Current Affairs Book Reviews

LEAVING ORBIT by Margaret Lazarus Dean
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"One of those books you can't put down, don't want to finish, and won't soon forget."
Beguiled at an early age by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Dean (English/Univ. of Tennessee; The Time It Takes to Fall, 2007) deftly chronicles the history of American spaceflight and what the end of the space program means for American culture.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"Sehat ably shows how the exploitation of the founders debases political debate and neglects policy evaluation—required reading for those desperate for sane, intelligent political arguments."
Sehat (History/Georgia State Univ.; The Myth of American Religious Freedom, 2011) indicts the political ploy of invoking the Constitution to support projects from the sublime to the absurd.Read full book review >

SUDDEN JUSTICE by Chris Woods
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 13, 2015

"A cleareyed and chilling account of warfare's present and future."
Detailed history of the armed drone's prominence in the war on terror, focused on the controversial tactic of targeted assassination. Read full book review >
FREEDOM OF SPEECH by David K. Shipler
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 12, 2015

"Good stories, great interviews, and a potent plea on behalf of vigilant listening."
A Pulitzer Prize winner surveys the American cultural and political landscape and asks if "the freedom to hear" remains intact. 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 >

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 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 >
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 >
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 >
THE ESTABLISHMENT by Owen Jones
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 21, 2015

"An invigorating book with much fodder for thought on this side of the Atlantic."
Vigorous polemic on the makeup of England's ruling elite, with eerie parallels to the inequality in the United States. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
authors of OFF THE PAGE
May 19, 2015

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. In bestseller Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer’s new young adult novel, Off the Page, it’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. We talk to the mother-daughter team on Kirkus TV. View video >