Current Affairs Book Reviews

THE GREAT DIVIDE by Joseph E. Stiglitz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 20, 2015

"Smart, sometimes-stinging prose that rejects the doctrines of strangled government and artificial austerity, doctrines that require us to 'pay a high economic price for our growing inequality and declining opportunity.'"
Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz (The Price of Inequality, 2012, etc.) examines some of the macro dollars-and-cents issues that separate the haves from the have-nots—and money is just of them. 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 >

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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >