Social Science

Books on the History of Race Relations

We have all heard the news, read the stories, watched the footage—America has reached a crossroads on racial injustice. The path forward may be challenging, but as a contributor to the global understanding of human affairs, we hope our books will help inform the public consciousness and promote tolerance for

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A Matter of Dignity

Donna Hicks— Like so many of us, I am deeply saddened and outraged by the brutal killing of George Floyd by members of the Minneapolis police. The jaw dropping video showing the fatal actions of Derek Chauvin, while George pleaded for his life, were beyond comprehension. What happened to Derek

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The Moment of Parallel Emancipations in Jamaica

Stanley Mirvis— Thirteen years ago, Yale’s Center for British Art, in collaboration with the Institute of Jamaica Museum, commemorated the bicentennial of the abolition of the slave trade with an exhibition focused on the 1834 emancipation of slaves. The exhibit centered on the work of the Jamaican artist Isaac Mendes

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Fake News, Then and Now

Tracy Campbell— In his first fireside chat after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt urged Americans “to reject all rumors,” noting that “these ugly little hints of complete disaster fly thick and fast in wartime.” By summer 1942, FDR knew that executive admonishments had failed to curb the avalanche of false information

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Infants and Language Learning

Marek Kohn— Amnesia inclines us to assume that entry into language is painless, as does the apparent ease with which children typically become speakers. But many if not most skills require struggle to acquire, even if they seem effortless once mastered. We take language to be one of the most

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Because You Just Can’t Stop Reading the News

We get it. It’s tough to unplug from the current news cycle. If you’re looking for a deeper dive into topics around COVID-19 and beyond, we’ve got you covered (with a little bonus on the power of solitude snuck in just because). A “brilliant and sobering” (Paul Kennedy, Wall Street Journal)

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Our Altered Sense of Time in a Bewildering Pandemic

Joseph Mazur— Our real world is now a setting that was once just a fantasy in the minds of futurist science fiction writers. For decades it was an inevitable scene that loomed largely in the opinions of our leading infectious disease experts, but in early January U.S. intelligence agencies predicted

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Competition, Cooperation, and COVID-19

Mark Bertness— Microbial pathogens and diseases were our first and are our oldest enemies. They are a direct threat to human survival. COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS are familiar reminders of how pathogenic pandemics can threaten humanity. These are not exceptions in the human experience; they are the rule. Pathogens are formidable

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The New Populism

William A. Galston— Because populism embraces the republican principle of popular sovereignty, it faces the question inherent in this principle: Who are the people? Historically, right-leaning populists have emphasized shared ethnicity and common descent, while left-leaning populists have often defined the people in class terms, excluding those with wealth and

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Dignity in the Time of COVID-19

Donna Hicks— If there is anything that is clear about the coronavirus, it is that it doesn’t differentiate; not between Republicans and Democrats, North Americans and Europeans, Asians and Africans—all of us who consider ourselves human beings are vulnerable to its potentially lethal threat. I have observed a few interesting human

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