Category: Book Reviews

Book Review: Political English: Language and the Decay of Politics by Thomas Docherty

In Political English: Language and the Decay of Politics, Thomas Docherty offers a new examination of the historical and contemporary linkages between power, politics and the English language, arguing that the impoverishment of language is intimately connected with the impoverishment of political debate today. The book demonstrates the concomitant decline of discourse and democracy and brings a new slant to … Continued

Book Review: The Scopus Diaries and the (Il)Logics of Academic Survival by Abel Polese

In The Scopus Diaries and the (Il)Logics of Academic Survival, Abel Polese helps to demystify many of the inner workings of academia for researchers and the challenges that these present through a FAQ format that readers can dip in and out of to explore topics ranging from organising a panel at a conference to arranging … Continued

7 Recommended Reads for Contextualising Covid-19

In the present crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are a number of accessible historical works and websites that can provide background and information on the disease as it unfolds. Since the disease is so recently emergent, there are as yet no reliable books dedicated directly to the topic. There are, however, works that provide … Continued

Book Review: Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures by Tama Leaver, Tim Highfield and Crystal Abidin

In Instagram: Visual Social Media Cultures, Tama Leaver, Tim Highfield and Crystal Abidin elaborate on how and why Instagram has grown to become an icon that has altered understandings of visual social media cultures. Students, scholars, social media practitioners and platform users can all benefit from the book as a great introduction to how to approach and study … Continued

Book Review: How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

In a frenetic world obsessed with deliverables and results, Jenny Odell makes the case for How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, arguing not for passivity, wilful ignorance or sloth, but rather for the potential we create by refusing productivity and redirecting our attention to active modes of listening and contemplation. By shining a critical light on … Continued

Book Review: Plagues and the Paradox of Progress by Thomas J. Bollyky

In Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, Thomas J. Bollyky combines a ‘germ’s eye view’ of human history with some powerful reflections on the challenges that face us over the coming decades. This is a beautifully written book, recommends Duncan Green, packed with great one-liners and historical anecdotes. This review was originally published on the From Poverty … Continued

Book Review: The Quirks of Digital Culture by David Beer

In The Quirks of Digital Culture, David Beer provides a patchwork of quirky vignettes that together create a representative picture of the cultural environment in which we now live, showing how digital culture offers a means of access, insight and possibility while also bringing the payoff of surveillance, manipulation and a sense of inescapability. Ignas Kalpokas highly … Continued

Book Review: Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events by Robert J. Shiller

In Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events, Robert J. Shiller argues for the significance of narrative when it comes to understanding the drivers of economic events, arguing that contagious narratives not only play a causal role in their unfolding but also that such events transform our narratives. The book raises important issues, writes … Continued

Book Review: Probing the Corporate Manipulation of Science

In this repost, Christie Aschwanden reviews David Michaels’ The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception, finding the book to provide a combative and unflinching account of the way in which corporate interests have infiltrated regulatory science. Their secrets are out — the tobacco industry’s decades-long campaign to undermine the science linking their products to cancer … Continued

Book Review: Storytelling with Data: Let’s Practice! by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

In Storytelling with Data: Let’s Practice!, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic presents a new guide to data communication, featuring over 100 hands-on exercises and 250 data visualisations to help build skills in impactful data communication grounded in effective storytelling. Intended for anyone committed to improving their ability to communicate data and complemented by a website that enables users to further hone their … Continued