Current Affairs Book Reviews

THE AGE OF ASPIRATION by Dilip Hiro
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"As comprehensive and knowledgeable as Hiro's earlier Inside India Today (1977; reissued 2013)."
An insider's economic report on the perils and scandals of India's precipitous drive into a market economy over the last decades. Read full book review >
RECLAIMING CONVERSATION by Sherry Turkle
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A timely wake-up call urging us to cherish the intimacy of direct, unscripted communication."
The founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self explores the danger that text messaging is replacing in-depth, face-to-face conversation. Read full book review >

SAVING CAPITALISM by Robert B. Reich
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"Reich's overriding message is that we don't have to put up with things as they are. It's a useful and necessary one, if not likely to sway the powers that be to become more generous of their own volition."
An accessible examination of how the "apparent arbitrariness and unfairness of the economy [has] undermined the public's faith in its basic tenets." Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Wildly creative ideas from intelligent females who want more for women, regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference."
A few dozen female writers envision a more balanced world. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"An inspiring story in which the author demonstrates unequivocally that public health policy can not only save lives; it can change the way we view the landscape of food."
A New York City-based saga showing how "saving lives in America today means fighting to protect people from the pervasive marketing of cigarettes, junk food, and other unhealthy products." Read full book review >

ATMOSPHERE OF HOPE by Tim Flannery
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A sharp summary of energy potentialities, where the good and the bad reside in human hands, hearts, and minds."
Flannery (An Explorer's Notebook: Essays on Life, History, and Climate, 2014, etc.) argues for renewed optimism in human capabilities to reverse the destabilizing effects of climate change.Read full book review >
OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY by John Kay
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Sobering and lucid. If you're moved to keep your money in a sock after reading this, you'd have cause."
All's not well in the counting house, nor in a capitalist system grown increasingly unequal and corrosive. Read full book review >
FRACTURE by Joy-Ann Reid
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Provocative and well-argued with plenty of clues on what to watch for in the coming presidential race."
An exploration of the relationship between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, proving to be salutary reading for anyone who still believes that we live in a post-racial society. Read full book review >
SHAKY GROUND by Bethany McLean
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 14, 2015

"Readers of this maddening, sharp report will rightly wonder why Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been allowed to survive and why we can't do better."
The housing sector is a house of cards. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 27, 2015

"Winchester's passionate research—on sea and land—undergirds this superb analysis of a world wonder that we seem hellbent on damaging."
The preternaturally curious writer about everything from the Oxford English Dictionary to volcanoes to the Atlantic Ocean (Atlantic: A Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, 2010, etc.) returns with a series of high-resolution literary snapshots of the Pacific Ocean.Read full book review >
LET THERE BE WATER by Seth M. Siegel
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A major contribution to this hotly debated issue and to broader questions of environmental policy.
"
An in-depth report on how Israel has combined technological innovation with conservation to achieve a water surplus at home and become a world leader in water management. Read full book review >
Obama's Challenge to China by Chi Wang
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: July 1, 2015

"An informative, persuasive look at the current state of Chinese-American relations."
Wang (The United States and China Since World War II, 2013, etc.) offers an analysis of Obama's China policy and the continuing points of contention in the Chinese-American relationship. 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 >