Current Affairs Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Refreshingly optimistic; in our diversity lies great strength, Levin writes, a strength that can be tapped once all the rancor is put aside. Highly recommended for readers of whatever political stripe."
A voice of both reason and establishment conservatism offers a prescription for renewed political discourse and bipartisan action. Read full book review >
FREE SPEECH by Timothy Garton Ash
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"A thorough and well-argued contribution to the quest for global free speech norms."
A field guide to the challenges of setting standards for free speech in a "cosmopolis" of diverse cultures. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"A sharp but limited critical analysis of how the role of women in the rise of the tea party is affecting conservative political change."
An academic analysis of the rise of the conservative tea party movement and its uniquely large female membership. Read full book review >
SECONDHAND TIME by Svetlana Alexievich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Profoundly significant literature as history."
A lively, deeply moving cacophony of Russian voices for whom the Soviet era was as essential as their nature. Read full book review >
ROGUE JUSTICE by Karen J. Greenberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"A sophisticated study of executive tyranny in the never-ending war on terror."
A terrifying history of American surveillance in the 21st century that shows how the government has eroded civil liberties since 9/11. Read full book review >

HELPING CHILDREN SUCCEED by Paul Tough
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Informative and effective methods to help children overcome issues and thrive at home and in school."
Straightforward advice on how to help children overcome adversity at home and in school. Read full book review >
THE MIRROR TEST by J. Kael Weston
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Vivid pages soaked with blood, reverberating with cries of pain, loss, and regret."
A former U.S. State Department official who spent seven consecutive war years in Iraq and Afghanistan debuts with a damning memoir about our lies, failures, and horrors in the region. Read full book review >
THE OPPOSITE OF WOE by John Hickenlooper
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 24, 2016

"Hickenlooper draws an analogy between brewing and politics (the activist as yeast, the political leader as brewer), but however apt that metaphor, it's difficult to imagine a more unusual preparation for public life than the one ably recounted here."
Colorado's high-profile governor submits an unconventional autobiography. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"An inspiring, well-rendered, deeply reported, and often infuriating account."
Salon contributing writer Dayen illuminates how, during the past 10 years, home buyers ended up illegally evicted from their residences as the result of dishonesty, greed, and heartlessness involving mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, investment bankers, and unscrupulous lawyers. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 17, 2016

"A thoroughly impressive debut."
In his first book, a former infantry sergeant-turned-historian surveys more than 200 years of the administration of American military justice. Read full book review >
RAIF BADAWI, THE VOICE OF FREEDOM by Ensaf Haidar
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"A sobering exposé of Saudi Arabian culture and a tribute to the courage and strength of both the author and her husband."
In a slim volume originally published in Germany last year, the wife of imprisoned human rights activist Raif Badawi keeps her husband's plight in the public eye. Read full book review >
STREET OF ETERNAL HAPPINESS by Rob Schmitz
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 17, 2016

"Probing human-interest stories that mine the heart of today's China."
A study of vastly changing China from the perspective of one busy street in the center of Shanghai. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >