Current Affairs Book Reviews

MADAM AMBASSADOR by Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 5, 2015

"A flat-footed and mostly self-serving account."
A memoir of Kounalakis' three-and-a-half years as ambassador to Hungary under President Barack Obama. Read full book review >
UNDER THE BUS by Caroline Fredrickson
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: May 5, 2015

"Informative, occasionally shocking exploration of the state of women's rights in the workplace."
Examination of the inequalities women still face in the workforce. Read full book review >

AFTERWAR by Nancy Sherman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2015

"A piercing course in sensitivity training to build a moral community upon re-entry into society. For a similar but more character-driven tale, see Helen Thorpe's Soldier Girls (2014)."
Sherman (Philosophy/Georgetown Univ.; The Untold War: Inside the Hearts, Minds, and Souls of Our Soldiers, 2010, etc.) describes the many and varied struggles for inner pace after returning from war.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2015

"This valuable look at a national tragedy demands the attention of policymakers."
The overlooked plight of American-born children of undocumented immigrants. Read full book review >
THE OBAMA DOCTRINE by Colin Dueck
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2015

"Though Dueck can be wordy and repetitive, his ideas are clear, his arguments sound and his policy proposals professional. A good book for those who think the current policy just isn't doing its job."
Foreign policy expert Dueck (Policy, Government, and International Affairs/George Mason Univ.; Hard Line: The Republican Party and U.S. Foreign Policy since World War II, 2010, etc.) explains how presidential doctrines are built and provides a primer on the methodology of establishing foreign policy.Read full book review >

THE TWO-STATE DELUSION by Padraig O'Malley
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 28, 2015

"Evenhanded, diplomatic, mutually respectful and enormously useful."
A thoughtful autopsy of the failed two-state paradigm. Read full book review >
THE SNOWDEN READER by David P. Fidler
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 24, 2015

"An indispensable resource for understanding the Snowden leaks."
An intense examination of whistleblower Edward Snowden that successfully wades through both partisan rhetoric and ideological constraints. Read full book review >
CHILDREN OF THE STONE by Sandy Tolan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 21, 2015

"A resolute, heart-rending story of real change and possibility in the Palestinian-Israeli impasse."
Musicians who play together break down the barriers separating them. Read full book review >
DREAMLAND by Sam Quinones
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 21, 2015

"A compellingly investigated, relentlessly gloomy report on the drug distribution industry."
Discouraging, unflinching dispatches from America's enduring opiate-abuse epidemic. Read full book review >
THE RELIGION OF DEMOCRACY by Amy Kittelstrom
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 21, 2015

"An intellectual history that, while scholarly and broadly allusive, extends beyond the academy walls."
A young scholar's first book finds in America's 19th-century embrace of religious liberalism the seeds of modern political liberalism. Read full book review >
AND THE GOOD NEWS IS... by Dana Perino
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 21, 2015

"'A pet peeve of mine is with people who give backhanded compliments.' So: The best memoir and etiquette guide manqué we have by 'the first and only Republican woman' to serve as White House press secretary. Now be nice."
Fox News commentator Perino, co-host of The Five, spreads sunshine in a book from which even Fox News haters could extract some useful nuggets.Read full book review >
SPEAK NOW by Kenji Yoshino
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 21, 2015

"Yoshino claims that he was riveted by the 3,000-page trial transcript; his cogent, incisive narrative is equally captivating."
The story of a crucial trial to legitimize same-sex marriage. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >