Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 2)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 14, 2016

"Uplifting, well-written story of personal courage and political empowerment."
The moving personal stories behind the landmark Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which established the right of same-sex couples to marry in all 50 states. Read full book review >
SPIRAL by Mark Danner
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 14, 2016

"A chilling cautionary tale of Orwellian repercussions."
A somber examination of why the war on terror has stretched over 15 years and appears to have no end in sight. Read full book review >

INVISIBLE MAN, GOT THE WHOLE WORLD WATCHING by Mychal Denzel Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: June 14, 2016

"Realizing that he has more questions than answers, Smith cautiously sketches a useful blueprint for radical and intersectional politics in a country where a black child can grow up to be president but where living while black is still dangerous."
As black men are cut down by the police and self-appointed vigilantes, an activist wrestles with competing claims—from his family and community, his historically black university, the media, and white America—on his blackness and how it is to be lived. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 14, 2016

"Stern's T-shirt slogan puts it well: 'It's really not that complicated.' Pipe dream it may be, but this is a book eminently worth talking about."
Want pie in the sky? How about convincing Americans to accept the "almost un-American" premise of a guaranteed income for all? Read full book review >
EXONEREE DIARIES by Alison Flowers
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A thoroughly researched, provocative book of justice gone wrong."
Chicago journalist Flowers goes deep into the cases of three innocent men and a woman serving at least a decade in prison for crimes they never committed. Read full book review >

BUT WHAT IF WE'RE WRONG? by Chuck Klosterman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"Replete with lots of nifty, whimsical footnotes, this clever, speculative book challenges our beliefs with jocularity and perspicacity."
An inquiry into why we'll probably be wrong about almost everything. Read full book review >
THE INVENTION OF RUSSIA by Arkady Ostrovsky
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"An astute, accessible, illuminating navigation of the idea that the 'only consistent feature in Russia's history is its unpredictability.'"
A focused, bracing look at how the control of the media has helped plot the Russian political trajectory from dictatorship and back again. Read full book review >
TO PROTECT AND SERVE by Norm Stamper
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A vivid, well-written, vitally important book."
Most of the nation's approximately 18,000 police departments receive scathing criticism from one of their own: an author who began as a San Diego beat cop in 1966 and rose to become a police chief in Seattle. Read full book review >
THE FATE OF GENDER by Frank Browning
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A timely, thoughtful contribution to a much-debated issue."
A journalist and cultural critic investigates the "shifting terrain of gender." Read full book review >
THE RISE AND FALL OF NATIONS by Ruchir Sharma
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: June 7, 2016

"Evenhanded, measured, sage advice on the global economy."
This efficient, positive guide for the practical observer and investor shows how to choose healthy emerging markets. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"An impassioned, learned plea for the importance of shared values, rather than coldhearted calculations, as the basis of diplomacy."
As Israelis and American Jews drift further apart culturally and politically, the nature of the unique relationship between the two countries is changing. Read full book review >
ISLAMIC EXCEPTIONALISM by Shadi Hamid
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"Fresh, provocative thinking on the 'Arab problem.'"
Why can't the Islamic world be more secular and liberal like "we" are? Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >