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. 4, 2015

"For a country that uses standardized testing more than any other in the world, this skills-based model represents a shift in thinking that could very well establish a shift in results."
Embedded with teachers on the front lines of education, Mother Jones education reporter Rizga delivers a firsthand report on a "failing" school system.Read full book review >

BASE NATION by David Vine
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A frank, significant look at how the proliferation of foreign military bases has 'helped lock us inside a permanently militarized society that in many ways has made all of us less safe and less secure.'"
America's seldom thought of, and largely misunderstood, military outposts around the globe are brought into sharp relief. 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 >
THE HAUNTING OF THE MEXICAN BORDER by Kathryn Ferguson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"A wise and humane account that draws on a lifetime of exploring the border country and pondering its meaning."
A memoir that grapples with life, death, and documentary filmmaking on the United States-Mexico border. Read full book review >
INSIDE THE MACHINE by Megan Prelinger
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 17, 2015

"Sophisticated in its grasp of science and technological history but also accessible to general readers."
A highly original cultural history of 20th-century technology examined through the lens of commercial art. Read full book review >
SHOTS ON THE BRIDGE by Ronnie Greene
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A poignant and skillful examination of a case that adds to the ongoing public debate about corrupt police practices, the militarization of local law enforcement, and convoluted legal decisions."
Associated Press investigative journalist Greene (Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and Margie Richard's Fight to Save Her Town, 2009) examines the shockingly overlooked case of police brutality that left six unarmed citizens shot during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Promising prescriptions to five of India's baneful environmental cases—right thinking and accusatory in all the right places."
Journalist Subramanian examines a handful of environmental woes besetting India, along with hopeful remedies. Read full book review >
AFTER NATURE by Jedediah Purdy
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A profound vision of post-humanistic ethics."
Purdy (Law/Duke Univ.; A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom, 2009, etc.) examines the growing awareness of the relationship between humans and other species, which could create "a Copernican revolution in ethical imagination." Read full book review >
$2.00 A DAY by Kathryn J. Edin
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An eye-opening account of the lives ensnared in the new poverty cycle."
An analysis of the growing portion of American poor who live on an average of $2 per day. 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 >