its approach to …

Cristina V. Groeger, "The Education Trap: Schools and the Remaking of Inequality in Boston" (Harvard UP, 2021)

April 2nd, 2021


Education is thought to be the route out of poverty, but history disagrees. For generations, Americans have looked to education as the solution to …

Chuck Collins, "The Wealth Hoarders: How Billionaires Pay Millions to Hide Trillions" (Polity, 2021)

March 26th, 2021


For decades, a secret army of tax attorneys, accountants and wealth managers has been developing into the shadowy Wealth Defense Industry. These ‘agents of inequality’ are paid millions to hide trillions for the richest …

Aaron Griffith, "God’s Law and Order: The Politics of Punishment in Evangelical America" (Harvard UP, 2020)

March 19th, 2021


The rise of Neo-Evangelicalism as a social and political American movement accompanied shifting attitudes in broader American criminal justice …

Dying from Despair in the USA: A Discussion with Anne Case

March 15th, 2021


Life expectancy in the United States has recently fallen for three years in a row—a reversal not seen since 1918 or in any other wealthy nation in modern times. In the past two decades, deaths of despair from suicide, …

Melissa Moschella, "To Whom Do Children Belong?: Parental Rights, Civic Education, and Children's Autonomy" (Cambridge UP, 2016)

March 9th, 2021


The Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton, which ruled that the Title VII prohibition on sex discrimination in employment extends to …

Mark R. Rank, "Poorly Understood: What America Gets Wrong about Poverty" (Oxford UP, 2021)

March 4th, 2021


Few topics have as many myths, stereotypes, and misperceptions surrounding them as that of poverty in America. The poor have been badly misunderstood since the beginnings of the country, with the rhetoric only …

Ronald J. Deibert, "Reset: Reclaiming the Internet for Civil Society" (House of Anansi, 2020)

February 26th, 2021


Ronald Deibert is a professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto and the Director of The Citizen Lab, a public interest research …

Exploring STEM, Insulin Research, and Why We Get Sick

February 25th, 2021


Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how …

Enrico Bonadio, "Protecting Art in the Street: A Guide to Copyright in Street Art and Graffiti" (Dokument Forlag, 2020)

February 25th, 2021


There has recently been a sharp increase in cases where corporations have been sued by street and graffiti artists because their artworks had been used and exploited without the artists’ authorization, for example in …

Gary Alan Fine, "The Hinge: Civil Society, Group Cultures, and the Power of Local Commitments" (U Chicago Press, 2021)

February 9th, 2021


Most of the time, we believe our daily lives to be governed by structures determined from above (e.g., laws that dictate our behavior, companies that pay employees wages, climate patterns that determine what we eat or …

Anthony Warner, "Ending Hunger: The Quest to Feed the World without Destroying It" (Oneworld, 2021)

February 9th, 2021


Nutritionists tell you to eat more fish. Environmentalists tell you to eat less fish. Apparently they are both right. It's the same thing with almonds, or quinoa, or a hundred other foods. But is it really incumbent on …

Ray Ison and Ed Straw, "The Hidden Power of Systems Thinking: Governance in a Climate Emergency" (Routledge, 2020)

February 8th, 2021


The Hidden Power of Systems Thinking: Governance in Climate Emergency (Routledge, 2020) is a persuasive, lively book that shows how systems thinking can be harnessed to effect profound, complex change. 

In the age of the …

Mical Raz, "Abusive Policies: How the American Child Welfare System Lost Its Way" (UNC Press Books, 2020)

February 5th, 2021


In the early 1970s, a new wave of public service announcements urged parents to help end an American tradition of child abuse. The message, relayed repeatedly over television and radio, urged abusive parents to seek …

The Role of Community Colleges in Higher Education: A Discussion with Penny Wills

February 4th, 2021


Welcome to The Academic Life. You are smart and capable, but you aren’t an island, and neither are we. So we reached across our mentor network to bring you podcasts on everything from how to finish that project, to how …

Tony Tekaroniake Evans, "Teaching Native Pride: Upward Bound and the Legacy of Isabel Bond" (Washington State UP, 2020)

February 3rd, 2021


In 1877, Eloosykasit was on his way Tolo Lake, a gathering place frequented by the Nez Perce, when he heard news of the Wallowa band's flight from …

B. Kilpatrick and M. Patel, "Estate Regeneration: Learning from the Past, Housing Communities of the Future" (Routledge, 2020)

February 2nd, 2021


One hundred years ago, the Addison Act created the circumstances for the large scale construction of municipal housing in the UK. This would lead to …

T. Maschi and K. Morgen, "Aging Behind Prison Walls: Studies in Trauma and Resilience" (Columbia UP, 2020)

January 12th, 2021


Today, more than 200,000 men and women over age fifty are languishing in prisons around the United States. It is projected that by 2030, one-third of …

K. M. Broton and C. L. Cady, "Food Insecurity on Campus: Action and Intervention" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2020)

January 11th, 2021


The new essay collection Food Insecurity on College Campuses edited by Katharine M. Broton and Clare L. Cady explores the widespread problem of food …

Barbara Dennis, "Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise" (Peter Lang, 2020)

January 11th, 2021


In this episode, I speak with Dr. Barbara Dennis of Indiana University on her new ethnography, Walking with Strangers: Critical Ethnography and Educational Promise, published in 2020 by Peter Lang Press.

Walking with …

Michael Kagan, "The Battle to Stay in America: Immigration's Hidden Front Line" (U of Nevada Press, 2020)

January 4th, 2021


The debate over American immigration policy has obsessed politicians and disrupted the lives of millions of people for decades. In The Battle To Stay …

Ian Ayres and Fredrick E. Vars, "Weapon of Choice: Fighting Gun Violence While Respecting Gun Rights" (Harvard UP, 2020)

December 16th, 2020


In the United States, gun violence is in a state of national crisis, yet efforts to reform gun regulation face significant political and …

Kimberley Brownlee, "Being Sure of Each Other: An Essay on Social Rights and Freedoms" (Oxford UP, 2020)

December 11th, 2020


Kimberley Brownlee, a professor of philosophy at the University of British Columbia, has written a monograph addressing her argument in favor a right …

O. Carter Snead, "What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics" (Harvard UP, 2020)

December 9th, 2020


At first glance, the term “expressive individualism” seems benign enough. After all, people throughout the Western world value their personal freedom and the liberty to make crucial life decisions such as whether to …

Ashley E. Lucas, "Prison Theatre and the Global Crisis of Incarceration" (Bloomsbury, 2020)

December 8th, 2020


The world of theater performances is often thought of as being composed of wealthy persons who received elite educations at art institutions all so …

Nancy D. Campbell, "OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose" (MIT Press, 2020)

December 3rd, 2020


Reducing harm or shrinking the likelihood of accidental death are remarkably contentions projects—in areas from sex education, to pandemic …

Claire Herbert, "A Detroit Story: Urban Decline and the Rise of Property Informality" (U California Press, 2021)

December 1st, 2020


Bringing to the fore a wealth of original research, A Detroit Story: Urban Decline and the Rise of Property Informality (University of California Press, 2021) examines how the informal reclamation of abandoned property …

Amy Bucher, "Engaged: Designing for Behavior Change" (Rosenfeld Media, 2020)

November 27th, 2020


In her new book Engaged: Designing for Behavior Change (Rosenfeld Media, 2020), Amy Bucher analyzes both the barriers and levers to achieving behavioral change. Among the barriers are cognitive biases, like a Status Quo …

Michael Mascarenhas, "Lessons in Environmental Justice: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter and Idle No More" (Sage, 2020)

November 23rd, 2020


Michael Mascarenhas's book Lessons in Environmental Justice: From Civil Rights to Black Lives Matter and Idle No More (Sage, 2020) provides an entry point to the field by bringing together the works of individuals who …

Joshua Gans, "The Pandemic Information Gap and the Brutal Economics of Covid-19" (MIT Press, 2020)

November 17th, 2020


As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March, a self-isolating and easily distracted economist resolved to take himself in hand. "I decided I would do …

Douglas Kelbaugh, "The Urban Fix: Resilient Cities in the War Against Climate Change, Heat Islands and Overpopulation" (Routledge, 2019)

November 16th, 2020


Cities are one of the most significant contributors to global climate change. The rapid speed at which urban centers use large amounts of resources adds to the global crisis and can lead to extreme local heat. The Urban …

Katja M. Guenther, "The Lives and Deaths of Shelter Animals" (Stanford UP, 2020)

November 13th, 2020


Monster is an adult pit bull, muscular and grey, who is impounded in a large animal shelter in Los Angeles. Like many other dogs at the shelter, …

Lindsay Farmer, "Making the Modern Criminal Law: Criminalization and Civil Order" (Oxford UP, 2016)

November 12th, 2020


In his latest book, Professor Lindsay Farmer offers a historical and conceptual analysis of theories of criminalization. The book shows how …

Kevin Leo Nadal, "Queering Law and Order: LGBTQ Communities and the Criminal Justice System" (Lexington Book, 2020)

November 10th, 2020


Throughout US history, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people have been pathologized, victimized, and criminalized. Reports of …

Kathryn A. Mariner, "Contingent Kinship: The Flows and Futures of Adoption in the United States" (U California Press, 2019)

November 3rd, 2020


Contingent Kinship: The Flows and Futures of Adoption in the United States (University of California Press, 2019) offers an ethnography of adoption processes in the United States through the inner workings of a private …

Doug Specht, "Mapping Crisis: Participation, Datafication and Humanitarianism in the Age of Digital Mapping" (U London Press, 2020)

October 29th, 2020


The digital age has thrown questions of representation, participation and humanitarianism back to the fore, as machine learning, algorithms and big data centres take over the process of mapping the subjugated and …

M. Newhart and W. Dolphin, "The Medicalization of Marijuana: Legitimacy, Stigma, and the Patient Experience" (Routledge, 2018)

October 26th, 2020


Medical marijuana laws have spread across the U.S. to all but a handful of states. Yet, eighty years of social stigma and federal prohibition creates …

Janet Jakobsen, "The Sex Obsession: Perversity and Possibility in American Politics" (NYU Press, 2020)

October 19th, 2020


Why are Americans, and American politicians more specifically, obsessed with sex? Why, in the words of Janet Jakobsen, are gender and sexuality such …

Why are Blacks Democrats?: An Interview with Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird

October 15th, 2020


Black Americans are by far the most unified racial group in American electoral politics, with 80 to 90 percent identifying as Democrats—a surprising …

A. B. Cox and C. M. Rodríguez, "The President and Immigration Law" (Oxford UP, 2020)

October 14th, 2020


Who truly controls immigration law in the United States? Though common sense might suggest the U.S. Congress, legal scholars Adam B. Cox and Cristina …

Adam Auerbach, "Demanding Development: The Politics of Public Good Provision in India’s Urban Slums" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

October 12th, 2020


India’s urban slums exhibit dramatic variation in their access to basic public goods and services—paved roads, piped water, trash removal, sewers, …

John Whysner, "The Alchemy of Disease" (Columbia UP, 2020)

October 8th, 2020


Since the dawn of the industrial age, we have unleashed a bewildering number of potentially harmful chemicals. But out of this vast array, how do we …

Jennifer Lisa Koslow, "Exhibiting Health: Public Health Displays in the Progressive Era" (Rutgers UP, 2020)

October 5th, 2020


In the early twentieth century, public health reformers approached the task of ameliorating unsanitary conditions and preventing epidemic diseases …

Serena Parekh, "No Refuge: Ethics and the Global Refugee Crisis" (Oxford UP, 2020)

October 1st, 2020


Discourse in wealthy Western countries about refugees tends to follow a familiar script. How many refugees is a country morally required to …

Wendy Wood, "Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick" (FSG, 2019)

September 28th, 2020


Today's guest is psychologist and behavioral scientist, Wendy Wood. She is currently a professor of psychology and business at the University of …

Gene Ludwig, "The Vanishing American Dream" (Disruption Books, 2020)

September 28th, 2020


Gene Ludwig cares. The former banker, government regulator, and serial entrepreneur cares deeply about the hollowing out of the American middle class …

G. Smulewicz-Zucker and M. Thompson, "An Inheritance for Our Times: Principles and Politics of Democratic Socialism" (OR Books, 2020)

September 25th, 2020


Democratic socialism is on the lips of activists and politicians from both the left and the right. Some call it extremism; some call it common sense. …

Diana Greene Foster, "The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion" (Scribner, 2020)

September 22nd, 2020


What happens when a woman seeking an abortion is turned away? Diana Greene Foster, PhD, decided to find out. With a team of scientists—psychologists, …

Christopher Marquis, "Better Business: How the B Corp Movement Is Remaking Capitalism" (Yale UP, 2020)

September 21st, 2020


I spoke with Prof. Christopher Marquis, Samuel C. Johnson Professor in Global Sustainable Enterprise and Professor of Management at Cornell …

Christopher Robertson, "Exposed: Why Our Health Insurance is Incomplete and What can be Done About" (Harvard UP, 2019)

September 21st, 2020


Today's guest is Christopher Robertson, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation and Professor of Law at the University of Arizona. His background and research interests overlap several academic disciplines, including …

Alexander Keyssar, "Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College?" (Harvard UP, 2020)

September 17th, 2020


The title of Harvard historian Alexander Keyssar,’s new book poses the question that comes up every presidential election cycle: Why Do We Still Have …

Ben Burgis, "Give Them an Argument: Logic for the Left" (Zero Books, 2019)

September 16th, 2020


Logic, the study of how certain arguments either succeed or fail to support their conclusions, is one of the most important topics in philosophy, its importance illustrated by the common assumption that if one is being …

R. Pollin and N. Chomsky, "Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet" (Verso, 2020)

September 15th, 2020


Is there a consensus on the best response to global warming? Not even close. Left and right both bring their own tools, math, and, most notably, …

Ellen M. Snyder-Grenier, "The House on Henry Street: The Enduring Life of a Lower East Side Settlement" (NYU Press, 2020)

September 15th, 2020


On a cold March day in 1893, 26-year-old nurse Lillian Wald rushed through the poverty-stricken streets of New York’s Lower East Side to a squalid …

Gerald Posner, "Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America" (Simon and Schuster, 2020)

September 14th, 2020


Today’s guest is investigative journalist and author, Gerald Posner. His new book, Pharma: Greed, Lies, and the Poisoning of America (Simon and Schuster), explores the fascinating and complex history of pharmaceutical …

Postscript: A Discussion of Race, Anger and Citizenship in the USA

September 14th, 2020


How do we have a serious conversation about race that moves beyond the brevity of Twitter or an op-ed? In this episode of Post-Script (a New Books in …

Mariana Mogilevich, "The Invention of Public Space: Designing for Inclusion in Lindsay's New York" (U Minnesota Press, 2020)

September 14th, 2020


As suburbanization, racial conflict, and the consequences of urban renewal threatened New York City with “urban crisis,” the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay (1966–1973) experimented with a broad array of …

Albena Azmanova, "Capitalism on Edge: How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Utopia or Crisis" (Columbia UP, 2020)

September 10th, 2020


Capitalism seems to many to be in a sort of constant crisis, leaving many struggling to make ends meet. This desperation was intensified in 2008, and for many never went away in spite of claims of a general economic …

Charles Allan McCoy, "Diseased States: Epidemic Control in Britain and the United States" (U Massachusetts Press, 2020)

September 4th, 2020


Outbreaks of Ebola, SARS, MERS, and pandemic influenza are brutal reminders of the dangers of infectious disease. Comparing the development of …

Paul Offit, "Overkill: When Modern Medicine Goes Too Far" (HarperCollins, 2020)

September 3rd, 2020


Why Do Unnecessary and Often Counter-Productive Medical Interventions Happen So Often?

Today I talked to Paul Offit about his book Overkill: When …

Matthew D. Wright, "A Vindication of Politics: On the Common Good and Human Flourishing" (UP of Kansas, 2019)

September 1st, 2020


Rancor reigns in American politics. It is possible these days to regard politics as an arena that enriches and ennobles?

Matthew D. Wright responds …

Mary Augusta Brazelton, "Mass Vaccination: Citizens' Bodies and State Power in Modern China" (Cornell UP, 2019)

August 31st, 2020


While the eradication of smallpox has long been documented, not many know the Chinese roots of this historic achievement. In this revelatory study, Mass Vaccination. Citizens' Bodies and State Power in Modern China

Nathalie Peutz, "Islands of Heritage Conservation and Transformation in Yemen" (Stanford UP, 2018)

August 31st, 2020


Soqotra, the largest island of Yemen's Soqotra Archipelago, is one of the most uniquely diverse places in the world. A UNESCO natural World Heritage Site, the island is home not only to birds, reptiles, and plants found …

Nicole Hassoun, "Global Health Impact: Expanding Access to Essential Medicines" (Oxford UP, 2020)

August 31st, 2020


Every year nine million people are diagnosed with tuberculosis, every day over 13,400 people are infected with AIDs, and every thirty seconds malaria …

Joy Knoblauch, "The Architecture of Good Behavior" (U Pittsburgh Press, 2020)

August 21st, 2020


Inspired by the rise of environmental psychology and increasing support for behavioral research after the Second World War, new initiatives at the …

Andrea Benjamin, "Racial Coalition Building in Local Elections: Elite Cues and Cross-Ethnic Voting" (Cambridge UP, 2017)

August 13th, 2020


What explains voting behavior in local elections? More specifically, what explains how ethnic and racial blocs vote in local elections, especially when the candidate may be of a different race or ethnicity? These are …

LaDale Winling, "Building the Ivory Tower: Universities and Metropolitan Development in the Twentieth Century" (U Penn Press, 2018)

August 10th, 2020


Universities have become state-like entities, possessing their own hospitals, police forces, and real estate companies. To become such behemoths, …

Costas Lapavitsas, "The Left Case Against the EU" (Polity, 2018)

August 7th, 2020


Many on the Left see the European Union as a fundamentally benign project with the potential to underpin ever greater cooperation and progress. If it has drifted rightward, the answer is to fight for reform from within.

Lesly-Marie Buer, "RX Appalachia: Stories of Treatment and Survival in Rural Kentucky" (Haymarket, 2020)

August 3rd, 2020


Using the narratives of women who use(d) drugs, this account challenges popular understandings of Appalachia spread by such pundits as JD Vance by …

Melissa J. Wilde, "Birth Control Battles: How Race and Class Divided American Religion" (U California Press, 2020)

August 3rd, 2020


Although it has largely been erased from the collective memory of American Christianity, the debate over eugenics was a major factor in the history …

Michael A. Olivas, "Perchance to DREAM: A Legal and Political History of the DREAM Act and DACA" (NYU Press, 2020)

August 3rd, 2020


Why did the DREAM Act (for the Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors) never pass Congress – even though it was popular with Republicans …

Saqib Iqbal Qureshi, "The Broken Contract: Making Our Democracies Accountable, Representative, and Less Wasteful" (Lioncrest, 2020)

July 31st, 2020


A democracy should reflect the views of its citizens and offer a direct connection between government and those it serves. So why, more than ever, …

Aya Gruber, "The Feminist War on Crime: The Unexpected Role of Women’s Liberation in Mass Incarceration" (U California Press, 2020)

July 31st, 2020


Aya Gruber, a professor of law at the University of Colorado Law School, has written a history of how the women’s movement in America has shaped the …

David A. Harris, "A City Divided: Race, Fear and the Law in Police Confrontations" (Anthem Press, 2020)

July 30th, 2020


How do we move police forces from a warrior culture to connecting better with communities they serve?

Today I talked to David A. Harris about his new …

Amity Shlaes, "Great Society: A New History" (Harper, 2019)

July 29th, 2020


National concern about income inequalities. Race relations at a boiling point. Riots in the streets. Cries on the left for massive allocations of federal money for housing and poverty reduction programs. Social …

Solomon Goldstein-Rose, "The 100% Solution: A Plan for Solving Climate Change" (Melville House, 2020)

July 29th, 2020


At age 26, Solomon Goldstein-Rose has already spent more time thinking about climate change than most of us will in our lifetimes. He’s been a …

M. C. Stevenson et al. (eds.), "The Legacy of Racism for Children: Psychology, Law and Public Policy" (Oxford UP, 2020)

July 28th, 2020


When children become entangled with the law, their lives can be disrupted irrevocably. When those children are underrepresented minorities, the …

Jan Doering, "Us versus Them: Race, Crime, and Gentrification in Chicago Neighborhoods" (Oxford UP, 2020)

July 28th, 2020


With such high levels of residential segregation along racial lines in the United States, gentrifying neighborhoods present fascinating opportunities to examine places with varying levels of integration, and how people …

John B. Holbein, "Making Young Voters: Converting Civic Attitudes into Action" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

July 23rd, 2020


In the United States, each election cycle reminds us that younger voters vote at much lower rates than their older counterparts. This discrepancy is …

Mia Birdsong, "How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community" (Hachette, 2020)

July 20th, 2020


After almost every presentation activist and writer Mia Birdsong gives to executives, think tanks, and policy makers, one of those leaders quietly …

Luke Messac, "No More to Spend: Neglect and the Construction of Scarcity in Malawi's History of Health Care" (Oxford UP, 2020)

July 16th, 2020


Dismal spending on government health services is often considered a necessary consequence of a low per-capita GDP, but are poor patients in poor countries really fated to be denied the fruits of modern medicine?

In many …

Jeremy Gans, "The Ouija Board Jurors: Mystery, Mischief and Misery in the Jury System" (Waterside Press, 2017)

July 15th, 2020


Juries are a cornerstone of the criminal trial, but what happens when the jury engages in its own kind of mischief? In this book, Jeremy Gans delves into the case of R v Young, where a newly married couple was murdered …

Sally Nuamah, "How Girls Achieve" (Harvard UP, 2019)

July 14th, 2020


If we want girls to succeed, we need to teach them the audacity to transgress. Through the lives of students at three very different schools, Sally …

Philip M. Plotch, "Last Subway: The Long Wait for the Next Train in New York City" (Cornell UP, 2020)

July 13th, 2020


Ever since New York City built one of the world’s great subway systems, no promise has been more tantalizing than the proposal to build a new subway line under Second Avenue in Manhattan. Yet the Second Avenue …

Gerald Epstein, “What's Wrong with Modern Money Theory? A Policy Critique” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019)

July 13th, 2020


Since the last-but-one financial crisis abated and governments responded to better times by clawing back their stimulus packages, a once-obscure …

Melissa K. Merry, "Warped Narratives: Distortion in the Framing of Gun Policy" (U Michigan Press, 2020)

July 10th, 2020


If gun violence kills so many Americans, why don’t we see more effective solutions? How much does the way we frame an issue impact how we feel about …

A. P. Carnevale, "The Merit Myth: How Our Colleges Favor the Rich and Divide America" (The New Press, 2020)

July 2nd, 2020


Colleges fiercely defend America’s higher education system, arguing that it rewards bright kids who have worked hard. But it doesn’t actually work …

Pepper Glass, "Misplacing Ogden, Utah" (U Utah Press, 2020)

June 30th, 2020


Pepper Glass’s new book Misplacing Ogden, Utah: Race, Class, Immigration, and the Construction of Urban Reputation (University of Utah Press, 2020) evaluates the widely held assumption that divisions between urban areas …

Pavlina Tcherneva, "The Case for a Job Guarantee" (Polity, 2020)

June 29th, 2020


One of the most enduring ideas in economics is that unemployment is both unavoidable and necessary for the smooth functioning of the economy. This assumption has provided cover for the devastating social and economic …

Michael Goldfield, "The Southern Key: Class, Race, and Radicalism in the 1930s and 1940s" (Oxford UP, 2020)

June 24th, 2020


The golden key to understanding the last 75 years of American political development, the eminent labor relations scholar Michael Goldfield argues, …

Laura A. Dean, "Diffusing Human Trafficking Policy in Eurasia" (Policy Press, 2020)

June 23rd, 2020


Laura A. Dean (Assistant Professor of Political Science at Millikin University and director of the Human Trafficking Research Lab) has spent many …

Micol Seigel, "Violence Work: State Violence and the Limits of Police" (Duke UP, 2018)

June 17th, 2020


Recent calls for the defunding or abolition of police raise important questions about the legitimacy of state violence and the functions that police …

Kathleen Hale and Mitchell Brown, "How We Vote: Innovation in American Elections" (Georgetown UP, 2020)

June 12th, 2020


The idea of voting is simple, but the administration of elections in ways that ensure access and integrity is complex. In How We Vote: Innovation in …

Gilda R. Daniels, "Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression" (NYU Press, 2020)

June 4th, 2020


Are we asleep at the (common)wheel? Civil rights attorney and law professor Gilda R. Daniels insists that contemporary voter ID laws, voter …

Arlie Loughnan, "Self, Others and the State: Relations of Criminal Responsibility" (Cambridge UP, 2020)

June 3rd, 2020


Criminal responsibility is a key-organizing concept of the criminal law, but Arlie Loughnan argues that it needs re-examination. Focusing on the Australian experience, Self, Others and the State: Relations of Criminal …

Brian Greene, "Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe" (Random House, 2020)

June 2nd, 2020


Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for …

Carl Suddler, "Presumed Criminal: Black Youth and the Justice System in Postwar New York" (NYU Press, 2019)

May 28th, 2020


A stark disparity exists between black and white youth experiences in the justice system today. Black youths are perceived to be older and less …

Simon Bowmaker, "When the President Calls: Conversations with Economic Policymakers" (MIT Press, 2019)

May 28th, 2020


I spoke with Dr Simon Bowmaker, Professor of Economics at New York University, Stern School of Business. He has recently published When the President …

Govind Gopakumar, "Installing Automobility: Emerging Politics of Mobility and Streets in Indian Cities" (MIT Press, 2020)

May 27th, 2020


Automobiles and their associated infrastructures, deeply embedded in Western cities, have become a rapidly growing presence in the mega-cities of the Global South. Streets, once crowded with pedestrians, pushcarts, …

Paul M. Renfro, "Stranger Danger: Family Values, Childhood, and the American Carceral State" (Oxford UP, 2020)

April 30th, 2020


Beginning with Etan Patz's disappearance in Manhattan in 1979, a spate of high-profile cases of missing and murdered children stoked anxieties about the threats of child kidnapping and exploitation. Publicized through …

Patrick M. Condon, "Five Rules for Tomorrow’s Cities" (Island Press, 2020)

April 29th, 2020


How we design our cities over the next four decades will be critical for our planet. If we continue to spill excessive greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, we will run out of time to keep our global temperature from …

Great Books: Melissa Schwartzberg on Rousseau's "The Social Contract"

April 28th, 2020


"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains." The opening sentence of 18th century philosopher Jean-Jacques Roussau's The Social Contract poses a central question for all of us. Why do we live under conditions of …

Lloyd B. Minor, "Discovering Precision Health" (Wiley-Blackwell, 2020)

April 22nd, 2020


Today's guest is scientist, surgeon, and dean of the Stanford University School of Medicine, Dr. Lloyd B. Minor. Previously he served as provost and …

K. Aronoff, et al., "A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal" (Verso, 2019)

April 14th, 2020


In early 2019, freshman representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Senator Ed Markey proposed a bold new piece of legislation, now very well known …

Kristian Ly Serena, "Age-Inclusive Public Space" (Hatje Cantz, 2019)

April 10th, 2020


Public spaces tend to over-represent facilities and spatial design for the young and the middle-aged, whereas elderly citizens are all too often neglected by contemporary urban design practice. Dominique Hauderowicz and …

Travis Lupick, "Fighting for Space: How a Group of Drug Users Transformed One City’s Struggle with Addiction" (Arsenal, 2108)

April 8th, 2020


North America is in the grips of a drug epidemic; with the introduction of fentanyl, the chances of a fatal overdose are greater than ever, prompting many to rethink the war on drugs. Public opinion has slowly begun to …

Jonathan Barnett, "Designing the Megaregion: Meeting Urban Challenges at a New Scale" (Island Press, 2020)

April 8th, 2020


The US population is estimated to grow by more than 110 million people by 2050, and much of this growth will take place where cities and their …

Anna Arstein-Kerslake, "Restoring Voice to People with Cognitive Disabilities: Realizing the Right to Equal Recognition Before the Law" (Cambridge UP, 2017)

April 6th, 2020


The right to decision making is important for all people. It allows us to choose how to we our lives – both on a daily basis, and also in terms of how we wish to express ourselves, to live in accordance with our values …

Matt Cook, "Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy" (MIT Press, 2020)

March 30th, 2020


Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician's purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty …

Andrew Leigh, "Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Are Changing Our World" (Yale UP, 2018)

March 26th, 2020


From the unending quest to turn metal into gold to the major discoveries that reveal how the universe works, experiments have always been a critical …

Sara Hughes, "Repowering Cities: Governing Climate Change Mitigation in New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto" (Cornell UP, 2019)

March 25th, 2020


Scholars like Ben Barber have suggested that cities provide the democratic culture to pragmatically problem-solve challenging policy issues – such as …

Elizabeth A. Wheeler, "HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth" (U Michigan Press, 2019)

March 23rd, 2020


Throughout her new book, HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth (University of Michigan Press 2019), Elizabeth A. Wheeler uses a fictional place called HandiLand as a yardstick for measuring how far American society has …

Diane Jones Allen, "Lost in the Transit Desert: Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form" (Routledge, 2017)

March 18th, 2020


Increased redevelopment, the dismantling of public housing, and increasing housing costs are forcing a shift in migration of lower income and transit …

Josh Seim, "Bandage, Sort, and Hustle: Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering" (U California Press, 2020)

March 13th, 2020


What is the role of the ambulance in the American city? The prevailing narrative provides a rather simple answer: saving and transporting the …

Sandro Galea, "Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health" (Oxford UP, 2019)

March 10th, 2020


In Well: What We Need to Talk About When We Talk About Health (Oxford University Press, 2019), physician Sandro Galea examines what Americans miss when they fixate on healthcare: health. Americans spend more money on …

Jennifer E. Gaddis, "The Labor of Lunch: Why We Need Real Food and Real Jobs in American Public Schools" (U California Press, 2019)

March 6th, 2020


There’s a problem with school lunch in America. Big Food companies have largely replaced the nation’s school cooks by supplying cafeterias with …

Lana Dee Povitz, ​"Stirrings: How Activist New Yorkers Ignited a Movement for Food Justice" ​(UNC Press, 2019)

March 3rd, 2020


In the last three decades of the twentieth century, government cutbacks, stagnating wages, AIDS, and gentrification pushed ever more people into poverty, and hunger reached levels unseen since the Depression. In …

Steven Higashide, "Better Buses, Better Cities : How to Plan, Run, and Win the Fight for Effective Transit" (Island Press, 2019)

March 2nd, 2020


Buses can and should be the cornerstone of urban transportation. They offer affordable mobility and can connect citizens with every aspect of their …

Daniel Skinner, "Medical Necessity: Health Care Access and the Politics of Decision Making" (U Minnesota Press, 2019)

February 24th, 2020


The definition of medical necessity has morphed over the years, from a singular physician’s determination to a complex and dynamic political contest …

Steve Suitts, "Overturning Brown: The Segregationist Legacy of the Modern School Choice Movement" (NewSouth Books, 2020)

February 21st, 2020


School choice, widely touted as a system that would ensure underprivileged youth have an equal opportunity in education, has grown in popularity in …

Virginia Eubanks, "Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor" (St. Martin's, 2018)

February 20th, 2020


The State of Indiana denies one million applications for healthcare, foodstamps and cash benefits in three years―because a new computer system interprets any mistake as “failure to cooperate.” In Los Angeles, an …

Caitlin Frances Bruce, "Painting Publics: Transnational Legal Graffiti Scenes as Spaces for Encounter" (Temple UP, 2019)

February 19th, 2020


Public art is a form of communication that enables spaces for encounters across difference. These encounters may be routine, repeated, or rare, but all take place in urban spaces infused with emotion, creativity, and …

Robert Frank, "Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work" (Princeton UP, 2020)

February 17th, 2020


Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social …

Jodie Adams Kirshner, "Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promise" (St. Martin's Press, 2019)

February 7th, 2020


In her new book Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promise (St. Martin's Press, 2019), Jodie Adams Kirshner tells the story of the people of Detroit before, during, and after its bankruptcy, offering …

Kate Lockwood Harris, "Beyond the Rapist: Title IX and Sexual Violence on US Campuses" (Oxford UP, 2019)

February 6th, 2020


On this episode of the New Books Network, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)--Asst. Prof. of Rhetoric and Communication at the State University of New York at Geneseo--interviews Dr. Kate Lockwood Harris (she/they)--Department …

David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe, "Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America" (UC Press, 2020)

February 5th, 2020


It seems unthinkable that citizens of one of the most powerful nations in the world must risk their lives and livelihoods in the search for access to …

T. Mose "The Playdate" (NYU Press, 2016) and L. Crehan "Cleverlands" (Random House, 2017)

February 5th, 2020


In this episode we consider vital role of play, and what it does to expand a child’s creativity and resilience.

Urban sociologist Tamara Mose is an …

Russell A. Newman, "The Paradoxes of Network Neutralities" (MIT Press, 2019)

February 3rd, 2020


Three years after the withdrawal of the Open Internet Order – then-President Barack Obama’s attempt at codifying network neutrality by prohibiting internet service providers from discriminating between content – by the …

SpearIt, “American Prisons: A Critical Primer on Culture and Conversion to Islam” (First Edition Design, 2017)

January 31st, 2020


America has the largest incarcerated population in the world. This staggering and troubling fact has driven a great deal of scholarship. Much of this …

K. Linder et al., "Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers" (Stylus Publishing, 2020)

January 30th, 2020


If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change. …

Michael Menser, "We Decide!: Theories and Cases in Participatory Democracy" (Temple UP, 2018)

January 29th, 2020


Participatory democracy calls for the creation and proliferation of practices and institutions that enable individuals and groups to better determine …

Leah Stokes, "Short Circuiting Policy: Interest Groups and the Battle Over Clean Energy" (Oxford UP, 2020)

January 28th, 2020


Why do even successful clean energy policies fail to create momentum for more renewable energy? In her new book Short Circuiting Policy: Interest …

Daniel Denvir, "All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It" (Verso, 2020)

January 27th, 2020


It is often said that with the election of Donald Trump nativism was raised from the dead. After all, here was a president who organized his campaign around a rhetoric of unvarnished racism and xenophobia. Among his …

Nancy D. Campbell, "OD: Naloxone and the Politics of Overdose" (MIT Press, 2020)

January 24th, 2020


For years, drug overdose was unmentionable in polite society. OD was understood to be something that took place in dark alleys―an ugly death awaiting …

Ian Wray, "No Little Plans: How Government Built America’s Wealth and Infrastructure" (Routledge, 2019)

January 23rd, 2020


Is planning for America anathema to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness? Is it true, as thinkers such as Friedrich Von Hayek, Milton Friedman, and Ayn Rand have claimed, that planning leads to dictatorship, that …

Nicci Gerrard, "The Last Ocean: A Journey Through Memory and Forgetting" (Penguin, 2019)

January 22nd, 2020


Dementia provokes profound moral questions about our society and the meaning of life itself. How much are we connected to one another? In what ways are we distant and separated? What does it mean to have a self? How can …

Ben Green, "The Smart Enough City: Putting Technology in its Place to Reclaim Our Urban Future" (MIT Press, 2019)

January 20th, 2020


The “smart city,” presented as the ideal, efficient, and effective for meting out services, has capture the imaginations of policymakers, scholars, …

Wendy Bottero, "A Sense of Inequality" (Roman and Littlefield, 2020)

January 20th, 2020


How should we understand inequality? In A Sense of Inequality (Roman and Littlefield, 2020), Wendy Bottero, a Reader in Sociology at the University …

Maria Dimova-Cookson, "Rethinking Positive and Negative Liberty" (Routledge, 2019)

January 20th, 2020


Maria Dimova-Cookson's new book Rethinking Positive and Negative Liberty (Routledge, 2019) offers an analysis of the distinction between positive and negative freedom building on the work of Constant, Green and Berlin. …

Rachel Louise Moran, "Governing Bodies: American Politics and the Shaping of the Modern Physique" (U Penn Press, 2018)

January 14th, 2020


How did the modern, American body come into being? According to Rachel Louise Moran this is a story to be told through the lens of the advisory …

Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, "Banned: Immigration Enforcement in the Time of Trump" (NYU Press, 2019)

December 30th, 2019


Immigration is one of the most complex issues of our time in the United States and around the world. Enforcing immigration law in the U.S. involves a …

Darius Sollohub, "Millennials in Architecture: Generations, Disruption, and the Legacy of a Profession" (U Texas Press, 2019)

December 24th, 2019


Much has been written about Millennials, but until now their growing presence in the field of architecture has not been examined in depth. In an era …

David Brooks, "The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life" (Random House, 2019)

December 18th, 2019


Colleges and universities can play a virtual role in the moral, intellectual and spiritual development of a student’s life. But there is a growing …

Taylor Pendergrass, "Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary" (Haymarket Books, 2018)

December 18th, 2019


Long-term solitary confinement meets the legal definition of torture, and yet solitary confinement is used in every state in the United States. …

Louis Hyman, "Temp: How American Work, American Business, and the American Dream became Temporary" (Viking, 2018)

December 13th, 2019


It has become a truism that work has become less secure and more precarious for a widening swath of American workers. Why and how this has happened, …

Chris Arnade, "Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America" (Sentinel, 2019)

December 11th, 2019


A lot of politicians like to say that there are “two Americas,” but do any of them know what life is really like for the marginalized poor?

We speak …

Vicky Pryce, "Women vs. Capitalism: Why We Can't Have It All in a Free Market Economy" (Hurst, 2019)

December 10th, 2019


Free market capitalism has failed women, and even the recent progress that had been made in closing the gender wage gap has leveled off in many rich democracies. Vicky Pryce helps us understand the causes of this …

Philip M. Napoli, "Social Media and the Public Interest: Media Regulation in the Disinformation Age" (Columbia UP, 2019)

December 9th, 2019


Philip M. Napoli has been thinking about algorithmic news and social media feed curation for quite some time, as he acknowledges in his new book,

Alberto Cairo, "How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information" (Norton, 2019)

December 3rd, 2019


We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We …

Paul Reville, "Broader, Bolder, Better: How Schools and Communities Help Students Overcome the Disadvantages of Poverty" (Harvard Ed Press, 2019)

November 27th, 2019


If we want children from poor families and communities to succeed in school, then we must pay attention to more than merely what happens in school. …

Amy Offner, "Sorting Out the Mixed Economy: The Rise and Fall of Welfare and Developmental States in the Americas" (Princeton UP, 2019)

November 22nd, 2019


The neoliberal 1980s of austerity and privatization may appear as a break with the past—perhaps a model of government drawn up by libertarian …

Jonathan Rothwell, "A Republic of Equals: A Manifesto for a Just Society" (Princeton UP, 2019)

November 20th, 2019


Inequality in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the past decades -- on that there is agreement. There is less agreement on the causes of that inequality, the consequences of it, and, perhaps least of all, what to …

Ruha Benjamin, "Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code" (Polity, 2019)

November 19th, 2019


From everyday apps to complex algorithms, Ruha Benjamin cuts through tech-industry hype to understand how emerging technologies can reinforce White …

Mary Anne Franks, “The Cult of the Constitution” (Stanford UP, 2019)

November 13th, 2019


We Americans are defined by our Constitution and we cherish especially the First and Second Amendments. But like all texts, the Constitution can be read to empower and protect our individual rights, but it can also be …

Bert A. Rockman and Andrew Rudalevige, "The Obama Legacy" (UP of Kansas, 2019)

November 11th, 2019


Presidency scholars Bert A. Rockman and Andrew Rudalevige have compiled an excellent array of authors and essays in their edited volume, The Obama …

Kathryn Conrad on University Press Publishing

November 3rd, 2019


As you may know, university presses publish a lot of good books. In fact, they publish thousands of them every year. They are different from most trade books in that most of them are what you might called "fundamental …

Eileen Boris, "Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1919-2019" (Oxford UP, 2019)

November 1st, 2019


Founded in 1919 along with the League of Nations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) establishes labor standards and produces knowledge about the world of work, serving as a forum for nations, unions, and …

Lynne Pettinger, "What’s Wrong with Work?" (Policy Press, 2019)

October 31st, 2019


How should we understand work? In What’s Wrong with Work? (Policy Press, 2019), Lynn Pettinger, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of …

J. Neuhaus, "Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers" (West Virginia UP, 2019)

October 24th, 2019


The things that make people academics -- as deep fascination with some arcane subject, often bordering on obsession, and a comfort with the solitude …

Steven White, "World War II and American Racial Politics: Public Opinion, the Presidency, and Civil Rights Advocacy" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

October 18th, 2019


World War II played an important role in the trajectory of race and American political development, but the War's effects were much more complex than …

Elizabeth F. Cohen and Cyril Ghosh, "Citizenship" (Polity, 2019)

October 16th, 2019


Political Theorists Elizabeth F. Cohen and Cyril Ghosh have written a sharp, concise, and complex analysis of the concept of citizenship, the …

David Farber, "Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

October 16th, 2019


A shattering account of the crack cocaine years from award-winning American historian David Farber, Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed (Cambridge University Press, 2019) tells the story of …

Wendy Brown, "In the Ruins of Neoliberalism: The Rise of Antidemocratic Politics in the West" (Columbia UP, 2019)

October 14th, 2019


Neoliberalism is one of those fuzzy words that can mean something different to everyone. Wendy Brown is one of the world’s leading scholars on …

T. L. Bunyasi and C. W. Smith, "Stay Woke: A People’s Guide to Making All Black Lives Matter" (NYU Press, 2019)

October 14th, 2019


Tehama Lopez Bunyasi and Candis Watts Smith have written an accessible and important book about the #BlackLivesMatter social movement and broader considerations of, essentially, how we got to where we are, in the United …

Lucas Richert, “Strange Trips: Science, Culture, and the Regulation of Drugs” (McGill-Queens UP, 2018)

October 11th, 2019


Strange Trips isn’t only the title of Dr. Lucas Richert’s new book; it’s also a good description of the journey substances take from the black market to the doctor’s black bag—and, sometimes, back to the black market …

Mark Winne, "Food Town USA: Seven Unlikely Cities that are Changing the Way We Eat" (Island Press, 2019)

September 12th, 2019


Cities are extremely complex institutions to understand and are continually changing. A central place to make sense of the complexities of a city is …

Harriet Washington, "A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind" (Little, Brown Spark, 2019)

September 9th, 2019


Environmental racism is visible not only as cancer clusters or the location of grocery stores. It is responsible for the reported gap in IQ scores between white Americans and Black, Latinx, and Native Americans. So …

Julilly Kohler-Hausmann, "Getting Tough: Welfare and Imprisonment in 1970s America" (Princeton UP, 2017)

August 7th, 2019


In 1970s America, politicians began "getting tough" on drugs, crime, and welfare. These campaigns helped expand the nation's penal system, discredit …

Celeste Watkins-Hayes, "Remaking a Life: How Women Living with HIV/AIDS Confront Inequality" (U California Press, 2019)

July 26th, 2019


How do women -- especially poor and low-income women with histories of childhood sexual trauma and drug addiction -- respond to and deal with an HIV/AIDS diagnosis? How do some manage to not merely rebuild their lives, …

Robert Atkinson and Michael Lind, "Big is Beautiful: Debunking the Myth of Small Business" (MIT Press, 2018)

July 19th, 2019


Small is beautiful, right? Isn't that what we've all been taught? From Jeffersonian politics to the hallowed family farm, from craft breweries to …

Anthony Ryan Hatch, "Silent Cells: The Secret Drugging of Captive America" (U Minnesota Press, 2019)

July 12th, 2019


Over the past forty years, U.S. prisons and jails have used various psychotropic drugs. In this interview, Anthony Ryan Hatch discusses the need to …

Ben Merriman, "Conservative Innovators: How States Are Challenging Federal Power" (U Chicago Press, 2019)

June 14th, 2019


Expansion of federal power has typically come with the consent of states, often eager to receive the funding tied to new policy priorities. Not so …

Clare Daniel, "Mediating Morality: The Politics of Teen Pregnancy in the Post-Welfare Era" (U Massachusetts Press, 2017)

June 11th, 2019


On this episode, Dr. Lee Pierce (she/they)--Asst. Prof. of Rhetoric and Communication at the State University of New York at Geneseo--interviews Dr. …

Alexander Garvin, "The Heart of the City: Creating Vibrant Downtowns for a New Century" (Island Press, 2019)

June 10th, 2019


Downtowns are more than economic engines: they are repositories of knowledge and culture and generators of new ideas, technology, and ventures. They …

Annalee Good, "Teachers at the Table: Voice, Agency, and Advocacy in Educational Policymaking" (Lexington Press, 2018)

June 3rd, 2019


Annalee Good, an evaluator and researcher at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, joins us in this episode to discuss her recently published book, Teachers at the Table: …

David Bissell, "Transit Life: How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities" (MIT Press, 2018)

May 20th, 2019


What kind of time do we endure on our daily commutes? What kind of space do we occupy? What new sorts of urbanites do we thereby become? In Transit Life: How Commuting Is Transforming Our Cities (MIT Press, 2018), …

J. Dyck and E. Lascher, "Initiatives without Engagement: A Realistic Appraisal of Direct Democracy’s Secondary Effects" (U Michigan Press, 2019)

May 17th, 2019


Ballot initiatives offer voters the chance to directly determine the outcome of state policy change. Do Americans who vote on initiatives grow in …

Diane Tober, "Romancing the Sperm: Shifting Biopolitics and the Making of Modern Families" (Rutgers UP, 2019)

May 15th, 2019


The development of a whole suite of new reproductive technologies in recent decades has contributed to broad cultural conversations and controversies …

David Courtwright, "The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business" (Harvard UP, 2019)

May 10th, 2019


We are living in an age of addiction, from compulsive gaming and binge eating to pornography and opioid abuse. Today I talked with historian David …

Carrie Baker, "Fighting the US Youth Sex Trade: Gender, Race, and Politics" (Cambridge UP, 2018)

May 8th, 2019


Campaigns against prostitution of young people in the United States have surged and ebbed multiple times over the last fifty years. Carrie Baker's

Jeanne Theoharis, "The Strange Careers of the Jim Crow North: Segregation and Struggle outside of the South" (NYU Press, 2019)

May 6th, 2019


In this New Books Network/Gotham Center for NYC History podcast, guest host Beth Harpaz, editor of the City University of New York website SUM, …

Jonathan Marks, "The Perils of Partnership: Industry Influence, Institutional Integrity, and Public Health" (Oxford UP, 2019)

May 2nd, 2019


It is an article of faith in many circles that the most effective and efficient way to solve a broad range of local and national problems is through …

Mollie Gerver, "The Ethics and Practice of Refugee Repatriation" (U Edinburgh Press, 2018)

May 1st, 2019


Moral and political theorists have paid a healthy amount of attention to states’ rights to determine who may reside within their territory.  …

Nancy Tomes, "Remaking the American Patient" (UNC Press, 2016)

April 25th, 2019


In a work that spans the twentieth century, Nancy Tomes questions the popular--and largely unexamined--idea that in order to get good health care, …

William Gale, "Fiscal Therapy: Curing America's Debt Addiction and Investing in the Future" (Oxford UP, 2019)

April 24th, 2019


The US government is laboring under an enormous debt burden, one that will impact the living standards of future generations of Americans by limiting investment in people and infrastructure. In his new book, Fiscal …

Christof Spieler, "Trains, Buses, People: An Opinionated Atlas of US Transit" (Island Press, 2018)

April 22nd, 2019


Christof Spieler, PE, LEED AP, is a Vice President and Director of Planning at Huitt-Zollars and a lecturer in Architecture and Engineering at Rice …

Andra Gillespie, "Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, Symbols, and Hope" (Manchester UP, 2019)

April 18th, 2019


Scholars and pundits have been busy trying to assess the legacy of President Barack Obama. Few have done so with the nuance and comparative approach …

Jamila Lee-Johnson, and Ashley Gaskew, "Critical Theory and Qualitative Data Analysis in Education" (Routledge, 2018)

April 12th, 2019


Jamila Lee-Johnson and Ashley Gaskew, doctoral students in education at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, join us in this episode to discuss …

Sally Nuamah, "How Girls Achieve" (Harvard UP, 2019)

April 11th, 2019


What does it take for all girls to achieve? What will it take to remove the seen and unseen barriers-- some a matter of policy and others cultural …

Anthony Nownes, "Organizing for Transgender Rights: Collective Action, Group Development, and the Rise of a New Social Movement" (SUNY Press, 2019)

April 9th, 2019


Hard won transgender rights have been under attack by the Trump administration. Officials across government have sought to overturn decisions made by the Obama administration to expand rights to transgender people. Who …

Allison Schrager, "An Economist Walks Into A Brothel And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk" (Portfolio, 2019)

April 9th, 2019


Whether you are a commuter weighing options of taking the bus vs walking to get you to work on time or a military general leading troops into war, risk is something we deal with every day. Even the most cautious of us …

Max Felker-Kantor, "Policing Los Angeles: Race, Resistance, and the Rise of the LAPD" (UNC Press, 2018)

April 9th, 2019


In recent years, the treatment of African Americans by police departments around the country has come under increased public scrutiny. As any student …

John Komlos, "Foundations of Real-World Economics: What Every Economics Student Needs to Know" (Routledge, 2019)

April 3rd, 2019


I met with John Komlos, an American economic historian of Hungarian descent and former holder of the Chair of Economic History at the University of …

Kevin T. Smiley, "Market Cities, People Cities: The Shape of Our Urban Future" (NYU Press, 2018)

April 2nd, 2019


Are market cities better than people cities? Does the satisfaction that residents take in their city vary from market city to people city? In Market Cities, People Cities: The Shape of Our Urban Future (NYU Press, …

Vivian Percy, "Saving Jenny: Rescuing Our Youth from America's Opioid and Suicide Epidemic" (Radius Books, 2018)

April 1st, 2019


Normal turned to PTSD and a substance abuse nightmare for Jenny the instant a taxi struck her, catapulting her twenty feet across a busy New York …

Tom Wheeler, "From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future" (Brookings, 2019)

March 27th, 2019


It's easy to get sidetracked while writing a book. But imagine being interrupted by the President of the United States. That happened to Tom Wheeler, who was in the midst of writing a history of communication networks …

I. Gould Ellen and J. Steil, "The Dream Revisited: Contemporary Debates about Housing, Segregation, and Opportunity" (Columbia UP, 2019)

March 25th, 2019


Why do people live where they do? What explains the persistence of residential segregation? Why is it complicated to address residential segregation? …

Richa Kaul Padte, "Cyber Sexy: Rethinking Pornography" (Penguin Viking, 2018)

March 19th, 2019


Parents, teachers, feminists, conservatives, lawyers, the concerned citizen – pornography raises everyone's hackles. Author Richa Kaul Padte

Discussion of Massive Online Peer Review and Open Access Publishing

March 19th, 2019


In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic. How can publishers and authors contribute to this process? …

Joseph Jarvis, "The Purple World: Healing the Harm in American Health Care" (Scrivener Books, 2018)

March 15th, 2019


American’s pay double what every other developed nation in the world pays for healthcare. Does that mean that we are the healthiest? No. In fact, we are the worst of them all. American healthcare is plagued by things …

Pat Garofalo, "The Billionaire Boondoggle: How Our Politicians Let Corporations and Bigwigs Steal Our Money and Jobs" (Thomas Dunne, 2019)

March 13th, 2019


Politicians love to woo entertainment corporations to their states and cities through subsidies and tax cities. But Pat Garofalo argues that such …

David Colander and Craig Freedman, "Where Economics Went Wrong: Chicago's Abandonment of Classical Liberalism" (Princeton UP, 2018)

March 11th, 2019


If you are reading this, you have probably run into the "Chicago" model at some point or another, in terms of public policy, orthodox modern finance, …

Darren Barany, "The New Welfare Consensus: Ideological, Political and Social Origins" (SUNY Press, 2018)

March 8th, 2019


The 1996 repeal of Aid to Families with Dependent Children -- the New Deal-era relief program for poor women with children -- was a seminal moment in the modern history of the US welfare state. That the charge was led …

Farhana Shaikh, "From Imposter to Impact: Arts Leadership in the 21st Century" (Dahlia Publishing, 2019)

March 5th, 2019


What are the characteristics of the 21st Century arts leader? In From Imposter to Impact: Arts Leadership in the 21st Century (Dahlia Publishing, 2019), Farhana Shaikh, a writer, publisher, and journalist, details …

Janis Powers, "Health Care: Meet The American Dream" (River Grove Books, 2018)

March 4th, 2019


American health care is the most expensive in the world, yet it produces some of the worst outcomes among developed nations. Many people offer unrealistic ideas or hot buzz words for how to fix it but implementing those …

David Ray Papke, "Containment and Condemnation: Law and the Oppression of the Urban Poor" (Michigan State UP, 2019)

February 15th, 2019


The law does things, writes David Ray Papke, and it says things, and if we are talking about poor Americans, especially those living in big cities, …

Nathan Holmes, "Welcome to Fear City: Crime Film, Crisis, and the Urban Imagination" (SUNY Press, 2018)

February 11th, 2019


The so-called Urban Crisis of the 1970s continues to loom large in narratives of US urban politics and history, but what can we learn about the …

Peter Hotez, "Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism: My Journey as a Vaccine Scientist, Pediatrician, and Autism Dad" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2018)

February 7th, 2019


Dr. Peter Hotez is a pediatrician-scientist who develops vaccines for neglected tropical diseases affecting the worlds poor. He is also the father of a daughter who was diagnosed with autism. The alleged link between …

Danyel Reiche, "Success and Failure of Countries at the Olympic Games" (Routedge, 2016)

February 5th, 2019


Today we are joined by Danyel Reiche, Associate Professor of Comparative Politics at the American University of Beirut, and the author of Success and …

Leigh Goodmark, "Decriminalizing Domestic Violence: A Balanced Policy Approach to Intimate Partner Violence" (U California Press, 2018)

February 4th, 2019


Thanks to the efforts of activists concerned that the problem of “battered women” was being ignored -- and treated as a private, family matter rather than a broader social problem -- since the 1980s …

Steven Attewell, "People Must Live by Work: Direct Job Creation in America, from FDR to Reagan" (U Penn Press, 2018)

January 31st, 2019


There’s lot of talk these days, at least in some circles on the left, of a Universal Basic Income. There’s also talk in many of the same circles of a jobs guarantee. Join us as we speak with Steven Attewell, author of

George R. Boyer, "The Winding Road to the Welfare State: Economic Insecurity and Social Welfare Policy in Britain" (Princeton UP, 2019)

January 28th, 2019


The creation of the postwar welfare state in Great Britain did not represent the logical progression of governmental policy over a period of …

Hidetaka Hirota, "Expelling the Poor: Atlantic Seaboard States and the Nineteenth-Century Origins of American Immigration Policy" (Oxford UP, 2018) 

January 23rd, 2019


Hidetaka Hirota is an Assistant Professor in the Institute for Advanced Study at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to his current position, he was a Mellon Research Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the …

Rodrigo Zeidan, "Economics of Global Business" (MIT Press, 2018)

January 18th, 2019


I spoke with Professor Rodrigo Zeidan of New York University, Shanghai. He has just published Economics of Global Business (MIT Press, 2018), a great …

Alexander S. Dawson, "The Peyote Effect: From the Inquisition to the War on Drugs" (U California Press, 2018)

January 17th, 2019


Peyote occupies a curious place in the United States and Mexico: though prohibited by law, its use remains permissible in both countries for ceremonial practices in certain religions. As Alexander S. Dawson reveals in

Kathleen Day, "Broken Bargain: Bankers, Bailouts, and the Struggle to Tame Wall Street" (Yale UP, 2019)

January 11th, 2019


Think that today's debates about the role of the Federal Reserve Bank, financial regulation, "too big to fail", etc. are new?  Think again. Who …

Judith Eve Lipton and David P. Barash, "Strength through Peace: How Demilitarization Led to Peace and Happiness in Costa Rica" (Oxford UP, 2019)

January 10th, 2019


Costa Rica is the only full-fledged and totally independent country to be entirely demilitarized. Its military was abolished in 1948, with the keys …

William D. Green, "The Children of Lincoln: White Paternalism and the Limits of Black Opportunity in Minnesota, 1860–1876" (U Minnesota Press, 2018)

January 8th, 2019


At a speech before the unveiling of the Freedman’s Monument in 1876, Fredrick Douglass stated, “You are the children of Abraham Lincoln. We are only …

Robert Chiles, "The Revolution of ’28: Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal" (Cornell UP, 2018)

January 7th, 2019


Traditionally Al Smith’s 1928 presidential campaign is remembered mainly for being the first time a Catholic was nominated as the candidate for a …

New Books in Political Science Year in Review: 2018

December 31st, 2018


To wrap up the year and look ahead to 2019, we talked about the books we loved. There were so many great books in 2018, that we had the chance to mention just a few. Lilly reviewed her interview with Elizabeth Cohen …

Ashley Jardina, "White Identity Politics" (Cambridge UP, 2019)

December 27th, 2018


One of the themes of the era of Donald Trump is whiteness and white identity. From his first steps into the public eye, Trump used race to frame his positions and relevance. His presidency has been no different.

White …

George Lakey, "How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning" (Melville House, 2018)

December 26th, 2018


“One-off” protests don’t change the world; sustained direct action campaigns do. That’s one of the many insights from George Lakey in his new book,

Laura McEnaney, "Postwar: Waging Peace in Chicago" (U Pennsylvania Press, 2018)

December 24th, 2018


When World War II ended, Americans celebrated a military victory abroad, but the meaning of peace at home was yet to be defined. From roughly 1943 onward, building a postwar society became the new national project, and …

Joshua Eyler, "How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching" (West Virginia UP, 2018)

December 12th, 2018


What is learning? There is a robust body of literature that seeks to tell us what the most effective classroom techniques and strategies are, but Joshua Eyler goes further. In his new book How Humans Learn: The Science …

McKenzie Wark, "General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century" (Verso, 2017)

December 6th, 2018


McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention. The chapters of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century (Verso, …

Rob Reich, "Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Can Do Better" (Princeton UP, 2018)

December 5th, 2018


How political are private foundations? Are they good or bad for democracy? Such are the big questions taken up by Rob Reich in his new book Just …

Amanda H. Lynch and Siri Veland, "Urgency in the Anthropocene" (MIT Press, 2018)

December 3rd, 2018


Amanda Lynch and Siri Veland’s Urgency in the Anthropocene(MIT Press, 2018) is a fascinating and trenchant analysis of the core beliefs and ideas …

Oli Mould, "Against Creativity" (Verso, 2018)

November 28th, 2018


Can every aspect of society be 'creative'? In Against Creativity (Verso, 2018), Oli Mould, a lecturer in geography at Royal Holloway, University of …

Keisha Lindsay, "In a Classroom of Their Own: The Intersection of Race and Feminist Politics in All-Black Male Schools" (U Illinois Press, 2018)

November 28th, 2018


According to most experts, boys have more trouble in schools than girls. Further, African-American boys have even more trouble than, say, white boys. …

Sohini Kar, "Financializing Poverty: Labor and Risk in Indian Microfinance" (Stanford UP, 2018)

November 28th, 2018


Is microfinance the magic bullet that will end global poverty or is it yet another a form of predatory lending to the poor? In her new book

Julie L. Rose, “Free Time” (Princeton UP, 2018)

November 26th, 2018


Though early American labor organizers agitated for the eight-hour workday on the grounds that they were entitled to “eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, and eight hours for what we will,” free time as a …

Randy Shaw, “Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the New Urban America?” (U California Press, 2018)

November 21st, 2018


Why is housing so expensive in so many cities, and what can be done about it? Join us as we speak with long-time San Francisco housing activist Randy Shaw about his book Generation Priced Out: Who Gets to Live in the …

Bryan Caplan, “The Case against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money” (Princeton UP, 2018)

November 20th, 2018


Pretty much everyone knows that the American healthcare system is, well, very inefficient. We don’t, so critics say, get as much healthcare bang for …

James M. Turner and Andrew C. Isenberg, “The Republican Reversal: Conservatives and the Environment from Nixon to Trump” (Harvard UP, 2018)

November 20th, 2018


It wasn’t always this way. From the Theodore Roosevelt’s leadership on natural resource conservation to Richard Nixon’s creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and Ronald Reagan’s singing of the Montreal …

Andrew C. A. Elliott, “Is That a Big Number?” (Oxford UP, 2018)

November 9th, 2018


Andrew C. A. Elliott‘s Is That a Big Number? (Oxford University Press, 2018) is a book that those of us who feast on numbers will absolutely adore, …

Andrew L. Yarrow, “Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life” (Brookings Institution Press, 2018)

November 9th, 2018


In the era of #MeToo, Brett Kavanaugh, and Donald Trump, masculinity and the harmful effects that follow certain versions of masculinity have become …

Kristina C. Miler, “Poor Representation: Congress and the Politics of Poverty in the United States” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

November 6th, 2018


It’s been an article of faith among scholars and activists alike that poor Americans are ignored in national politics. But what if that conventional …

Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro, “Cents and Sensibility: What Economics Can Learn from the Humanities” (Princeton UP, 2017)

November 2nd, 2018


The vast chasm between classical economics and the humanities is widely known and accepted. They are profoundly different disciplines with little to say to one another. Such is the accepted wisdom. Fortunately, …

J. Obert, A. Poe, A. Sarat, eds., “The Lives of Guns” (Oxford UP, 2018)

November 1st, 2018


What if guns “are not merely carriers of action, but also actors themselves?” That’s the question that animates and unites Jonathan Obert‘s and

Adam Reich and Peter Bearman, “Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart” (Columbia UP, 2018)

October 29th, 2018


When we hear about the “future of work” today we tend to think about different forms of automation and artificial intelligence—technological …

Pamela Woolner, ed., “School Design Together” (Routledge, 2014)

October 29th, 2018


Pamela Woolner, senior lecturer in education at Newcastle University, joins us in this episode to discuss her edited volume, School Design Together

Chloe Thurston, “At the Boundaries of Homeownership: Credit, Discrimination, and the American State” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

October 24th, 2018


Earlier this year, we heard from Suzanne Mettler and her book on the politics of policies hidden from view. Mettler explained that most Americans are …

Stella M. Rouse and Ashley D. Ross, “The Politics of Millennials: Political Beliefs and Policy Preferences of America’s Most Diverse Generation” (U Michigan Press, 2018)

October 22nd, 2018


The Millenial generation, those born between the early 1980s and late 1990s, are the most racially and ethnically diverse generation in US history. …

Charlotte Greenhalgh, “Aging in Twentieth-Century Britain” (U California Press, 2018)

October 9th, 2018


What role did elderly Britons have in shaping the twentieth-century welfare state? In her new book, Aging in Twentieth-Century Britain (University of …

Candice Delmas, “A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil” (Oxford UP, 2018)

October 1st, 2018


According to a long tradition in political philosophy, there are certain conditions under which citizens may rightly disobey a law enacted by a …

Nicholas Carnes, “The Cash Ceiling: Why Only the Rich Run for Office and What We Can Do About It” (Princeton UP, 2018)

September 28th, 2018


In 2018, much attention has been drawn to candidates like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Randy Bryce: candidates for Congress who’ve made a living doing working class jobs. They are unusual because Congressional …

Ken Ilguas, “This Land is Our Land: How We Lost the Right to Roam and How to Take It Back” (Plume, 2018)

September 25th, 2018


Author, journalist and sometime park ranger Ken Ilgunas has written an argument in favor a “right to roam.”  This concept, unfamiliar to most Americans, is one of an ability to traverse public and private property for …

Joshua Sharfstein, “The Public Health Crisis Survival Guide: Leadership and Management in Trying Times” (Oxford UP, 2018)

September 21st, 2018


Dr. Joshua Sharfstein has learned a lot as from his years of experience as a public health leader. He has dealt with everything from a rabid raccoon, …

Alyshia Gálvez, “Eating NAFTA: Trade, Food Policies, and the Destruction of Mexico” (U. California Press, 2018)

September 19th, 2018


The North American Free Trade Agreement—or NAFTA, as we Americans call it—is very much in the news of late, primarily because President Trump has decided to make good on what he famously called “the single worst trade …

J. Lester, C. Lochmiller, and R. Gabriel, “Discursive Perspectives on Education Policy and Implementation” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)

September 13th, 2018


The study of education policy is a scholarly field that sheds light on important debates and controversies revolving around education policy and its …

Spencer Piston, “Class Attitudes in American Politics: Sympathy for the Poor, Resentment of the Rich, and Political Implications” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

September 12th, 2018


It has long been a truism that Americans’ disdain for poor people–our collective sense that if they only worked harder or behaved more responsibly …

Michelle Perro and Vincanne Adams, “What’s Making Our Children Sick?” (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2017)

August 23rd, 2018


Pediatrician and integrative medicine practitioner Michelle Perro, MD, has been treating an increasing number of children with complex chronic illnesses that do not fit into our usual diagnostic boxes. She has spent …

Devin Fergus, “Land of the Fee: Hidden Costs and the Decline of the American Middle Class” (Oxford UP, 2018)

August 23rd, 2018


Politicians, economists, and the media have put forth no shortage of explanations for the mounting problem of wealth inequality – a loss of working …

Richard S. Hopkins, “Planning the Greenspaces of Nineteenth-Century Paris” (LSU Press, 2015)

August 22nd, 2018


Beginning in the mid-1800s, Paris experienced an unprecedented growth in the development of parks, squares, and gardens. This greenspace was part of …

Ana Raquel Minian, “Undocumented Lives: The Untold Story of Mexican Migration” (Harvard UP, 2018)

August 22nd, 2018


In the 1970s, the Mexican government acted to alleviate rural unemployment by supporting the migration of able-bodied men. Millions crossed into the …

Beth Macy, “Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America” (Little, Brown & Company, 2018)

August 21st, 2018


“Appalachia was among the first places where the malaise of opioid pills hit the nation in the mid-1990s, ensnaring coal miners, loggers, furniture makers, and their kids.” This is how journalist Beth Macy premises her …

Paul Offit, “Bad Advice: Or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren’t Your Best Source of Health Information” (Columbia UP, 2018)

August 17th, 2018


You should never trust celebrities, politicians, or activists for health information. Why? Because they are not scientists! Scientists often cannot …

Matthew T. Hora, “Beyond the Skills Gap: Preparing College Students for Life and Work” (Harvard Education Press, 2016)

August 17th, 2018


How can educators ensure that young people who attain a postsecondary credential are adequately prepared for the future? Matthew T. Hora and his co-authors, Ross Benbow and Amanda Oleson, explain that the answer is not …

Julie A. Cohn, “The Grid: Biography of an American Technology” (MIT Press, 2017)

August 15th, 2018


Though usually a background concern, the aging U.S. electric grid has lately been on the minds of both legislators and consumers. Congress wants to …

Jacob Levine, “Cannabis Discourse: Facts and Opinions in Context” (Jacob Levine, 2018)

August 13th, 2018


What is the landscape of our cannabis knowledge? In his new book Jacob Levine author of the Cannabis Discourse: Facts and Opinions in Context (Jacob Levine, 2018) gives readers an overview of the perceptions, opinions, …

Timothy J. Lombardo, “Blue-Collar Conservatism: Frank Rizzo’s Philadelphia and Populist Politics” (U Pennsylvania Press, 2018)

August 10th, 2018


President Donald Trump is not sui generis. Populist impulses and political actors have been pulsating in the American soul since the nation’s …

Suzanne Mettler, “The Government-Citizen Disconnect” (Russell Sage Foundation Press, 2018)

August 9th, 2018


One of the paradoxes of US politics today is the widely dispersed benefits, but overall distrust, of government. Citizens enjoy many types of social …

Annie Lowrey, “Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income Would End Poverty, Revolutionize Work, and Remake the World” (Crown, 2018)

August 8th, 2018


How can we end the scourge of poverty? How we can sustain ourselves once robots eliminate the need for many jobs? Annie Lowrey offers an answer in the title of her book, Give People Money: How a Universal Basic Income …

Robert N. Gross, “Public vs. Private: The Early History of School Choice in America” (Oxford UP, 2018)

August 6th, 2018


There are numerous political debates about education policy today, but some of the most heated surround vouchers, charter schools, and other …

Katherine Benton-Cohen, “Inventing the Immigration Problem: The Dillingham Commission and Its Legacy” (Harvard UP, 2018)

July 30th, 2018


In 1907 the U.S. Congress created a joint commission to investigate what many Americans saw as a national crisis: an unprecedented number of immigrants flowing into the United States. Experts—women and men trained in …

Edward Khantzian, “Treating Addiction: Beyond the Pain” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2018)

July 23rd, 2018


Treatment of addiction often focuses on abstinence or ‘harm reduction.’ While many people benefit greatly from such approaches, the underlying pain …

David Peter Stroh, “Systems Thinking For Social Change” (Chelsea Green, 2015)

July 20th, 2018


While Systems Thinking has enjoyed an increasing amount of societal influence through work of such practitioner/authors as Peter Senge, it is also …

Eric Winsberg, “Philosophy and Climate Science” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

July 16th, 2018


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that there is a warming trend in the global climate that is attributable to human activity, with an expected increase in global temperature (given current …

Warren Treadgold, “The University We Need: Reforming American Higher Education” (Encounter Books, 2018)

July 6th, 2018


Though many Americans, Republicans especially, regard universities as heavily disposed to the political left, few people understand how much this …

Frank R. Baumgartner, “Suspect Citizens: What 20 Million Traffic Stops Tell Us about Policing and Race” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

July 4th, 2018


We recently marked the 50th Anniversary of Terry vs. Ohio, the US Supreme Court case that dramatically expanded the scope under which agents of the …

Linda Ross Meyer, “Sentencing in Time” (Amherst College Press, 2017)

July 3rd, 2018


If you look at the history of punishment (at least in the West), what you’ll see is that we’ve gone from a penal regime that used (inter alia) …

Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey, “Waste of a Nation: Growth and Garbage in India” (Harvard UP, 2018)

June 29th, 2018


Is India facing a waste crisis? As its population, cities and consumption grow what are the implications for the health, well being and everyday …

Adam Tanner, “Our Bodies, Our Data: How Companies Make Billions Selling Our Medical Records” (Beacon Press, 2017)

June 28th, 2018


Personal health information often seems locked-down: protected by patient privacy laws, encased in electronic record systems (EHRs) and difficult to …

Amanda Huron, “Carving Out the Commons: Tenant Organizing and Housing Cooperatives in Washington, D.C.” (University of Minnesota Press, 2018)

June 21st, 2018


Is modern capitalism too far advanced in the U.S. to create common property regimes? Are there models for what an Urban Commons might look like? Join us as we speak with Amanda Huron, author of Carving Out the Commons: …

Gordon C. C. Douglas, “The Help-Yourself City: Legitimacy and Inequality in DIY Urbanism” (Oxford UP, 2018)

June 20th, 2018


The built environment around us seems almost natural, as in beyond our control to alter or shape. Indeed, we have reached a point in history when …

Ben Clift, “The IMF and the Politics of Austerity in the Wake of the Global Financial Crisis by Ben Clift” (Oxford UP, 2018)

June 15th, 2018


I was joined in Oxford by Ben Clift, Professor of Political Economy, Deputy Head of Department and Director of Research at the Department of Politics …

Stephen Klasko, “Bless This Mess: A Picture Story of Healthcare in America” (Lulu Publishing, 2018)

June 15th, 2018


Our neighbors on other planets look with puzzlement at the United States, located on the beautiful planet Earth. Despite amazing knowledge, …

Steven Lubar, “Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present” (Harvard UP, 2017)

June 13th, 2018


In Steven Lubar’s latest book Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present (Harvard University Press, 2017), Steven gets to the heart of what makes museums so interesting to both appreciate and critique. For him, …

Yasemin Besen-Cassino, “The Cost of Being a Girl: Working Teens and the Origins of the Gender Wage Gap” (Temple UP, 2017)

June 11th, 2018


With the rise of the #MeToo movement following dozens of high-profile cases of sexual harassment and assault by professional men against women …

Patrick Lopez-Aguado, “Stick Together and Come Back Home: Racial Sorting and the Spillover of Carceral Identity” (U California Press)

May 31st, 2018


How do systems of incarceration influence racial sorting inside and outside of prisons? And how do the social structures within prisons spill out into neighborhoods? In his new book, Stick Together and Come Back Home: …

David Faris, “It’s Time to Fight Dirty: How Democrats Can Build a Lasting Majority in American Politics” (Melville House, 2018)

May 30th, 2018


Roosevelt University political science professor David Faris counsels Democrats to disregard procedural precedents and niceties, and pugnaciously …

Matthew R. Pembleton, “Containing Addiction: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Origins of America’s Global Drug Wars” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017

May 25th, 2018


It’s common to place the start of the War on Drugs with the Nixon or Reagan Administrations, but as Matthew Pembleton tells us, those are only phases …

Ethan J. Kytle and Blain Roberts, “Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy” (The New Press, 2018)

May 22nd, 2018


A book that strikes at the source of the recent flare-ups over Confederate symbols in Charlottesville, New Orleans, and elsewhere, Ethan J. Kytle and

Jon D. Michaels, “Constitutional Coup: Privatization’s Threat to the American Republic” (Harvard UP, 2017)

May 17th, 2018


Jon D. Michaels, a professor of law at UCLA Law School, has written an argument in favor of the administrative state and against recent efforts to …

Stephen Riley, “Human Dignity and Law: Legal and Philosophical Investigations” (Routledge, 2018)

May 10th, 2018


Stephen Riley, a lecturer in the Law School of the University of Leicester in Britain, has written a philosophical work examining the concept of …

Laura Spinney, “Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World” (PublicAffairs, 2017)

May 9th, 2018


The Spanish flu of 1918-1920 was one of the greatest human disasters of all time. It infected a third of the people on Earth–from the poorest immigrants of New York City to the king of Spain, Franz Kafka, Mahatma Gandhi …

John J. Pitney, “The Politics of Autism: Navigating the Contested Spectrum” (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015)

May 8th, 2018


Autism as a condition has received much focused attention recently, but less attention has been paid to its politics. It is a condition that …

B.J. Mendelson, “Privacy: And How to Get It Back” (Curious Reads, 2017)

May 3rd, 2018


The use of our data and the privacy, or lack thereof, that we have when we go online has become a topic of increasing importance as technology …

Christy Ford Chapin, “Ensuring America’s Health: The Public Creation of the Corporate Health Care System” (Cambridge UP, 2015)

May 2nd, 2018


Christy Ford Chapin, an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has written a history of the funding of …

Aimi Hamraie, “Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability” (U Minnesota Press, 2017)

April 25th, 2018


The Americans with Disability Act passed in 1990, but it was just one moment in ongoing efforts to craft the meaning and practice of “good design” that put people with disabilities at the center. In their new book,

Greg Berman and Julian Adler, “Start Here: A Roadmap to Reducing Mass Incarceration” (The New Press, 2018)

April 23rd, 2018


The United States leads the world in incarceration. That’s a problem, especially the disproportionate impact of “mass incarceration” on low-income …

Samuel Harrington, “At Peace: Choosing a Good Death After a Long Life” (Grand Central Life & Style, 2018)

April 20th, 2018


Most people say they would like to die quietly at home. But overly aggressive medical advice, coupled with an unrealistic sense of invincibility or …

Jonathan Engel, “Unaffordable: American Healthcare from Johnson to Trump” (U Wisconsin Press, 2018)

April 19th, 2018


Earlier this year, Jamila Michener visited the podcast to talk about her new book, Fragmented Democracy, about Medicaid and the state-based structure …

John Krinsky and Maud Simonet, “Who Cleans the Park? Public Works and Urban Governance in New York City” (U Chicago Press, 2017)

April 18th, 2018


It is possible that you did not know that you need a comprehensive labor market analysis of the New York City Parks Department, but John Krinsky and Maud Simonet, in their new book, Who Cleans the Park? Public Works and …

Alexandra Cox, “Trapped in a Vice: The Consequences of Confinement for Young People” (Rutgers UP, 2018)

April 16th, 2018


How does the juvenile justice system impact the lives of the young people that go through it? In her new book, Trapped in a Vice: The Consequences of Confinement for Young People (Rutgers University Press, 2018),

Alison B. Hirsch, “City Choreographer: Lawrence Halprin in Urban Renewal America” (U Minnesota Press, 2014)

April 16th, 2018


Lawrence Halprin, one of the central figures in twentieth-century American landscape architecture, is well known to city-watchers for his work on San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square, Seattle’s Freeway Park, downtown …

Anna Zeide, “Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry” (U California Press, 2018)

April 16th, 2018


Most everything Americans eat today comes out of cans. Some of it emerges from the iconic steel cylinders and much of the rest from the mammoth processed food empire the canning industry pioneered. Historian Anna Zeide, …

Halee Fischer-Wright, “Back to Balance: The Art, Science, and Business of Medicine” (Disruption Books, 2017)

April 5th, 2018


In this highly engaging, thoroughly persuasive book, Dr. Halee Fischer-Wright presents a unique prescription for fixing America’s health care woes, based on her thirty years of experience as a physician and industry …

David Pilling, “The Growth Delusion: Wealth, Poverty, and the Well-Being of Nations” (Bloomsbury, 2018)

April 4th, 2018


What’s not to like about economic growth, you might ask? Well, quite a lot, it turns out, once we begin to examine how GDP and other measures of the economy are constructed, and once we see what they leave out (and …

Martijn Konings, “Capital and Time: For a New Critique of Neoliberal Reason” (Stanford UP, 2018)

March 28th, 2018


Today I was joined by Martijn Konings from Australia where he is Associate Professor of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. We had a …

Joshua Zeitz, “Building the Great Society: Inside Lyndon Johnson’s White House” (Viking, 2018)

March 28th, 2018


How did President Lyndon Johnson engineer one of the biggest bursts of liberal legislation in American history? And did his vision of a Great Society …

Robert Pearl, “Mistreated: Why We Think Were Getting Good Health Care and Why We’re Usually Wrong” (PublicAffairs, 2017)

March 27th, 2018


The biggest problem in American health care is us.

Do you know how to tell good health care from bad health care? Guess again. As patients, we wrongly assume the best care is dependent mainly on the newest medications, …

Domingo Morel, “Takeover: Race, Education, and American Democracy” (Oxford UP, 2018)

March 21st, 2018


When the state takes over, can local democracy survive? Over 100 school districts have been taken over by state governments since the late 1980s. In …

Jesse Rhodes, “Ballot Blocked: The Political Erosion of the Voting Rights Act” (Stanford UP, 2017)

March 19th, 2018


Voting rights are always in the news in American politics, and recent court decisions and an upcoming election in 2018 make this especially true …

Jonathan D. Quick, “The End of Epidemics: The Looming Threat to Humanity and How to Stop It” (St. Martin’s Press, 2018)

March 16th, 2018


A leading doctor offers answers on the one of the most urgent questions of our time: How do we prevent the next global pandemic?

The 2014 Ebola …

Jamila Michener, “Fragmented Democracy: Medicaid, Federalism, and Unequal Politics” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

March 12th, 2018


Medicaid provides health care for around 1 in 5 Americans. Despite the large number served, the programs administration by state and local governments means very different things in different places. The geography of …

Hans Hassell, “The Party’s Primary: Control of Congressional Nominations” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

March 5th, 2018


When first enacted at the start of the twentieth century, primaries were to decrease the power of party bosses to dominate the choice of who ran for office. Primaries were a feature of the progressive agenda to limit …

Betsy DiSalvo, et al., “Participatory Design for Learning: Perspectives from Practice and Research” (Routledge, 2017)

March 1st, 2018


Betsy DiSalvo, assistant professor in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology, joins us in this episode to discuss the …

Christopher Witko and William Franko, “The New Economic Populism: How States Respond to Economic Inequality” (Oxford UP, 2017)

February 26th, 2018


In the last few weeks, minimum wage workers in 18 states saw their wages go up; in Maine a full dollar increase. Why states have taken the lead on …

Jerry Flores, “Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wrap-Around Incarceration” (U California Press, 2016)

February 23rd, 2018


What are the lives of young incarcerated Latinas like? And what were their lives like before and after their incarceration? In his new book, Caught Up: Girls, Surveillance, and Wrap-Around Incarceration (University of …

Daphna Hacker, “Legalized Families in the Era of Bordered Globalization” (Cambridge UP, 2017)

February 23rd, 2018


As debates on globalization rage in the twenty-first century, many countries and the people within them have been challenged socially, economically, and legally. At the same time, our world is now more bordered …

Douglas Hartman, “Midnight Basketball: Race, Sports, and Neoliberal Social Policy” (U Chicago Press, 2016)

February 12th, 2018


The concept of late-night basketball gained prominence in the late 1980s when G. Van Standifer founded Midnight Basketball League as a vehicle upon which citizens, businesses, and institutions can stand together to …

J. Mark Souther, “Believing in Cleveland: Managing Decline in ‘The Best Location in the Nation'” (Temple UP, 2017)

February 9th, 2018


Like many cities, Cleveland has gone through periods of decline and renewal, yet the process there has followed a process where these periods were …

Claire Schmidt, “If You Don’t Laugh, You’ll Cry: The Occupational Humor of White Wisconsin Prison Workers” (U Wisconsin Press, 2017)

February 8th, 2018


Claire Schmidt is not a prison worker, rather she is a folklorist and an Assistant Professor at Missouri Valley College. However, many members of her …

Kim Yi Dionne, “Doomed Interventions: The Failure of Global Responses to AIDS in Africa” (Cambridge UP, 2018)

February 6th, 2018


AIDS is one of the primary causes of death in Africa. Of the more than 24 million Africans infected with HIV, only about 54% have access to the treatment that they need. Despite the progress made in mitigating this …

Andrew Keen, “How To Fix The Future” (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2018)

February 6th, 2018


As a historian I find myself constantly asking the question “Is that really new, or is it rather something that looks new but isn’t?” If you read the …

Franklin Obeng-Odoom, “Reconstructing Urban Economics: Towards a Political Economy of the Built Environment” (Zed Books, 2016)

January 31st, 2018


In this interview, Carlo D’Ippoliti and Andrea Bernardi interview Franklin Obeng-Odoom who teaches urban economics and political economy in the …

Zoe Wool, “After War: The Weight of Life at Walter Reed” (Duke UP, 2015)

January 29th, 2018


Zoe Wool‘s ethnography of rehabilitation After War: The Weight of Life at Walter Reed (Duke University Press, 2015) describes how soldiers injured in …

Samuel Totten, “Sudan’s Nuba Mountains People Under Siege” (McFarland, 2017)

January 24th, 2018


This podcast is usually devoted to book written about the past. The authors may be historians, or political scientists, or anthropologists, or even a …

Chris Zepeda-Millan, “Latino Mass Mobilization: Immigration, Racialization, and Activism” (Cambridge UP, 2017)

January 22nd, 2018


Prior to the wave of protests in 2017 supporting immigrants in the US, there were the protests of 2006. That spring, millions of Latinos and other immigrants across the country opposed Congressional action hostile to …

Alexandra Dellios, “Histories of Controversy: Bonegilla Migrant Centre” (Melbourne UP, 2017)

January 19th, 2018


In her new book, Histories of Controversy: Bonegilla Migrant Centre (Melbourne University Publishing, 2017), Alexandra Dellios, a Lecturer in Heritage Studies at the Australian National University, provides a critical …

Brian McCammack, “Landscapes of Hope: Nature and the Great Migration in Chicago” (Harvard UP, 2017)

January 11th, 2018


What can we learn about African American life between the world wars if we center our attention on the parks and pleasuring grounds of the urban …

Malcolm Harris, “Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials” (Little, Brown and Co, 2017)

January 11th, 2018


Every young generation inspires a host of comparisons—usually negative ones—with older generations. Whether preceding a criticism or punctuating one, …

Seth Barrett Tillman on the Foreign Emoluments Clause and President Trump

January 10th, 2018


Seth Barrett Tillman, an instructor in the Department of Law at Maynooth University in Ireland, is one of the few scholars to have researched and …

Alice Echols, “Shortfall: Family Secrets, Financial Collapse and a Hidden History of American Banking” (New Press, 2017)

January 1st, 2018


Alice Echols is a professor of history and the Barbra Streisand Chair of Contemporary Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. In her …

Chelsea Schelly, “Dwelling in Resistance: Living with Alternative Technologies in America” (Rutgers UP, 2017)

December 28th, 2017


Technology is a form of material culture and is a human activity. The way in which humans view technology is a social construction in which people …

New Books in Political Science Year-End Round Up, 2017

December 25th, 2017


We end the year by remembering our favorite authors, books, and some of the titles. There were so many great books written this year that we had the fun of reading and talking to a few of the authors. Weve both been …

Frank Baumgartner, et al., “Deadly Justice: A Statistical Portrait of the Death Penalty” (Oxford UP, 2017)

December 22nd, 2017


In 1976, the US Supreme Court ruled in Gregg v. Georgia that the death penalty was constitutional if it complied with certain provisions designed to …

Melanee Thomas and Amanda Bittner, eds. “Mothers and Others: The Role of Parenthood in Politics” (UBC Press, 2017)

December 18th, 2017


Melanee Thomas and Amanda Bittner have assembled a fascinating and important exploration of the role, understanding, and perceptions of mothers and …

Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider, “The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty” (Princeton UP, 2017)

November 21st, 2017


Volatility. Instability. Insecurity. Precarity. There’s a burgeoning lexicon seeking to capture the grim economic state of more and more Americans. …

Jennifer Randles, “Proposing Prosperity? Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America” (Columbia UP, 2016)

November 14th, 2017


“Marriage is the foundation of a successful society,” proclaimed the Clinton-era welfare reform bill. Since then, national and state governments have …

Sandra F. Sperino and Suja A. Thomas, “Unequal: How American Courts Undermine Discrimination Law” (Oxford University Press, 2017

November 6th, 2017


The recent spate of revelations about high-profile sexual predators who have been harassing and assaulting women, sometimes for decades, along with …

Bryant Simon, “The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government, and Cheap Lives” (The New Press, 2017)

October 6th, 2017


On September 3, 1991, a fire erupted at the Imperial Foods factory in the small town of Hamlet, North Carolina. Twenty-five people died behind the …

Alfred Moore, “Critical Elitism: Deliberation, Democracy, and the Problem of Expertise” (Cambridge UP, 2017)

October 1st, 2017


According to a challenge going back to Plato, democracy is unacceptable as a mode of political organization, because it distributes political power …

Heath Fogg Davis, “Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter?” (NYU Press, 2017)

September 27th, 2017


Why do we have sex-segregated restrooms? Are they necessary? What about your drivers license? Have you thought of why your designated sex category is listed, despite your picture and all other relevant information …

Allison Perlman, “Public Interests: Media Advocacy and Struggles Over U.S. Television” (Rutgers UP, 2016)

September 11th, 2017


Since its infancy, television has played an important role in shaping U.S. values and the American sense of self. Social activists recognized this …

Justin Gest, “The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality” (Oxford UP, 2016)

July 28th, 2017


In our era of economic instability, rising inequality, and widespread immigration, complaints about fairness and life chances are coming from an interesting source: white people, specifically members of the working …

Claire D. Clark, “The Recovery Revolution” (Columbia UP, 2017)

July 28th, 2017


Before the 1960s, doctors were generally in control of the treatment of drug addicts. And that made a certain sense, because drug addicts had …

Victor Tan Chen, “Cut Loose: Jobless and Hopeless in an Unfair Economy” (U. California Press, 2015)

July 24th, 2017


We are nearly a decade removed from the start of the Great Recession, and many indicators show that the economy is doing relatively well. But during this economic catastrophe, a significant number of people faced …

Melvin R. Adams, “Atomic Geography: A Personal History of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation” (Washington State University Press, 2016)

July 10th, 2017


In May, a tunnel filled with radioactive waste collapsed at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, making international news. This …

Daniel P. Keating, “Born Anxious: The Lifelong Impact of Early Life Adversity” (St. Martin’s Press, 2017)

July 3rd, 2017


Anxiety has become a social epidemic. People feel anxious all the time about nearly everything: their work, families, and even survival. However, research shows that some of us are more prone to chronic anxiety than …

Jordan Lacey, “Sonic Rupture: A Practice-led Approach to Urban Soundscape Design” (Bloomsbury, 2016)

June 15th, 2017


Sonic Rupture: A Practice-led Approach to Urban Soundscape Design (Bloomsbury 2016) by Jordan Lacey offers a practice-led alternative approach to urban soundscape design. Rather than understanding the functional noises …

Tom Adam Davies, “Mainstreaming Black Power” (U. Cal Press, 2017)

June 14th, 2017


What is Black Power? Does it still exist in the so-called post-racial 21st Century? How does Black Power relate to similar movements, like Black …

Christopher Mele, “Race and the Politics of Deception: The Making of an American City” (NYU Press, 2017)

May 27th, 2017


Urban sociologists typically use a few grand narratives to explain the path of the American city through the twentieth century and into the …

Lee Trepanier, ed. “Why the Humanities Matter Today: In Defense of Liberal Education” (Lexington Books, 2017)

May 26th, 2017


Lee Trepanier, Professor of Political Science at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, edited this important analysis of why the humanities …

David Garland, “The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction” (Oxford UP, 2016)

May 15th, 2017


What is a welfare state? What is it for? Does the U.S. have one? Does it work at cross-purposes to a free-market economy or is it, in fact, essential to the functioning of modern, post-industrial societies? Join us as …

Stafanie Deluca, “Coming of Age in the Other America” (Russell Sage Foundation, 2016)

April 26th, 2017


Do you think that what poor people most need to escape poverty is grit? Join us as we speak with Stefanie Deluca, co-author, along with Susan …

Rosemary Corbett, “Making Moderate Islam: Sufism, Service, and the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Controversy” (Stanford UP, 2016)

April 23rd, 2017


Among the most powerful and equally insidious aspects of the new global politics of religion is the discourse of religious moderation that seeks to …

John Hudak, “Marijuana: A Short History” (Brookings, 2016)

April 15th, 2017


John Hudak‘s book Marijuana: A Short History (Brookings Institutions Press, 2016) is an accessible and informative dive into marijuana on a number of levels and from a variety of perspectives. Hudak unpacks and explains …

Benjamin Hale, “The Wild and the Wicked: On Nature and Human Nature” (MIT Press, 2016)

April 15th, 2017


Many environmentalists approach the problem of motivating environmentally friendly behavior from the perspective that nature is good and that we ought to act so as to maximize the good environmental consequences of our …

Eugene Raikhel, “Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet Clinic” (Cornell UP, 2016)

April 11th, 2017


Alcoholism is a strange thing. That it exists, no one seriously doubts. But it’s not entirely clear (diagnostically speaking) what it is, who has it, …

Michael Diamond, “Discovering Organizational Identity: Dynamics of Relational Attachment” (U. of Missouri, 2016)

April 10th, 2017


Psychological and psychoanalytic principles are often associated with individuals and therapist-client pairs, though they have plenty to bear on …

Michael A. McCarthy, “Dismantling Solidarity: Capitalist Politics and American Pensions since the New Deal” (Cornell UP, 2017)

April 7th, 2017


Over half of Americans approaching retirement age report having no money saved for retirement, but how did we get here as a nation? In his book,

Cristina Bicchieri, “Norms in the Wild: How to Diagnose, Measure, and Change Social Norms” (Oxford UP, 2017)

April 1st, 2017


Humans engage in a wide variety of collective behaviors, ranging from simple customs like wearing a heavy coat in winter to more complex group …

Michaela DeSoucey, “Contested Tastes: Foie Gras and the Politics of Food” (Princeton UP, 2016)

March 25th, 2017


A heritage food in France, and a high-priced obscurity in the United States. But in both countries, foie gras, the specially fattened liver of a duck or goose, has the power to stir a remarkable array of emotions and …

Pat Farenga on John Holt’s “Freedom and Beyond” (HoltGWS LLC, 2017)

March 21st, 2017


In this episode, I speak with Pat Farenga about the new edition of John Holt’s Freedom and Beyond (HoltGWS LLC, 2017). This book offers a broad …

Daniel Immerwahr, “Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development” (Harvard UP, 2015)

March 17th, 2017


Modernization dominates development’s historiography. Historians characterize moments in development’s history–from the Tennessee Valley Authority to US-led “nation-building”in the Third World–as high-modernist attempts …

Joan Maya Mazelis, “Surviving Poverty: Creating Sustainable Ties among the Poor” (NYU Press, 2017)

March 16th, 2017


A number of recent events (the Great Recession, Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign) have brought inequality and poverty into national conversation. In an age of economic uncertainty and a …

Travis Linnemann, “Meth Wars: Police, Media, Power” (NYU Press, 2016)

March 15th, 2017


If all you knew about methamphetamines came from popular culture (“Breaking Bad”) or government anti-drug campaigns (“Faces of Meth”), then you’d …

Randy Stoecker, “Liberating Service Learning and the Rest of Higher Education Civic Engagement” (Temple UP, 2016)

March 3rd, 2017


It’s common for colleges in the U.S. to have service learning programs of one kind or another. These are sometimes criticized as being liberal or …

Tressie McMillan Cottom, “Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy” (The New Press, 2017)

February 27th, 2017


How might we account for the rapid rise of for-profit educational institutions over the past few decades, who are the students who attend them, how …

Amy Brown, “A Good Investment? Philanthropy and the Marketing of Race in an Urban Public School (U. Minnesota Press, 2015)

February 23rd, 2017


There has been much talk in the news recently about funding for public education, the emergence of charter schools, and the potential of school …

Kathleen Dolan, “When Does Gender Matter? Women Candidates and Gender Stereotypes in American Elections” (Oxford UP, 2014)

February 21st, 2017


Does sex play a determinative role in political contests? Recognising the dual political realities of voters holding gender stereotypes and female …

Ellen Hazelkorn, “The Civic University: The Policy and Leadership Challenges” (Edward Elgar, 2016)

February 15th, 2017


Ellen Hazelkorn, Policy Advisor to the Higher Education Authority (HEA), and Director, Higher Education Policy Research Unit (HEPRU), Dublin …

Karen J. Greenberg, “Rogue Justice: The Making of the Security State” (Crown Publishers, 2016)

January 27th, 2017


The 9/11 attacks revealed a breakdown in American intelligence and there was a demand for individuals and institutions to find out what went wrong, correct it, and prevent another catastrophe like 9/11 from ever …

K. Sabeel Rahman, “Democracy Against Domination” (Oxford UP, 2016)

January 23rd, 2017


Sabeel Rahman is the author of Democracy Against Domination (Oxford University Press, 2016). Rahman is assistant professor of law at Brooklyn Law …

Andrew Scull, “Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity” (Princeton UP, 2015)

January 20th, 2017


The wish to understand mental suffering is universal and requires an appreciation for its history. Since Biblical times, humans have understood madness, or other deviations from normal mental functioning, in diverse and …

Alan J. Levinovitz, “The Limits of Religious Tolerance” (Amherst College Press, 2016)

January 14th, 2017


The Pope said that Donald Trump wasn’t much of a Christian if all he can think about is building walls. Trump replied that it was “disgraceful” for a …

Joshua Howe, “Behind the Curve: Science and the Politics of Global Warming” (U. Washington Press, 2016)

January 10th, 2017


The year 2016 was the hottest year on record, and in recent months, drought and searing heat have fanned wildfires in Fort McMurray Alberta and in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Meanwhile, the Arctic has had record high …

Rebecca S. Natow, “Higher Education Rulemaking: The Politics of Creating Regulatory Policy” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2016)

January 4th, 2017


Rebecca S. Natow, Senior Research Associate with the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, joins New Books …

Marc Sageman, “Misunderstanding Terrorism” (U. Pennsylvania Press, 2016)

December 14th, 2016


In Misunderstanding Terrorism (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016) Marc Sageman provides an important reassessment of the global neojihadi threat to the West. He argues that inaccurate evaluations of the threat and …

Paul Benneworth et al., “The Impact and Future of Arts and Humanities Research” (Palgrave, 2016)

December 13th, 2016


What is the future for Arts and Humanities in Europe? The podcast discusses these questions with Paul Benneworth, one of the authors, along with …

Jessica van Horssen, “A Town Called Asbestos” (UBC Press, 2016)

December 12th, 2016


In 2012, Canada stopped mining and exporting asbestos. Once considered a miracle mineral for its fireproof qualities, asbestos came to be better known as a carcinogenic, hazardous material banned in numerous countries …

Karen Tani, “States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights and American Governance, 1935-1972” (Cambridge UP, 2016)

November 28th, 2016


What new can there be to say about the New Deal? Perhaps more than you think. Join us as Karen Tani talks about her new book, States of Dependency: …

Vicki Lens, “Poor Justice: How the Poor Fare in Court” (Oxford UP, 2015)

November 21st, 2016


It’s been said that for poor and low-income Americans, the law is all over. Join us for a conversation with Vicki Lens, who, in Poor Justice: How the …

Daniel Hatcher, “The Poverty Industry: The Exploitation of America’s Most Vulnerable Citizens” (NYU Press, 2016)

November 8th, 2016


American social welfare programs are rife with fraud — but its not the kind of fraud most people think of. Daniel Hatcher, Professor of Law at the …

Susan Greenbaum, “Blaming the Poor: The Long Shadow of the Moynihan Report on Cruel Images about Poverty” (Rutgers UP, 2015)

November 6th, 2016


Patrick Moynihan’s Report on the Negro Family was a seminal document in Great Society-era racial politics and public policy. Join us as we talk with

Heather Ann Thompson, “Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy” (Pantheon, 2016)

November 1st, 2016


In 1971, prisoners took over Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. The uprising followed a wave of protests in prisons and jails across …

Kate Merkel-Hess, “The Rural Modern: Reconstructing the Self and State in Republican China” (U. Chicago Press, 2016)

November 1st, 2016


Kate Merkel-Hess‘s new book looks closely at a loose group of rural reformers in 1920s and 1930s China who were trying to create a rural alternative to urban modernity. Focusing on the Rural Reconstruction Movement of …

Michael Copperman, “Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta” (U. Press of Mississippi, 2016)

October 27th, 2016


Anyone who has spent time in a school as an adult probably knows how hard it is for teachers to leave their work when they come home every night. …

Nicholson Baker, “Substitute: Going to School with a Thousand Kids” (Blue Rider Press, 2016)

October 18th, 2016


Parents often wonder what their children do at school all day. How different is it from what they remember years ago? Teachers often hear similar …

Jamie Peck and Nik Theodore, “Fast Policy: Experimental Statecraft at the Thresholds of Neoliberalism” (U. of Minnesota Press, 2015)

October 11th, 2016


How do new policies move from one city or country to another, and is there something distinct about how those transfers work in our perpetually …

John Owens, “Confessions of a Bad Teacher: The Shocking Truth from the Frontline of American Public Education” (Sourcebooks, 2013)

October 10th, 2016


As you spend more time working in one role, organization, or field, it can become easy to lose perspective on how your work is similar or different …

Adam Benforado, “Unfair: The New Science of Criminal Injustice” (Penguin Random House, 2016)

October 8th, 2016


Why is our criminal justice system so unfair? How do innocent men and women end up serving long sentences while the guilty roam free? According to …

Milton Chen, “Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in Our Schools” (Jossey Bass, 2012)

September 26th, 2016


It feels like schools are in the midst of unprecedented change — sometimes more in different places and sometimes more in different ways. Many people …

James Waller, “Confronting Evil: Engaging Our Responsibility to Prevent Genocide” (Oxford UP, 2016)

September 21st, 2016


Today is the third of our occasional series on the question of how to respond to mass atrocities. Earlier this summer I talked with Scott Straus and Bridget Conley-Zilkic. Later in September I’ll talk with Carrie Booth …

Stephen G. Brooks and William C. Wohlforth, “America Abroad: The United States’ Role in the 21st Century” (Oxford UP, 2016)

September 16th, 2016


A decade and a half of exhausting wars, punishing economic setbacks, and fast-rising rivals has called into question America’s fundamental position …

Barbara Hahn and Bruce Baker, “The Cotton Kings: Capitalism and Corruption in Turn-of-the-Century New York and New Orleans” (Oxford UP, 2015)

September 16th, 2016


With the recent economic collapse and rising income inequality, lessons drawn from turn-of-the century capitalism have become frequent. Pundits, …

Sam Quinones, “Dreamland: The True Tale of American’s Opiate Epidemic” (Bloomsbury Press, 2015)

September 8th, 2016


In the early 2000s, the press–at least in Boston, where I was living at the time–was full of shrill stories about drug-crazed addicts breaking into …

Nicole Nguyen, “A Curriculum of Fear: Homeland Security in US Public Schools” (U. of Minnesota Press, 2016)

September 7th, 2016


It can be tempting to generalize certain attributes of schools as either being good or bad. Magnet and charter schools are often characterized as …

Grant Lichtman, “#EdJourney: A Roadmap to the Future of Education” (Jossey-Bass, 2014)

August 29th, 2016


Whatever your role — teacher, principal, or superintendent — when you work in a school system, you experience tensions between your reasons for going …

Matt Renwick, “Digital Student Portfolios: A Whole School Approach to Connected Learning and Continuous Assessment” (Theory and Practice, 2014)

August 26th, 2016


Most of the time, school performance is not like performance in other arenas. In music, we want people to play something for us. In sports, we want …

Campbell F. Scribner, “The Fight for Local Control: Schools, Suburbs, and American Democracy” (Cornell UP, 2016)

August 25th, 2016


Battles over school politics from curriculum to funding to voucher systems are key and contentious features of the political landscape today. Many of …

Ron Berger, et. al. “Learning that Lasts: Challenging, Engaging, and Empowering Students with Deeper Instruction” (Jossey-Bass, 2016)

August 24th, 2016


The school structures we present to teachers can sometimes resemble two extremes. In the first set of circumstances, teachers have enormous autonomy …

Kelly Lytle Hernandez, “Migra! A History of the U.S. Border Patrol” (UC Press, 2010)

August 23rd, 2016


As evidenced by many of the conversations featured on this podcast, scholarship on the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands composes a significant and influential …

Lance deHaven-Smith, “Conspiracy Theory in America” (U of Texas Press, 2014)

July 1st, 2016


Lance deHaven-Smith‘s Conspiracy Theory in America (University of Texas Press, 2014) investigates how the Founders’ hard-nosed realism about the …

Mark Navin, “Values and Vaccine Refusal: Hard Questions in Epistemology, Ethics, and Health Care” (Routledge, 2016)

July 1st, 2016


Communities of parents who refuse, delay, or selectively decline to vaccinate their children pose familiar moral and political questions concerning …

Emily Schmitt and Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, “Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency”

June 6th, 2016


The application of behavioral science inside government has gained steam over the past few years with the creation of so-called “Nudge units” popping up in countries around the world. Their goals are simple: Use the …

Roger Daniels, “Franklin D. Roosevelt: Road to the New Deal, 1882-1939” (U Illinois Press, 2015)

June 2nd, 2016


For all that has been written about Franklin Delano Roosevelt, many misconceptions about the man and his achievements continue to persist. Roger …

Daniel E. Dawes, “150 Years of ObamaCare” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2016)

May 30th, 2016


Daniel E. Dawes has written 150 Years of ObamaCare (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016). Dawes is the executive director of health policy and …

Katie Gentile, ed., “The Business of Being Made” (Routledge, 2015)

May 28th, 2016


In this interview, Dr. Katie Gentile discusses the research, writing and creative thinking about compulsory parenthood and Assisted Reproductive …

Ira Lit, “The Bus Kids: Children’s Experiences with Voluntary Desegregation” (Yale UP, 2009)

May 18th, 2016


Many of us are familiar with the court-mandated bussing programs created in an effort to achieve school desegregation in the 1960s and 1970s. Far …

Bernard Harcourt, “Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age” (Harvard UP, 2015)

May 17th, 2016


The landscape described in Bernard Harcourt‘s new book is a dystopia saturated by pleasure. We do not live in a drab Orwellian world, he writes. We …

Gabriel Thompson, “America’s Social Arsonist: Fred Ross and Grassroots Organizing in the Twentieth Century” (U of California Press, 2016)

May 16th, 2016


“A good organizer is a social arsonist who goes around setting people on fire.” This axiom encapsulates both the approach and dedication exhibited by …

Kathleen Holscher, “Religious Lessons: Catholic Sisters and the Captured Schools Crisis in New Mexico” (Oxford UP, 2012)

April 30th, 2016


In New Mexico, before World War Two, Catholic sisters in full habits routinely taught in public schools. In her fascinating new book, Religious …

Mark Schuller, “Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti” (Rutgers UP, 2016)

April 28th, 2016


The earthquake that shook Haiti on January 12, 2010 killed and destroyed the homes of hundreds of thousands of people. Mark Schuller‘s book

David Grazian, “American Zoo: A Sociological Safari” (Princeton UP, 2015)

April 20th, 2016


Urban zoos are both popular and imperiled. They are sites of contestation, but what are those contests about? In his new book, American Zoo: A …

Keenanga-Yamahtta Taylor, “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation” (Haymarket Books, 2016)

April 20th, 2016


Few social justice struggles have captivated recent political history like the broad Black Lives Matter movement. From the streets of Ferguson and …

Thomas G. Weiss, “Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas in Action” (Polity Press, 2016 )

April 19th, 2016


How are humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect changing in the current international political scene? In Humanitarian …

Eben Kirksey, “Emergent Ecologies” (Duke UP, 2015)

April 18th, 2016


Eben Kirksey new book asks and explores a series of timely, important, and fascinating questions: How do certain plants, animals, and fungi move among worlds, navigate shifting circumstances, and find emergent …

Lenz, Wells and Kingston, “Transforming Schools: Using Project-Based Learning, Performance Assessment, and Common Core Standards” (Jossey-Bass 2015)

April 18th, 2016


All of us are familiar with multiple-choice tests. They may be the one thing that you can find in kindergarten classrooms, college courses, and …

Howard P. Chudacoff, “Changing the Playbook: How Power, Profit, and Politics Transformed College Sports” (U of Illinois Press, 2015)

April 11th, 2016


March Madness is big business. Each year the NCAA collects $700 million for television rights to the men’s college basketball tournament, under the …

Erika Christakis, “The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups” (Viking, 2016)

March 31st, 2016


Everyone hates being underestimated. We want to feel included without others showing us condescension. At the same time, no one wants to be overestimated. We want to feel challenged without others overwhelming us. We …

Mike Lanza, “Playborhood: Turn Your Neighborhood into a Place for Play” (Free Play Press, 2012)

March 22nd, 2016


When adults today look back on their time as children, many of their memories may come from moments when they were engaged in free play with kids in …

Geoffrey Baker, “El Sistema: Orchestrating Venezuela’s Youth” (Oxford UP, 2014)

March 2nd, 2016


El Sistema, the massive Venezuelan youth orchestra program, has been hailed in some quarters as the next big idea in music education (if not as the savior of classical music itself). Any who have found the press …

Nicola Rollock et al. “The Colour of Class: The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Classes” (Routledge, 2014)

February 22nd, 2016


The experience of the African American middle class has been an important area of research in the USA. However, the British experience has, by …

Nikhil Goyal, “Schools on Trial: How Freedom and Creativity Can Fix Our Education Malpractice” (Doubleday, 2016)

February 22nd, 2016


There is no shortage of talk about our public schools being broken. Some critics say we need to embrace a reform agenda that includes more …

Jessica Martucci, “Back to the Breast: Natural Motherhood and Breastfeeding in America” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)

February 3rd, 2016


Jessica Martucci‘s fascinating new book traces the emergence, rise, and continued practice of breastfeeding in America in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Back to the Breast: Natural Motherhood and …

S. Matthew Liao, “The Right to be Loved” (Oxford UP, 2015)

January 5th, 2016


It seems obvious that children need to be loved, that having a loving home and upbringing is essential to a child’s emotional and cognitive development. It is also obvious that, under typical circumstances at least, for …

Jennifer Mittelstadt, “The Rise of the Military Welfare State” (Harvard UP, 2015)

December 10th, 2015


Have you seen those Facebook memes floating around, arguing that we shouldn’t support a 15-dollar -per-hour minimum wage for service sector workers …

Robert Stoker, et al., “Urban Neighborhoods in a New Era: Revitalization Politics in the Postindustrial City” (U of Chicago Press, 2015)

November 23rd, 2015


Robert Stoker is the co-author (with Clarence Stone, John Betancur, Susan Clarke, Marilyn Dantico, Martin Horak, Karen Mossberger, Juliet Musso, …

Garret Keizer, “Getting Schooled: The Reeducation of an American Teacher” (Metropolitan Books, 2014)

November 12th, 2015


Whatever its current prestige in our society, teaching is undoubtedly complex work. Like physicians and therapists, teachers work with people, rather than things. They try to help their students to improve over time, …

Lisa Tessman, “Moral Failure: On the Impossible Demands of Morality” (Oxford UP, 2015)

November 1st, 2015


Moral theories are often focused almost exclusively on answering the question, “What ought I do?” Typically, theories presuppose that for any …

Paul Bonin-Rodriguez, “Performing Policy” (Palgrave, 2014)

October 20th, 2015


How has American cultural and artistic policy changed over the last 25 years? Performing Policy: How Contemporary Politics and Cultural Programmes …

Miriam Solomon, “Making Medical Knowledge” (Oxford, 2015)

October 15th, 2015


How are scientific discoveries transmitted to medical clinical practice? When the science is new, controversial, or simply unclear, how should a …

Dana Suskind, “Thirty Million Words: Building a Child’s Brain”

October 13th, 2015


We may disagree about whether phonics or whole language is the better approach to reading instruction or whether bilingual education or English …

Ron Berger, “Leaders of Their Own Learning: Transforming Schools Through Student-Engaged Assessment” (Jossey-Bass, 2014)

October 6th, 2015


Many of us went through school not fully knowing what we were supposed to be learning or how our teachers were measuring our progress. These …

Joseph M. Reagle, “Reading the Comments: Likers, Haters and Manipulators at the Bottom of the Web” (MIT Press, 2015)

October 2nd, 2015


What do we know about the individuals who make comments on online news stories, blogs, videos and other media? What kind of people take the time to post all manner of information and context to material created by …

Stephen Macedo, “Just Married: Same-Sex Couples, Monogamy, and the Future of Marriage” (Princeton University Press, 2015)

October 1st, 2015


There has been a lot of talk in the United States recently about same-sex marriage. One obvious question is sociological: What are the implications …

Isabelle Dussauge, Claes-Fredrik Helgesson, and Francis Lee, “Value Practices in the Life Sciences and Medicine” (Oxford UP, 2015)

September 26th, 2015


Valuation is a central question in contemporary social science. Indeed the question of value has a range of academic projects associated with it, …

Leonard Cassuto, “The Graduate School Mess: What Caused It and How We Can Fix It” (Harvard UP, 2015)

September 22nd, 2015


The discontented graduate student is something of a cultural fixture in the U.S. Indeed theirs is a sorry lot. They work very hard, earn very little, …

Ryan Craig, "College Disrupted: The Great Unbundling of Higher Education" (Palgrave McMillan, 2015)

September 21st, 2015


AirBnB has dramatically altered the landscape for the hotel, tourism, and real estate sectors. Uber and Lyft have done the same to transportation. But, how come we haven't seen the same in American higher education? 

Suzanna Reiss, “We Sell Drugs: The Alchemy of U.S. Empire” (University of California Press, 2014)

September 14th, 2015


Though the conventional history of the U.S.-led “War on Drugs” locates the origins of this conflict in a reaction to the domestic culture of excess …

Eric Nadelstern, “Ten Lessons from New York City Schools: What Really Works to Improve Education” (Teachers College Press, 2013)

September 9th, 2015


With 40 years of public school experience, from teacher to high-ranking official of one of the largest school systems in the US, Eric Nadelstern has …

Alec Patton, “Work That Matters: The Teacher’s Guide to Project-Based Learning” (Paul Hamlyn Foundation, 2012)

September 4th, 2015


Every year, thousands of teachers visit San Diego to understand project-based learning and find inspiration in the work done by students at High …

Natalia Molina, “How Race is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts” (University of California Press, 2014)

September 2nd, 2015


“America is a nation of immigrants.” Either this common refrain, or its cousin the “melting pot” metaphor is repeated daily in conversations at various levels of U.S. society. Be it in the private or public realm, these …

Cass Sunstein, “Choosing Not to Choose: Understanding the Value of Choice” (Oxford UP, 2015)

September 1st, 2015


The political tradition of liberalism tends to associate political liberty with the individual’s freedom of choice. The thought is that political …

Alexandra Minna Stern, “Telling Genes: The Story of Genetic Counseling in America” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012)

August 10th, 2015


Due in part to lobbying efforts on behalf of the human genome project, human genes tend to be thought of in light of the present–genetic components of human disease and differential risks associated with genetic …

MK Czerwiec, et al., “Graphic Medicine Manifesto” (Penn State UP, 2015)

July 24th, 2015


Physician/author Ian Williams coined the term “graphic medicine” to “denote the role that comics can play in the study and delivery of healthcare.” …

William Elliott III and Melinda Lewis, “Real College Debt Crisis” (Praeger, 2015)

July 20th, 2015


Dr. William Elliott III, associate professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University of Kansas, and Melinda Lewis, associate professor of …

Winnifred F. Sullivan, “A Ministry of Presence: Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care and the Law” (University of Chicago Press, 2014)

July 12th, 2015


As patterns of religiosity have changed in the United States, chaplains have come to occupy an increasingly important place in the nation’s public institutions, especially its prisons, hospitals and military. In her …

Beatrix Hoffman, “Health Care for Some: Rights and Rationing in the United States since 1930” (U of Chicago, 2012)

May 28th, 2015


Disputes over the definitions or legality of ‘rights’ and ‘rationing’ in their various guises have animated much of the debate around the United States Affordable Care Act. Many legislators and vocal members of their …

Jon L. Mills, “Privacy in the New Media Age” (University Press of Florida, 2015)

May 25th, 2015


That privacy in the digital age is an important concept to be discussed is axiomatic. Cameras in mobile phones make it easy to record events and post them on the web. Consumers post an enormous amount of information on …

Julian E. Zelizer, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society” (Penguin Press, 2015)

May 22nd, 2015


In recent decades, as Democrats and Republicans have grown more and more polarized ideologically, and gridlock has becoming increasingly standard in …

Finis Dunaway, “Seeing Green: The Use and Abuse of American Environmental Images” (

May 11th, 2015


Oil-soaked birds in Prince William Sound. The “crying Indian” in a 1970s anti-littering ad. A lonely polar bear on an Arctic ice floe. Such …

Kevin Dougherty and Rebecca Natow, “The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2015)

April 25th, 2015


Funding for higher education in the U.S. is an increasingly divisive issue. Some states have turned to policies that tie institutional performance to …