Current Affairs Book Reviews

WOMEN AND POWER by Mary Beard
Released: Dec. 12, 2017

"An urgent feminist cri de coeur, spot-on in its utterly reasonable plea that a woman 'who dares to open her mouth in public' actually be given a hearing."
Noted classicist and essayist Beard (S.P.Q.R.: A History of Ancient Rome, 2015, etc.) looks deep into the past and hard at the present to examine the power of women—and more often, their powerlessness—in a world of impatient men. Read full book review >
THE POLARIZERS by Sam  Rosenfeld
Released: Dec. 22, 2017

"A delight for policy wonks and politicos, Rosenfeld's insightful study of the development of political parties since World War II is highly instructive for our current moment."
An analysis of mid-20th-century American political movements and the rise of an ideology-based party system that paved the way for the current state of partisan dysfunction. Read full book review >

NON-FICTION
Released: Dec. 26, 2017

"A deft, fair analysis that clarifies the issues for both the general public and concerned policymakers."
An examination of the pros and cons and the unknowns of the shale revolution, bringing much-needed light to the hot topic of fracking. Read full book review >
THE LONG HANGOVER by Shaun  Walker
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 2, 2018

"Essential reading for Russia watchers."
A British journalist offers a searching account of contemporary Russia, a nation bent on recapturing a more glorious past. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A well-written, matter-of-fact, inspirational account of how a man prevailed against a criminal justice system that is deeply flawed."
A travesty of the Texas judicial system leads to death-row vindication. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A rich, complex book that makes splendid use of data to trace the recent renaissance of city neighborhoods and how children and the poor flourish in a time of relative peace."
A sociologist's account of the "stunning" decline in urban American violence in the past two decades. Read full book review >
SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE by Ijeoma Oluo
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation."
Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism. Read full book review >
TRUMPOCRACY by David Frum
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"Evenhanded, ideologically consistent, and guaranteed to generate a slew of angry tweets should a copy land at the White House."
The conservative stalwart takes measure of the current administration and finds it sadly wanting—and dangerous, and immoral, and…. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"Thoroughly depressing—but urgent, necessary reading, at least for those who aren't true believers in the Trumpite cause."
If there's such a genre as anti-hagiography, Johnston (The Making of Donald Trump, 2016, etc.) adds materially to it with this new polemic against the sitting president. Read full book review >
A GIFT FROM DARKNESS by Andrea C. Hoffmann
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 23, 2018

"Ibrahim's bold firsthand account is powerful testimony to resilience and survival in the face of a kind of warfare that is becoming ever more common, its terror visited mostly on women."
A memoir of abduction and sexual slavery at the hands of the Islamist Boko Haram militant group. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 23, 2018

"A moving, well-documented testimony to lawyers' tireless battles against a nation's inhumanity."
A Tel Aviv-based human rights lawyer forcefully argues that Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories is equivalent to apartheid. Read full book review >
BLACK INK by Stephanie Stokes Oliver
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Jan. 30, 2018

"Revelatory, often moving essays by impressive writers."
Writers testify to the significance of reading and writing in their lives. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >