Current Affairs Book Reviews

DEBRIEFING THE PRESIDENT by John Nixon
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 27, 2016

"An intelligent and readable postscript to the Iraq War that will be valuable for future historians."
A report on the CIA's interrogation of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein (1937-2006). Read full book review >
THE EGYPTIANS by Jack Shenker
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"A troubling yet highly engaging catch-up on the state of incomplete revolution in Egypt."
A sharp jab at the neoliberal economics adopted by Egypt over the last decades, which ultimately spurred grass-roots revolt. Read full book review >

AMERICAN HOOKUP by Lisa Wade
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"An eye-opening, conversation-starting examination of sex on the American college campus."
How and why American college students are engaging in nonintimate one-night stands. Read full book review >
THE NEW ODYSSEY by Patrick Kingsley
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A powerful firsthand account of a crisis that will continue to receive even more attention in the years to come."
Bravely following the refugee crisis from the Middle East to the European Union as it gains volume and urgency. Read full book review >
TALKING BACK, TALKING BLACK by John McWhorter
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A vibrant separation of an African-American vernacular tradition from the thickets of contemporary racial debate."
A compact, lively defense of the grammatical legitimacy of "Black English." Read full book review >

OUR BODIES, OUR DATA by Adam Tanner
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A thorough report, carefully researched and well-documented, aimed at both general readers and policymakers."
A disturbing look at the threat to privacy created by the lucrative and growing health care data-mining industry. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A dramatic challenge to understand the shakiness of the foundations we take for granted and where energies committed to redress should be directed."
How conservative majorities in successive Supreme Courts have consistently acted in recent years to block citizens' access to redress of grievances through the courts. Read full book review >
MODERATES by David S. Brown
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 16, 2017

"While mainly for specialists, this provocative and obviously timely analysis is an important reminder of the role that reason and compromise have played in bridging the gap between political extremes."
The moderate tradition in American politics. Read full book review >
AUDACITY by Jonathan Chait
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"Chait offers a well-organized, clearly written case that will be valuable to future historians in their assessments. The question is whether readers with different opinions about Obama's performance will alter those opinions."
A cogent argument that President Barack Obama has mostly succeeded in implementing his agenda. Read full book review >
HOW AMERICA LOST ITS SECRETS by Edward Jay Epstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"A wild and harrowing detective story and impressively evenhanded portrait of a very sticky case."
A nuanced portrait of the government contractor who absconded with top-secret National Security Agency documents in May 2013. Read full book review >
TEARS WE CANNOT STOP by Michael Eric Dyson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"The readership Dyson addresses may not fully be convinced, but it can hardly remain unmoved by his fiery prose."
The provocateur-scholar returns to the pulpit to deliver a hard-hitting sermon on the racial divide, directed specifically to a white congregation. Read full book review >
LONG SHOT by Craig Hodges
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 24, 2017

"A skillfully told, affecting memoir of sports and social activism."
A former professional basketball player looks back on his life on and off the court, with an emphasis on how his outspokenness regarding racial discrimination led to his unofficial banishment from the NBA. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Kendare Blake
November 16, 2016

Bestseller Kendare Blake’s latest novel, Three Dark Crowns, a dark and inventive fantasy about three sisters who must fight to the death to become queen. In every generation on the island of Fennbirn, a set of triplets is born: three queens, all equal heirs to the crown and each possessor of a coveted magic. Mirabella is a fierce elemental, able to spark hungry flames or vicious storms at the snap of her fingers. Katharine is a poisoner, one who can ingest the deadliest poisons without so much as a stomachache. Arsinoe, a naturalist, is said to have the ability to bloom the reddest rose and control the fiercest of lions. But becoming the Queen Crowned isn’t solely a matter of royal birth. Each sister has to fight for it. The last queen standing gets the crown. “Gorgeous and bloody, tender and violent, elegant, precise, and passionate; above all, completely addicting,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >