Current Affairs Book Reviews

CAPITAL OFFENSES by Samuel Buell
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"A book that will challenge conventional wisdom among readers who intuitively believe that corporations often game the system."
The federal prosecutor for the massive Enron investigation examines why corporations and their executives rarely face criminal charges, no matter how widespread their hurtful conduct. Read full book review >
CALIFORNIA COMEBACK by Narda Zacchino
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"Although income inequality, overcrowded prisons, drought, and traffic continue to challenge California, Zacchino persuasively portrays the state as vibrant, farsighted, and civic minded."
An informative history of troubles and triumphs in the Golden State. Read full book review >

THE BOY WHO RUNS by John Brant
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"A bright, uplifting biography about determination and giving back."
The inspiring life of a Ugandan middle-distance runner and his journey from bush village to Olympic hopeful. Read full book review >
THE EURO by Joseph E. Stiglitz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"A cogent and urgent argument of compelling interest to economists and policymakers."
A tale of monetary union and its discontents. Read full book review >
BORN BRIGHT by C. Nicole Mason
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 16, 2016

"A thoughtful, well-crafted rejoinder to Claude Brown's half-century-old Manchild in the Promised Land, speaking to the power of hope and the institutional changes needed to make hope possible."
The aspirational story of a young African-American woman's rise from poverty. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 15, 2016

"Pungent, embittered, eye-opening observations of a conflict involving lessons still unlearned."
A scathing dispatch from an embedded journalist in Afghanistan. Read full book review >
HOW EVERYTHING BECAME WAR AND THE MILITARY BECAME EVERYTHING by Rosa Brooks
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Legal theorists and policymakers will approve the scholarship and close analysis; general readers will appreciate the sensitive storytelling, the wit, and the uncommon good sense."
A former senior Defense Department adviser explores the military's expanded role in a time when the lines between war and peace are dangerously blurred. Read full book review >
FAIL U. by Charles J. Sykes
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 9, 2016

"Though Sykes' Limbaugh-esque project scores some good points along the way, his shrill denunciations don't get at the core of the real problem or at a solution."
Ah, college, a time for beer blasts, casual sex, and, ahem, "bizarre cultural intolerances." Read full book review >
THE FIRE THIS TIME by Jesmyn Ward
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Timely contributions to an urgent national conversation."
Poets, scholars, and essayists reflect on race in America. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Solid reporting combined with engaging stories—even about campaign finance reform."
A blistering account of concerted Republican efforts to quiet the political voices of minorities, students, and the poor. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"Timely, controversial, and bound to stir already heated discussion."
An impassioned analysis of headline-making cases of police shootings and other acts of "state violence" against blacks and other minorities. Read full book review >
WHISTLESTOP by John Dickerson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Aug. 2, 2016

"A politically astute, timely book that will also have great historical value for future campaigns."
The Face the Nation moderator eases our fears about the 2016 presidential campaigns by showing other historical horrors related to our highest office. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
author of SEINFELDIA
August 22, 2016

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s new bestseller Seinfeldia is the hilarious behind-the-scenes story of two guys who went out for coffee and dreamed up Seinfeld —the cultural sensation that changed television and bled into the real world. Comedians Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld never thought anyone would watch their silly little sitcom about a New York comedian sitting around talking to his friends. NBC executives didn’t think anyone would watch either, but they bought it anyway, hiding it away in the TV dead zone of summer. But against all odds, viewers began to watch, first a few and then many, until nine years later nearly 40 million Americans were tuning in weekly. In Seinfeldia, TV historian and entertainment writer Armstrong celebrates the creators and fans of this American television phenomenon, bringing readers behind-the-scenes of the show while it was on the air and into the world of devotees for whom it never stopped being relevant, a world where the Soup Nazi still spends his days saying “No soup for you!” “Armstrong’s intimate, breezy history is full of gossipy details, show trivia, and insights into how famous episodes came to be,” our reviewer writes. “Perfect for Seinfeldians and newcomers alike.” View video >