Current Affairs Book Reviews

Released: Dec. 15, 2017

"A solid work of labor history that offers valuable lessons for other activists and organizers."
A scholarly study of an effort by Florida farmworkers to improve working conditions by building partnerships along the supply chain. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 12, 2017

"In making a solid case for our country's overinvestment in personal and national security, May asks a germane question: are we focusing on the right threats?"
If violent crime statistics indicate a downward trend, why are Americans so afraid? Read full book review >

WOMEN AND POWER by Mary Beard
Released: Dec. 12, 2017

"An urgent feminist cri de coeur, spot-on in its utterly reasonable plea that a woman 'who dares to open her mouth in public' actually be given a hearing."
Noted classicist and essayist Beard (S.P.Q.R.: A History of Ancient Rome, 2015, etc.) looks deep into the past and hard at the present to examine the power of women—and more often, their powerlessness—in a world of impatient men. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 6, 2017

"An accessible read with a title designed to catch the attention of worried mothers and a message that will be vigorously challenged by a host of agribusiness and pharmaceutical industry spokespeople and segments of the medical profession."
Medical professionals join the debate over the safety of our food supply with the claim that toxic foods are causing hard-to-diagnose chronic health problems in children. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"An uneven treatment of a topic that merits further study."
An alarming, and often alarmist, survey of how spending by consumers might support terrorist organizations and organized crime enterprises, especially drug cartels. Read full book review >

GLOBAL DISCONTENTS by Noam Chomsky
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Dec. 5, 2017

"Well-informed salvos to please or enrage, depending on one's politics."
The well-known left-wing intellectual holds forth on global developments of the past five years, from Edward Snowden's disclosures on government surveillance to Donald Trump's efforts to "make America great again." Read full book review >
DIVERSIFYING DIPLOMACY by Harriet Lee Elam-Thomas
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 1, 2017

"An informative, behind-the-scenes look at one black woman's rise through the ranks of the Foreign Service when few others like her were serving as diplomats."
How a young black woman from Boston rose to a long, distinguished career in foreign service. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 2017

"Though the author sets aside 'Boko Haram's treatment of women' due to 'reasons of space,' he offers a highly useful, timely, illuminating work about a little-understood terrorist group."
A diagnostic study of the ultraconservative "mobile jihadist gang" from Nigeria that has taken a violent toll on government and civilians alike. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 2017

"Despite flaws, this is an incisive critique of American policy from the standpoint of an earlier era but with troubling implications in the unlikely event that it actually gains traction in Washington, D.C."
A call for the United States to return to its traditional foreign policy based on "neutrality, non-intervention, and non-entanglement." Read full book review >
HOW LONG WILL ISRAEL SURVIVE? by Gregg  Carlstrom
Released: Dec. 1, 2017

"A provocative, highly readable view of a nation that seems headed for more trouble, this time from within."
Tel Aviv-based journalist Carlstrom, a correspondent for the Times and the Economist, considers a near-term future in which Israel is destroyed—not by external enemies but instead torn apart by civil war. Read full book review >
Released: Dec. 1, 2017

"An economics degree isn't required to follow the authors' nuanced argument, but it would surely help. Recommended reading for venture capitalists and investment counselors."
A searching, technical examination of the arrival of a kind of economy in which much of what is produced is abstract, symbolic, and speculative. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 22, 2017

"On the dry side but with provocative suggestions for how to revive democratic practices through citizen action and institutional reform alike."
Gridlock, inaction, inequality: is it any wonder that democracy seems an endangered species in the U.S. and elsewhere? Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >