Top 20 OAT Titles of 2019 (part 2 #10 to #1)

Here are 10 of the most popular titles in our 2019 Outstanding Academic Titles list, based on the number of page views recorded for each review.

10. The Racial divide in American medicine: black physicians and the struggle for justice in health care
ed. by Richard D. deShazo University Press of Mississippi, 2018

The Civil Rights Act legally eliminated discrimination through Title VI, which required that any individual or institution receiving federal funding must practice racial integration. However, a racial divide and remnants of social injustices in the American healthcare system remain with us today. The Racial Divide in American Medicine, incorporating writings from an interdisciplinary group of experts, does an excellent job in chronicling the history of healthcare for American blacks, beginning with slave healthcare. The focus, however, is on the Civil Rights era and its link to past and present struggles and disparities.
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9. Shadows of doubt: stereotypes, crime, and the pursuit of justice
O’Flaherty, Brendan. by Brendan O’Flaherty and Rajiv Sethi Harvard, 2019

Color is destiny. That blacks and Latinos are disproportionately arrested, convicted, and punished has been well established, but the relationship between criminal law involvement and race is extremely nuanced. In this important analysis, economists Brendan O’Flaherty (Columbia) and Rajiv Sethi (Barnard, Columbia) look at how numerous empirical measurements confirm the race-crime connection: they provide new data on the systemic bias that links to stereotyping and intractable policies. The disparity runs across the criminal justice system, from profiling perpetrators of minor crimes to using lethal force.
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8. Accounting for slavery: masters and management
Rosenthal, Caitlin. Harvard, 2018

In this provocative and insightful volume, Rosenthal (history, Univ. of California, Berkeley) pursues two interlocking, argumentative goals. The first is to debunk the myth that West Indian and southern plantations were rudimentary operations that eschewed innovation and relied solely on brute force to facilitate productivity. She effectively achieves this goal by demonstrating that plantations were actually complex organizational arrangements in which the owners were constantly experimenting with various techniques and methodologies in both their agricultural practices and their labor force. Many of these efforts reflected those of the era’s scientific management movement, which sought to generate maximum output and efficiency in production processes.
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7. Peak plastic: the rise or fall of our synthetic world
Buffington, Jack. Praeger, 2018

With half of all plastic having been produced in the last 13 years, and the bulk of it now lying as waste all over the planet, the premise of this book is that the world is approaching “peak plastic”—a tipping point, most likely reached around 2030, when the benefit of plastic will be exceeded by its cost to the environment and society. This text calls attention to some of the lesser-known sources of plastic pollution, including additives used as stabilizers. In this slim, excellent volume, Buffington, a supply chain management professor with extensive experience in industry, examines the materials supply chain and debunks the idea that recycling alone can solve the problem.
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6. Industry of anonymity: inside the business of cybercrime
Lusthaus, Jonathan. Harvard, 2018

In this pathbreaking book, Lusthaus (sociology, Nuffield College, Univ. of Oxford; director, Human Cybercriminal Project) summarizes the results of his seven-year study of the organizational dynamics underlying the complex, profit-oriented cybercrime business and its emergence and rapid evolution. The author bases his conclusions on 238 in-depth interviews with law enforcement agents, security experts, cybercriminals, and other insiders from 20 nations located on every inhabited continent. Writing in clear, jargon-free prose, the author identifies structural mechanisms and sophisticated tactics that allow globalized cooperation among substantial numbers of anonymous individuals.
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5. Love, money & parenting: how economics explains the way we raise our kids
Doepke, Matthias. by Matthias Doepke and Fabrizio Zilibotti Princeton, 2019

This volume examines parenting—a topic of great interest to many—in conjunction with a key economic issue today, income inequality. Economists Doepke (Northwestern) and Zilibotti (Yale) examine how economic factors affect parenting styles, arguing that with low inequality, parents can be permissive when raising children because the costs of not succeeding are low—their children have only slightly lower incomes as adults. However, when inequality is high and relative position is not determined by status at birth, there are more authoritative “helicopter parents” due to the greater costs of children not succeeding in school.
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4. What species mean: a user’s guide to the units of biodiversity
Sigwart, Julia. CRC Press, 2018

The species has been an important concept in the life sciences since Linnaeus first laid the groundwork for the modern taxonomic system of living organisms in 1735. Sigwart (Queen’s Univ. Marine Laboratory, Ireland) has made an ambitious attempt to summarize the significance of this taxonomic unit using a pragmatic approach, shifting the universal ambiguous question of “What is a species?” to “What do species mean?” The book explores themes such as how species are practically distinguished, the administrative aspects of the Linnaean taxonomic system, how the taxonomic system reflects evolutionary relationships, and how species function as the primary units of evolution.
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3. Counterproductive: time management in the knowledge economy
Gregg, Melissa. Duke, 2018

An Intel Corporation principal engineer, respected researcher, and prolific author, Gregg has written a book that will change the way people look at the notion of time management. Counterproductive examines the concept of time management from the perspectives of workforce productivity, effectiveness, and efficiency. Gregg presents the four chapters under three headings: “Theory,” “Practice,” and “Anthropotechnics.” The theory section includes the introduction and a substantive and extensively documented history of time management. The two chapters in the practice section highlight the significance of organization and productivity.
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2. Lyrical liberators: the American antislavery movement in verse, 1831-1865
ed. by Monica Pelaez Ohio University, 2018

Drawing from eight prominent antislavery publications, Pelaez (English, St. Cloud State Univ.) has compiled a stirring anthology of antebellum and wartime verse—what she calls “agitator” verse. The volume distinguishes itself from kindred anthologies—The Poetry of Slavery: An Anglo-American Anthology, 1764–1865, ed. by Marcus Wood (CH, Sep’04, 42-0170); Amazing Grace: An Anthology of Poems about Slavery, 1660–1810, ed. by James Basker (CH, May’03, 40-5065)—by focusing solely on the recovery of poetry found in American abolitionist periodicals of the immediate pre-war and war periods.
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1. Critical statistics: seeing beyond the headlines
Vries, Robert de. Red Globe Press, 2018

With Critical Statistics, de Vries (Univ. of Kent, UK) has given a significant gift to statistics literature. The book is not a first text in statistical computation and methods. Instead, it is a work in statistics numeracy: numbers in the news, numbers in life, numbers to explain the world. In ten chapters, the author discusses how newsworthy numbers are generated, how samples work, measurement methods, averages, inference, graphics, contexts for numeric statements, and the use of numbers to reach conclusions.
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