New Books Network

Robert Plomin, “Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are” (MIT Press, 2019)
Have you ever felt, “Oh my God, I’m turning into my mother (or father)!” ?  Robert Plomin explains why that happens in Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are (MIT Press, 2019). A century of genetic research shows that DNA differences inherited from our parents are the consistent lifelong... Read More
Joseph E. David, “Kinship, Law and Politics: An Anatomy of Belonging” (Cambridge UP, 2020)
Why are we so concerned with belonging? In what ways does our belonging constitute our identity? Is belonging a universal concept or a culturally dependent value? How does belonging situate and motivate us?   In these days of identity politics, these issues are more significant and more complex than ever. Joseph... Read More
Armstrong Williams, “What Black and White America Must Do Now: A Prescription to Move Beyond Race” (Hot Books, 2020)
What Black and White America Must Do Now: A Prescription to Move Beyond Race (Hot Books, 2020) explores the complexity of race and culture in the United States. In his third book, renowned conservative entrepreneur, author, and philanthropist Armstrong Williams discusses his prescription for healing and atonement amidst today’s current... Read More
Robert Kolker, “Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of An American Family” (Doubleday, 2020)
Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of An American Family (Doubleday, 2020) is the story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science’s great hope in the quest to understand the disease. Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the... Read More
Alexander Kaye, “The Invention of Jewish Theocracy: The Struggle for Legal Authority in Modern Israel” (Oxford UP, 2020)
The tension between secular politics and religious fundamentalism is a problem shared by many modern states. This is certainly true of the State of Israel, where the religious-secular schism provokes conflict at every level of society. Driving this schism is the idea of the halakhic state, the demand by many... Read More
Rafael Medoff, “The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust” (JPS, 2019)
Like so many Americans, American Jews supported President Roosevelt. They adored him. They believed in him. They idolized him. Perhaps they shouldn’t have. Based on recently discovered documents, The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, and the Holocaust (Jewish Publication Society) reassesses the hows and... Read More
Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf, “The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace” (All Point Books, 2020)
Two prominent Israeli liberals argue that for the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians to end with peace, Palestinians must come to terms with the fact that there will be no “right of return.” In 1948, seven hundred thousand Palestinians were forced out of their homes by the first Arab-Israeli... Read More
Paula Fredriksen, “When Christians Were Jews: The First Generation” (Yale UP, 2018)
How did a group of charismatic, apocalyptic Jewish missionaries, working to prepare their world for the impending realization of God’s promises to Israel, end up inaugurating a movement that would grow into the gentile church? Committed to Jesus’s prophecy—“The Kingdom of God is at hand!”—they were, in their own eyes,... Read More
Fay Bound Alberti, “A Biography of Loneliness: The History of an Emotion” (Oxford UP, 2019)
Before the global pandemic of Covid-19 arrived, public health experts in the U.S. and U.K. were warning of the epidemic of loneliness. Loneliness steals more years of life than obesity. Loneliness is as much of a risk as smoking. Loneliness shortens a lifespan as much as poverty. It is associated... Read More
Stephan Talty, “The Good Assassin” (HMH, 2020)
History that reads like a thriller; The Good Assassin: How A Mossad Agent and a Band of Survivors Hunted Down The Butcher of Latvia (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020) by Stephan Talty is the untold story of an Israeli spy’s epic journey to bring the notorious Butcher of Latvia to justice—a... Read More