Welcome to the next edition of our brand new series, PUP News of the World! Every week we will be posting a round-up of all of our most exciting national AND international reviews/interviews/events/etc. that took place in the last week.
By an astounding margin, our PUP Title of the Week this week is The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election by John Sides & Lynn Vavreck! Rick Hasen of The Slate Book Review chose The Gamble as his best book of 2013, calling it “A necessary corrective to the personality-driven and hyperventilating accounts of presidential campaigns driven by a news media out to sell half-baked narratives….Eminently readable.” It was also called “Probably the most successful attempt to integrate political science and narrative to date…If you really want to understand the 2012 elections, you should rely on The Gamble”, by Sean Trende in a review of the book by Real Clear Books. The Fix on The Washington Post said they read The Gamble over the holiday break, while Spundge included the book in a round-up of good gift suggestions. Plus The Independent wrote an article about it, as did Harvard Political Review. It also received kind mentions at Huffington Post, Talking Points Memo, The Arkansas Times, and The Capital Times!
Next, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality by Angus Deaton was reviewed in The Australian and declared “splendid” while Forbes named it the “Best Book of 2013”. Plus, Paul Theroux, writer for Barron’s, said “In his new book, The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality, economist Angus Deaton questions the usefulness of all aid, and describes how the greater proportion of the world’s poor are found not in Africa but in the booming, yet radically unequal, economies of China and India.” Deaton was also interviewed recently for Social Science Bites on his recent trip to the UK.
The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism by Robert E. Buswell Jr. & Donald S. Lopez Jr. was mentioned in a piece on scholarly religion in Publishers Weekly, along with The Bible in Arabic: The Scriptures of the ‘People of the Book’ in the Language of Islam by Sidney H. Griffith. The Wild Fox Zen blog from the Patheos Buddhist Channel posted about ‘The Dictionary’ as well, saying: “One of the take-a ways is how we’re just scratching the surface on what we have translated into English. I almost regret the decision I made about 25 years ago not to shift my focus from training to learning languages so I could be a Buddhist scholar. Particularly, I was struck by how little I know about the Korean tradition! Except for Buswell’s work, there’s still very little translated into English, as far as I know.”
New Scientist recently listed Bugs Rule!: An Introduction to the World of Insects by Whitney Cranshaw & Richard Redak in its ‘Gift Guide: Pick of the Best Science Books’, saying “When two entomologists who clearly love their subject get stuck in, the result is pure joy. With more than 830 colour photos, this book is a great desk guide to help you tell a crane fly from a giant mosquito.”
Ara Norenzayan, author of Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict, was interviewed on BBC World Service The Forum recently. (Ara comes in about 30 minutes in).
Margaret Lock’s title, The Alzheimer Conundrum: Entanglements of Dementia and Aging, was reviewed on Psychology Today where they said: “Comprehensive, cogent, and densely detailed, The Alzheimer Conundrum provides a useful antidote to media hype about ‘silver bullets’ that are ‘just around the corner’ and makes an important contribution to our understanding of an achingly tragic disease that touches virtually all of us.” Lock also did an interview recently with Everyday Health.
Bill Helmreich, author of The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles in the City, recently wrote an op-ed for The Independent, talking about his experiences while writing his book. Helmreich also got two positive reviews this week. The first, from The New York Times, said that “[the] book is a chatty, buoyant and, despite his four decades in academia teaching classes on New York City and sociology, an unstuffy love letter to the delights of street-smart walking.” The second, from The Guardian called the book “excellent” and claimed that “It’s refreshing to read a book that celebrates so unreservedly the ethnic diversity of a city and entirely fitting that it should be about a metropolis that has always been defined by its cosmopolitan culture.”
The Crossley ID Guide: Britain and Ireland by Richard Crossley & Dominic Couzens is still receiving some buzz as well as Stephen Moss of The Guardian named it one of his Best Nature Books of 2013. He called it “…a revolutionary new bird book”.
In a review for The Independent, Richard Holloway called Why Can the Dead Do Such Great Things? Saints and Worshippers from the Martyrs to the Reformation by Robert Bartlett a “magisterial work of scholarship”. Also, the Financial Times reviewed the book this week, saying “Devotion to the saints is manifestly still alive and well in the Catholic Church, and Bartlett’s impressive compendium will serve to explain the cult’s historical origins and evolution.” Lastly, Bartlett was interviewed on BBC Radio Scotland (he comes in about 1hr 40 minutes in).