New Books Network

Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez, “Math on Trial” (Basic Books, 2013)
You may well have seen “Numb3rs,” a TV show in which mathematicians help solve crimes. It’s fiction. But, as Leila Schneps and Coralie Colmez show in their eye-opening new book Math on Trial: How Numbers Get Used and Abused in the Court Room (Basic Books, 2013) math does play a... Read More
Peter Gray, “Free to Learn” (Basic Books, 2013)
In his book Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books, 2013), Peter Gray proposes the following big idea: we shouldn’t force children to learn, rather we should allow them to play and learn by themselves.... Read More
C.W. Anderson, “Rebuilding the News: Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age” (Temple UP, 2013)
Somewhere along the line, C.W. Anderson became fascinated with digital journalism and the culture that surrounds it: engaged publics, social networks, and the challenges to “legacy” media. Rebuilding the News: Metropolitan Journalism in the Digital Age (Temple University Press, 2013) is the fascinating product of Anderson’s research into the Philadelphia journalism scene... Read More
Matthew Wisnioski, “Engineers for Change: Competing Visions of Technology in 1960s America” (MIT Press, 2012)
In his compelling and fascinating account of how engineers navigated new landscapes of technology and its discontents in 1960s America, Matthew Wisnioski takes us into the personal and professional transformations of a group of thinkers and practitioners who have been both central to the history of science and technology, and... Read More
Willem J. M. Levelt, “A History of Psycholinguistics: The Pre-Chomskyan Era” (Oxford UP, 2012)
The only disappointment with A History of Psycholinguistics: The Pre-Chomskyan Era (Oxford UP, 2012) is that, as the subtitle says, the story it tells stops at the cognitive revolution, before Pim Levelt is himself a major player in psycholinguistics. He says that telling the story of the last few decades is a task for someone... Read More
E. C. Spary, “Eating the Enlightenment: Food and the Sciences in Paris, 1670-1760” (University of Chicago Press, 2012)
By focusing on food and eating from the dinner table to the laboratory, E. C. Spary‘s new book shows how an increasingly public culture of knowledge shaped the daily lives of literate Parisians in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Spary’s work is at the same time a rich and... Read More
Lawrence M. Krauss, “A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing” (Atria, 2012)
In A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing (Atria, 2012), Lawrence M. Krauss presents this big idea: something can–and perhaps must–come from nothing. That something is, well, everything–you, me, and the entire universe. If that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will. Of course, as Lawrence explains,... Read More