Current Affairs Book Reviews

TORN FROM THE WORLD by John Gibler
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 15, 2018

"The reasons why this book can't tell the whole story—and how the stories it tells conflict—are fascinating tales in their own right."
An account of a guerrilla prisoner's torture in—and eventual escape from—a secret Mexican prison. Read full book review >
FROM THE CORNER OF THE OVAL by Beck Dorey-Stein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: July 10, 2018

"Gossipy books can be fun; if only this one had been better written."
Politics and romance among Barack Obama's staffers. Read full book review >

Released: July 10, 2018

"There have been plenty of books covering similar territory—and there will be many more in the years to come—but rarely are they as persuasive and engaging as this one."
A stirring defense of "identity politics" and the need to reclaim narratives as well as a powerful account of the transformation of a journalist into an activist. Read full book review >
Released: July 10, 2018

"A useful primer on a highly contentious topic."
A journalist who focuses on economic policy explores the idea of reducing poverty through recurring government payments to every adult citizen. Read full book review >
Released: July 10, 2018

"The world of data as illuminated here would have scared George Orwell."
The former Secretary of Homeland Security surveys the brave new world of data collection and analysis and finds that both the legal system and international relations have yet to keep pace with technology. Read full book review >

Released: July 10, 2018

"Kaufman's disdain for Walker and other hard-line conservatives is clear, but his research underlying the antipathy is solid and important."
A Wisconsin native who identifies as a progressive advocate contrasts the history of his state with the drastic changes during the past decade that have surprised politicians, journalists, academics, and countless voters. Read full book review >
Released: July 10, 2018

"A potent cautionary tale of urban neglect and indifference. Infuriated readers will be heartened by the determined efforts of protesters and investigative reporters."
The story of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis. Read full book review >
Released: July 3, 2018

"An engaging and inviting study of humanity's long-standing fear of the other."
A philosopher considers Trumpism through the lens of history, classical thought, and a bit of Hamilton. Read full book review >
Released: July 3, 2018

"Solid reading for students of economic development and global economics."
A report from the front lines of inequality and corruption in India, one of the world's rising economies. Read full book review >
Released: July 3, 2018

"Of considerable interest to the geopolitically inclined, as are all of Laqueur's many books."
The dean of terrorism studies (Putinism: Russia and Its Future with the West, 2015, etc.) examines trends in Islamist and alt-right acts of political violence. Read full book review >
THE TRIGGER by Daniel J. Patinkin
Released: July 3, 2018

"Anecdotal more than analytical but of some interest to students of crime and punishment."
A curious exercise in the annals of gun violence, highlighting the life stories of six who turned to the gun for a solution. Read full book review >
RESISTANCE by Jeff Biggers
Released: July 3, 2018

"An engaging jeremiad proposing that 'the resistance is now in the hands of a new generation.'
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A widely ranging history of intellectual and moral resistance within American politics. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >