Howard Ross’ fourth book Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives
Howard Ross’ fourth book Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives is, arguably, his most impressive yet. He tackles the thorny subject of bias in modern society and, as his title implies, he intends for the work to serve as a sort of guidebook for individuals to better understand when and how bias manifests itself while also laying out a roadmap for how to avoid its poisonous influence. Ross is a lifelong champion of social justice for those suffering its lack and his years of research on the topic of bias gives this book a level of authority lacking in many texts on the same subject. Behind it all, however, is the obvious keen understanding Ross has about human nature and it is telling on each page of this book.
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His study of the subject is obviously key to maintaining such a presence throughout the book, but another important factor is attentive observation of the world around him. Ross is undoubtedly right when he says we fail to notice many instances of bias invading our lives and it is a rare discerning eye that can consistently note such moments. It isn’t to say that a wealth of relevant research doesn’t make its presence felt on this book; Ross clearly does his homework. He marshals his facts in such a way that it buttresses his arguments rather than overwhelming readers with a tidal wave of information.
The book expands on Ross’ 2014 edition of the same title but not by a lot. He intends his expansion to account for a variety of societal events occurring since the book’s publication and it does so, but the book overall is not markedly different from its preceding edition. It, instead, comes off as an update rather than expanding the text in a wholesale manner. This more temperate approach to a second edition isn’t unusual and rates as a near uniform success for Howard Ross.
Some may object to the breezy nature of his prose, but they do well to consider Ross’ intended audience are not academics but rather socially aware readers with a wont for exploring human nature. This doesn’t mean that intellectually inclined readers will read this book with disdain only that Ross has far broader aims rather than appealing to a niche readership. Many other readers will find his prose relaxed yet confident and balanced well between making his case and incorporating his research.
The book has a potent effect on open minded readers. There is no wasted motion and, by its conclusion, its author has made a convincing case for his point of view. Everyday Bias: Identifying and Navigating Unconscious Judgments in Our Daily Lives by Howard Ross is an intelligent, brisk, and thoughtful non-fiction work with immense relevance for not just modern America, but the world at large, if only we heed its message. It is Ross’ fourth book, but many will rank it as his finest yet and there is little reason to doubt their judgment.