Current Affairs Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Solid, easily assimilated evidence showing how microbes are an integral part of a child's healthy life."
Why dirt and microbes are good for your child. Read full book review >
THE FIX by Jonathan Tepperman
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An important and unusually engrossing book that merits wide attention."
Foreign Affairs managing editor Tepperman (co-editor: Iran and the Bomb: Solving the Persian Puzzle, 2012, etc.) offers a stirring account of the achievements of risk-taking political leaders. Read full book review >

MODIFIED by Caitlin Shetterly
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"The message that our planet is saturated with chemical toxins comes through clearly, but the health case against GMOs is not persuasive."
A journalist on a mission to expose the dangers of genetically modified organisms tells nearly as much about her personal life as about the issue bothering her. Read full book review >
A KINGDOM OF THEIR OWN by Joshua Partlow
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"An excellent introduction to the Karzai family and to the disastrous consequences of the Americans' inadequate understanding of Afghan culture."
A summary and analysis of the United States' troubled relationship with former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and his sprawling, influential family. Read full book review >
YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN INNOCENT by James Duane
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Well-informed, scary, sobering, and sure to tick off police officers and prosecutors even as it contributes to keeping innocent people out of jail."
Building on his much-viewed YouTube video "Don't Talk to the Police," former criminal defense attorney and legal scholar Duane (Regent Univ. School of Law) offers a cogent, concise argument for keeping silent. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2016

"A top-notch book about the Supreme Court. Zirin has his finger on its pulse, and he shows the rest of us how it works and how it doesn't."
A leading litigator engagingly explores what many readers already know: the Supreme Court votes along party lines. Read full book review >
WOLF BOYS by Dan Slater
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Engrossing and readable yet nightmarish vision of a hyperviolent and corporatized narcotics industry, seducing a new generation with minimal alternatives."
A grisly yet compelling tale of impoverished Mexican-American youth molded into assassins by Los Zetas, the fearsome drug cartel. Read full book review >
THE NEW BETTER OFF by Courtney E. Martin
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Martin writes with conviction and enthusiasm; whether social scientists concur with her remains to be seen."
An exploration of how success in the United States is being redefined. Read full book review >
THE UPSIDE OF INEQUALITY by Edward Conard
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Unlikely to sway those for whom the idea of economic inequality is anathema, but a set of arguments worth considering."
Tax the rich? Even out the playing field? Bad idea, writes a famously contrarian financier. Read full book review >
THE CONSTITUTION TODAY by Akhil Reed Amar
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Bringing an unusually informed and cool head to the tumult accompanying unfolding events, Amar performs a valuable service for his fellow citizens."
From a constitutional law expert, 20 years' worth of essays on controversial issues that have dominated the headlines. Read full book review >
WE GON' BE ALRIGHT by Jeff Chang
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations."
In this collection, written "in appreciation of all the young people who would not bow down," outspoken journalist Chang (Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America, 2014, etc.) offers six critical essays addressing racial inequality and inequity and how these provocative, multifaceted issues impact virtually every culture. Read full book review >
MAN OF THE WORLD by Joe Conason
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 13, 2016

"Certain to appeal to Clinton devotees, especially in light of the possibility of still further Bill Clinton endeavors as first gentleman. "
The post-presidential life of Bill Clinton. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jeff Chang
September 20, 2016

In the provocative essays in journalist Jeff Chang’s new book We Gon’ Be Alright, Chang takes an incisive and wide-ranging look at the recent tragedies and widespread protests that have shaken the country. Through deep reporting with key activists and thinkers, personal writing, and cultural criticism, We Gon’ Be Alright links #BlackLivesMatter to #OscarsSoWhite, Ferguson to Washington D.C., the Great Migration to resurgent nativism. Chang explores the rise and fall of the idea of “diversity,” the roots of student protest, changing ideas about Asian Americanness, and the impact of a century of racial separation in housing. “He implores readers to listen, act, and become involved with today’s activists, who offer ‘new ways to see our past and our present,’ ” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “A compelling and intellectually thought-provoking exploration of the quagmire of race relations.” View video >