Jonathan Metzl, “The Protest Psychosis: How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease” (Beacon Press, 2010)
Schizophrenia is a real, frightening, debilitating disease. But what are we to make of the fact that several studies show that African Americans are two to three times more likely than white Americans to be diagnosed with this malady, and that black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean are six... Read More
Francis Fukuyama, “The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution” (FSG, 2011)
When I was an undergraduate, I fell in love with Montesquieu’s Spirit of the Laws. In the book Montesquieu reduces a set of disparate, seemingly unconnected facts arrayed over centuries and continents into a single, coherent theory of remarkable explanitory power. Alas, grand theoretical books like Spirit of the Laws... Read More
Walter Olson, “Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America” (Encounter Books, 2011)
What kind of education are students at top American law schools getting? And how does that education influence their activities upon graduation? In Walter Olson‘s Schools for Misrule: Legal Academia and an Overlawyered America (Encounter Books, 2011), the author, an economist and not a lawyer, looks at what is happening... Read More
David Shneer, “Through Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War, and the Holocaust” (Rutgers UP, 2010)
We should be skeptical of what is sometimes called “Jew counting” and all it implies. Yet it cannot be denied that Jews played a pivotal and (dare we say) disproportionate role in moving the West from a pre-modern to a modern condition. Take the media. Most people know that Jews,... Read More
Laurie Manchester, “Holy Fathers, Secular Sons: Clergy, Intelligentsia, and the Modern Self in Revolutionary Russia” (NI UP, 2008)
The lives, let alone the fates, of Imperial Russia’s priesthood have garnered little attention among historians. I think the reason is partially because the research of most Russian historians has been focused on explaining the country’s torturous modernization. The orthodox clergy were hardly (so the story goes) modernizers, so they... Read More