New Books Network

Morris B. Hoffman, “The Punisher’s Brain: The Evolution of Judge and Jury” (Cambridge UP, 2014)
Why do we feel guilty–and sometimes hurt ourselves–when we harm someone? Why do we become angry–and sometimes violent–when we see other people being harmed? Why do we forgive ourselves and others after a transgression even though “the rules” say we really shouldn’t? In his fascinating book The Punisher’s Brain: The... Read More
Cymene Howe, “Intimate Activism: The Struggle for Sexual Rights in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua” (Duke UP, 2013)
With Intimate Activism: The Struggle for Sexual Rights in Postrevolutionary Nicaragua (Duke University Press, 2013), Cymene Howe offers an ethnography of activism. Woven into Nicaragua’s political history of revolution and U.S. intervention, the struggle for sexual rights there takes place on three stages: in intimate settings of lesbian discussion groups,... Read More
Anne Allison, “Precarious Japan” (Duke University Press, 2013)
“[All] I want to eat is a rice ball.” This was the last entry in the diary of a 52-year-old man who starved to death in an apartment he had occupied for 20 years. His is just one of many voices of the precarity of everyday life and death that... Read More
Denise Brennan, “Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced Labor in the United States” (Duke UP, 2014)
Denise Brennan‘s second book, Life Interrupted: Trafficking into Forced Labor in the United States (Duke University Press, 2014), examines how individuals who were trafficked into forced labor go about rebuilding their lives afterward. Through her ethnography of lived experience and her analysis of immigration policy, Brennan shows that trafficking and forced... Read More
Vershawn Young et al., “Other People’s English” (Teacher’s College Press, 2013)
In linguistics, we all happily and glibly affirm that there is no “better” or “worse” among languages (or dialects, or varieties), although we freely admit that people have irrational prejudices about them. But what do we do about those prejudices? And what do we think the speakers of low-status varieties... Read More
Zareena Grewal, “Islam is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority” (NYU Press, 2013)
Zareena Grewal‘s monograph Islam is a Foreign Country: American Muslims and the Global Crisis of Authority (NYU Press, 2013), seamlessly interweaves ethnographic research with an in-depth historical perspective in order to yield an unparalleled account of American Muslims and their intellectual and spiritual journeys. Where does knowledge come from? Where does Islam... Read More
Jon Mooallem, “Wild Ones” (Pengiun, 2013)
Jon Mooallem‘s book Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals In America (Penguin, 2013) is a tour of a few places on the North American continent where animal species are on the very brink of extinction. What emerges is as much a... Read More