Current Affairs Book Reviews

GIVE US THE BALLOT by Ari Berman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 4, 2015

"Not just a compelling history, but a cry for help in the recurring struggle to gain what is supposed to be an inalienable right."
An incisive look at the many issues surrounding the right to vote. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Well-written and superbly reported."
An absorbing account of the clash between environmentalists and oyster farmers in the coastal towns north of San Francisco. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A hackle-raising book about nature and human nature, venality and justice, and how disasters—before, during, and after—sharply mirror society."
How the most significant deleterious factor in natural disasters may be the human element. Read full book review >
BLUE by Joe Domanick
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Sprawling, engrossing, and highly relevant to the ongoing controversies about policing post-Ferguson, which Domanick addresses in an epilogue."
An incisive examination of American policing, using a tumultuous two decades in Los Angeles as a lens. Read full book review >
PAID FOR by Rachel Moran
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Moran's thoughtful, highly readable, and provocative treatise shines a necessary light on a dark and underdiscussed topic."
Leaving her Dublin home and dysfunctional family at 14, Moran became homeless before she turned to prostitution to survive. Her stirring memoir chronicles her seven-year journey on the streets and in the brothels and examines the costs to society and her soul. Read full book review >

WHAT PHILOSOPHY CAN DO by Gary Gutting
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Somewhat less supple than Simon Blackburn's Think (1999) as a general introduction to philosophy but an excellent, readable, and eminently practical guide."
It can't take you to the airport, but philosophy, as this spirited book argues, can do all sorts of great things—including contribute to our happiness. Read full book review >
OBJECTIVE TROY by Scott Shane
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Shane's reporting is superb, and the way he frames the public policy debate makes the narrative compelling from start to finish."
New York Times national security reporter Shane compares and contrasts the trajectories of President Barack Obama and Anwar al-Awlaki, the American citizen residing in Yemen whom Obama ordered to be killed by a drone. Read full book review >
EMPIRE OF FEAR by Andrew Hosken
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A tremendously useful, insightful study of the frightening spread of a culture of death."
An exploration of the spreading terror of the self-proclaimed new caliphate. Read full book review >
LET THERE BE WATER by Seth M. Siegel
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A major contribution to this hotly debated issue and to broader questions of environmental policy.
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An in-depth report on how Israel has combined technological innovation with conservation to achieve a water surplus at home and become a world leader in water management. Read full book review >
A STREET DIVIDED by Dion Nissenbaum
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A must-read for anyone interested in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian drama."
The revealing story of a street "at the epicenter of one of the world's most intractable conflicts." Read full book review >
THE NEW TSAR by Steven Lee Myers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"A highly effective portrait of a frighteningly powerful autocrat."
The reptilian, poker-faced former KGB agent, now Russian president seemingly for life, earns a fair, engaging treatment in the hands of New York Times journalist Myers.Read full book review >
BLACK FLAGS by Joby Warrick
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Warrick stops short of offering policy solutions, but he provides a valuable, readable introduction to a pressing international security threat."
Crisply written, chilling account of the personalities behind the emergence of the Islamic State, or ISIS. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >