Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 4)

THE INVITATION-ONLY ZONE by Robert S. Boynton
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Engaging reading, surreal in some of the Orwellian detail."
A thorough investigative report into the systematic abduction of Japanese citizens by the North Korean intelligence network over many decades. Read full book review >
BAD NEWS by Anjan Sundaram
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A chilling account of reporters in danger that heightens awareness of the importance of a free press."
A journalist's memoir of training reporters during a dangerous time in Rwanda. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A heartfelt dose of old-time religion mixed with modern-day activism."
A battle-hardened pastor calls for a faith-based, grass-roots movement for social justice. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Though Zoepf demonstrates a few instances of how 'small reform turns out to be even more transformational than its most devoted proponents could have predicted,' the evolving 'personal agency' she witnessed is almost too subtle (yet) to be perceived."
New America Foundation fellow Zoepf attempts to make "the case for small gestures" by extremely circumscribed Arab women. 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 >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A book that will appeal to readers convinced that Benghazi and Hillary Clinton's email habits are the most pressing concerns Americans now face."
A conservative polemic against "big government" disguised as a memoir of government service. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"The author's scholarly work is certain to be shelved in law libraries and become required reading for politicians. However, the book is deeply geared toward legal minds and may frustrate general readers."
Hasen (Law and Political Science/Univ. of California, Irvine; The Voting Wars: From Florida 2000 to the Next Election Meltdown, 2012, etc.) examines the always-contentious issue of campaign finance.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 >
THE IDEALIST by Justin Peters
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A hard look at Internet culture and the wunderkind it failed in the end."
The spectacular life and tragic downfall of an American iconoclast. 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 >
JUST MEDICINE by Dayna Bowen Matthew
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 11, 2016

"Health care providers, hospital administrators, insurers, and those involved in civil rights law will find food for thought here; general readers will be better served by Damon Tweedy's Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine (2015)."
A densely written proposal for reducing discrimination by white physicians, nurses, and other health care personnel against minorities seeking medical services. 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 >
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 >