Current Affairs Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"An earnest, eye-opening, important account for Western readers."
A brave, excoriating exposé of the systematic ruination of resource-rich countries of Africa, leaving "penury and strife" for its millions of inhabitants. Read full book review >
THE AGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT by Jeffrey D. Sachs
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Required reading for policymakers and students, and general readers will finish the book realizing they actually understand what sustainable development is all about."
A leading economist offers a brilliant analysis of the worldwide need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. Read full book review >

OUR KIDS by Robert D. Putnam
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"An insightful book that paints a disturbing picture of the collapse of the working class and the growth of an upper class that seems to be largely unaware of the other's precarious existence."
A political scientist calls attention to the widening class-based opportunity gap among young people in the United States. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives."
An alarming view of the burgeoning dark side of the Internet. Read full book review >
BELIEVER by David Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Obama has been profiled many times but seldom with so practical an outlook. An excellent view of politics from the inside."
Longtime political adviser Axelrod, late of the White House, tells most of what he's seen in the cloakroom. Read full book review >

IT'S WHAT I DO by Lynsey Addario
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 5, 2015

"A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir that is as inspiring as it is horrific."
A remarkable journalistic achievement from a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winner that crystalizes the last 10 years of global war and strife while candidly portraying the intimate life of a female photojournalist. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A meticulously detailed feat of rare footage inside the DPRK's propaganda machinery."
Exhaustively researched, highly engrossing chronicle of the outrageous abduction of a pair of well-known South Korean filmmakers by the nefarious network of North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. Read full book review >
THE DOGS ARE EATING THEM NOW by Graeme Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"A dragon awaits, in other words. Cheerless and even nightmarish, one of the best books yet about the war in Central Asia."
Think Afghanistan is bad now? Just wait until American forces leave entirely and the dragon rises again. Read full book review >
WHY WE LOST by Daniel P. Bolger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"With vigorous, no-nonsense prose and an impressive clarity of vision, this general does not mince blame in this chronicle of failure."
A former commander of advisory teams in Iraq and Afghanistan offers historical perspective and a forthright breakdown of the failure of those conflicts. Read full book review >
THE RESILIENCE DIVIDEND by Judith Rodin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"A convincing argument that becoming resilient is not only possible, but essential; food for thought for all and especially recommended for community leaders."
A revealing examination of the anatomy of resilience, the capacity to withstand and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Not always cohesive, but the stylish rendering of the Russian culture, which both attracts and appalls the author, will keep the reader captivated."
Everything you know about Russia is wrong, according to this eye-opening, mind-bending memoir of a TV producer caught between two cultures. Read full book review >
NO MAN'S LAND by Elizabeth D. Samet
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"Both the incisiveness and the perspective—of a civilian professor and the military students she loves and mourns—enrich readers' appreciation for the psychological complexities of war and its aftermath."
A singular mix of literary criticism and memoir from a West Point English professor who helps plebes mold the mindset that prepares future officers for war. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >