Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 2)

TOWARD A MORE PERFECT UNIVERSITY by Jonathan R. Cole
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"An ambitious and visionary examination of American universities and 'how to develop them still further so that they may maximize their full potential.'"
A distinguished Columbia University sociology professor and former provost examines how American universities must evolve to maintain their global pre-eminence. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A striking exploration of the horrors of mass violence in the Western Hemisphere, with the author offering hope that radical policies could provide positive change."
British journalist Grillo (El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency, 2011) risks life and limb to interview gangsters, police, and victims of violence in this harrowing account of Latin American crime syndicates.Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"An important contribution to an ongoing debate."
Two former Senate majority leaders contend that American party politics has gone off the rails, and they offer suggestions on how to get back on track. Read full book review >
BLOOD AND EARTH by Kevin Bales
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A cleareyed account of man's inhumanity to man and Earth. Read it to get informed, and then take action."
In a heart-wrenching narrative, Bales (Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves, 2007, etc.) explores modern slavery and the devastating effects on its victims as well as the environmental degradation caused by this morally reprehensible institution.Read full book review >
DEMOCRACY IN BLACK by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A powerful and thoughtful call for 'a revolution of value and a radical democratic awakening' aimed at ending America's persistent racial crisis."
Glaude (Chair, African American Studies/Princeton Univ.; African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction, 2014, etc.) explores the worsening state of racial inequality under the nation's first black president.Read full book review >

ALL MONSTERS MUST DIE by Magnus Bärtås
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A clear and troubling picture of a country forced to embrace madness."
Two Swedish artists (one visual, the other musical) record their impressions of a one-week sojourn in North Korea in 2008. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Detailed, acronym-mad, well-wrought, and exciting."
A well-developed look inside the life and work of an accomplished private military contractor. Read full book review >
CITY OF THORNS by Ben Rawlence
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"A significant, timely, and gloomy tale that reveals the human costs of a growing world crisis."
Former Human Rights Watch researcher Rawlence (Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa's Deadliest War, 2012) tells the distressing story of Kenya's vast Dadaab refugee camp, where nearly 500,000 people fleeing civil war in nearby Somalia live in a "teeming ramshackle metropolis" the size of Atlanta.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Prothero brilliantly shows how the same groups drive conflicts year after year and often lose—and how the results eventually make us stronger. Useful, instructive reading for all voters in the upcoming election year."
Prothero (Religion/Boston Univ.; The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide, and Define a Nation, 2012, etc.) gives hope to liberals who think conservatives are taking over.Read full book review >
THE BOY WHO COULD CHANGE THE WORLD by Aaron Swartz
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An important record of forward-looking thought cut short."
Collected writings of Aaron Swartz (1986-2013), prescient programmer and technology critic. Read full book review >
THE LUCKY YEARS by David B. Agus
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"Practical health information fortified with exciting news from the forefront of modern medical technology."
A pioneering oncologist explores the latest advancements in general medicine. Read full book review >
BLOOD OIL by Leif Wenar
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 2, 2016

"A fascinating reframing of large and vexing questions. Highly recommended for policymakers and energy strategists as well as students of contemporary philosophy."
A provocative examination of natural resources, their extraction, and their control. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >