Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 2)

RED PLATOON by Clinton Romesha
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"Romesha ably captures the daily dangers faced by these courageous American soldiers in Afghanistan."
An account of the horrendous October 2009 attack on the American Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan, told in a frank, engaging vernacular by the staff sergeant and Medal of Honor winner. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 3, 2016

"Convincing and damning but unlikely to influence U.S. leaders because the electorate largely approves of drone warfare. Apparently killing terrorists takes priority over legal niceties or the deaths of innocent non-Americans."
In this angry but well-documented polemic, journalist Scahill (Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, 2013, etc.) and his colleagues at the Intercept add to a growing genre that denounces our leaders' fascination with a cheap, seemingly risk-free way to kill terrorists. Read full book review >

RUTHLESS by Ron Miscavige
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"A sad and painful but bravely told story. Acknowledging his son's mistakes and hoping things will change, the author concludes, 'David, I forgive you.'"
A father's nightmarish account of the Church of Scientology's transformation into a "coercive" cult under the authoritarian leadership of his son, David Miscavige. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A comprehensive analysis that lays the foundation for a discussion of necessary reforms and how they can be achieved."
Why the theories used to rationalize our beliefs in democracy are broken beyond repair and must be replaced. Read full book review >
TROUBLE IN THE TRIBE by Dov Waxman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A meticulous, precise, well-organized survey that takes into account the many different views and will certainly facilitate the heated conversation."
An examination of how American Jews' relationship with Israel has moved from unconditional support to critical engagement. Read full book review >

ISIS by Fawaz A. Gerges
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A specific, timely, well-rendered exegesis of the unfolding global threat."
A thorough survey of the genesis of the Islamic State, from al-Qaida wannabe to lethal caliphate. Read full book review >
A RAGE FOR ORDER by Robert F. Worth
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 26, 2016

"A crucial portrait of a deeply troubled region."
How the Arab Spring, begun in hope, has resulted in despair. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 26, 2016

"Focused, committed, convincing, and composed in moderate language that will appeal to those all along the political continuum."
Two political scientists argue that our Constitution, perhaps suitable for the late 18th century, no longer works well. Read full book review >
THE NEW ARAB WARS by Marc Lynch
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 26, 2016

"An excellent, clear distillation of recent events in the Middle East."
A keen observer of the violent upheaval in the Middle East since the Arab Spring makes a strong assertion: there is no returning to the old autocratic ways. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"A well-documented, brave, and useful overview."
A journey through the Middle East in the post-Arab Spring landscape. Read full book review >
THE GUNNING OF AMERICA by Pamela Haag
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 19, 2016

"A refreshingly unusual approach by an author admirably transparent about why she wrote the book and why she chose to avoid more traditional approaches."
An examination of the controversial realm of American gun culture through the perspective of gun manufacturers, with an emphasis on the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Read full book review >
RESKILLING AMERICA by Katherine S. Newman
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 19, 2016

"A top-notch, highly accessible contribution to the business and popular economics literature."
Now that the tide of outsourcing employment has begun to turn, the time has come to think about how to reverse chronic unemployment among youth in the United States. 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 >