Current Affairs Book Reviews

SECONDHAND TIME by Svetlana Alexievich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Profoundly significant literature as history."
A lively, deeply moving cacophony of Russian voices for whom the Soviet era was as essential as their nature. Read full book review >
ROGUE JUSTICE by Karen J. Greenberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"A sophisticated study of executive tyranny in the never-ending war on terror."
A terrifying history of American surveillance in the 21st century that shows how the government has eroded civil liberties since 9/11. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 17, 2016

"A thoroughly impressive debut."
In his first book, a former infantry sergeant-turned-historian surveys more than 200 years of the administration of American military justice. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"An inspiring, well-rendered, deeply reported, and often infuriating account."
Salon contributing writer Dayen illuminates how, during the past 10 years, home buyers ended up illegally evicted from their residences as the result of dishonesty, greed, and heartlessness involving mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, investment bankers, and unscrupulous lawyers. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 10, 2016

"Provocative, timely, and immensely rewarding reading."
The story of one of the longest-lasting negative metaphors in America politics: the limousine liberal. Read full book review >

PUMPKINFLOWERS by Matti Friedman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"A haunting yet wry tale of young people at war, cursed by political forces beyond their control, that can stand alongside the best narrative nonfiction coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq."
Powerful account of youthful Israelis maturing, fighting, and dying at a forgotten Lebanon outpost. Read full book review >
THE MORNING THEY CAME FOR US by Janine di Giovanni
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 3, 2016

"This brilliant, necessary book will hopefully do for Syria what Herr's Dispatches (1977) did for Vietnam."
Newsweek Middle East editor di Giovanni (Ghosts by Daylight: A Modern-Day War Correspondent's Memoir of Love, Loss, and Redemption, 2013) dives headfirst into the nightmarish shadow world of modern Syria.Read full book review >
TROUBLE IN THE TRIBE by Dov Waxman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A meticulous, precise, well-organized survey that takes into account the many different views and will certainly facilitate the heated conversation."
An examination of how American Jews' relationship with Israel has moved from unconditional support to critical engagement. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A comprehensive analysis that lays the foundation for a discussion of necessary reforms and how they can be achieved."
Why the theories used to rationalize our beliefs in democracy are broken beyond repair and must be replaced. Read full book review >
ISIS by Fawaz A. Gerges
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A specific, timely, well-rendered exegesis of the unfolding global threat."
A thorough survey of the genesis of the Islamic State, from al-Qaida wannabe to lethal caliphate. Read full book review >
A RAGE FOR ORDER by Robert F. Worth
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 26, 2016

"A crucial portrait of a deeply troubled region."
How the Arab Spring, begun in hope, has resulted in despair. Read full book review >
THE NEW ARAB WARS by Marc Lynch
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 26, 2016

"An excellent, clear distillation of recent events in the Middle East."
A keen observer of the violent upheaval in the Middle East since the Arab Spring makes a strong assertion: there is no returning to the old autocratic ways. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >