, Volume 56, Issue 2, pp 170–170 | Cite as

Society’s Books of Note

March/April 2019
Society’s Books of Note
Doug Oman, ed., Why Religion and Spirituality Matter for Public Health: Evidence, Implications, and Resources. Cham, Switzerland, Springer International Publishing, 2018. $119.00. 476 pp.

This book is part of a series that aims to uncover the impact of religion on individual health behaviors and outcomes but also the influence of religion on health practices at the community level. It is intended to help public health catch up with the significant strides that many other health professions have made in addressing the implications of spirituality and health. In twenty-eight chapters, authors touch on theoretical and empirical concerns along with specific case studies of the focus on religion and spirituality in relation to public health.

James Davison Hunter and Paul Nedelisky, Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2018. $26.00. 289 pp.

In their provocative view, Hunter and Nedelisky argue that a search for a science of morality has taken a new turn. Writers such as E.O. Wilson, Patricia Churchland, Sam Harris, Jonathan Haidt, and Joshua Greene no longer make claims about what is right and wrong. Their (“perhaps unwitting”) moral nihilism turns the science of morality into a social engineering project. If there is nothing moral for science to discover, “the science of morality becomes, at best, a feeble program to achieve arbitrary societal goals.”

John R. Thelin, Going to College in the Sixties. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018. $34.95. 224 pp.

Thelin provides a vivid recounting of what student life was really like in the 1960s. He explores how students competed for admission, paid for college in an era before Pell Grants, dealt with crowded classes and dormitories, voiced concerns about the curriculum, grappled with new tensions in big-time college sports, and overcame discrimination.

Rainer Zitelmann, The Power of Capitalism: A Journey through Recent History across Five Continents. New York: LID Publishing Limited, 2019. $29.95. 233 pp.

By taking the reader on a journey across continents and through recent history, Rainer Zitelmann argues against the call for greater government intervention in the function of markets, and contends that capitalism matters more than ever. He compares developments in West and East Germany, North and South Korea, capitalist Chile vs. Socialist Venezuela, and analyzes the extraordinary economic rise of China. It is intended as a timely reminder of capitalism’s power in enabling growth and prosperity, and in alleviating poverty.

Deborah Carr, Golden Years? Social Inequality in Later Life. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2018. $35.00. 357 pp.

Drawing on insights from multiple disciplines to illuminate the complex ways that socioeconomic status, race, and gender shape nearly every aspect of older adults’ lives, Carr chronicles the importance of increased awareness, strong public initiatives, and creative community-based programs in ensuring that all Americans have an opportunity to age well. By focusing on an often-invisible group of vulnerable elders, Golden Years? reveals that disadvantages accumulate across the life course and can diminish the well-being of many.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

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