Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 4)

THE LAWS OF MEDICINE by Siddhartha Mukherjee
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"A splendid exploration of how medicine might be transformed."
Oncologist and Pulitzer Prize winner Mukherjee (Medicine/Columbia Univ.; The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, 2010) skillfully dives into the hidden side of medicine in this elaboration of the author's 18-minute TED talk.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 13, 2015

"Wildly creative ideas from intelligent writers who want more for women, regardless of race, religion, or sexual preference."
A few dozen writers envision a more balanced world. Read full book review >

ATMOSPHERE OF HOPE by Tim Flannery
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A sharp summary of energy potentialities, where the good and the bad reside in human hands, hearts, and minds."
Flannery (An Explorer's Notebook: Essays on Life, History, and Climate, 2014, etc.) argues for renewed optimism in human capabilities to reverse the destabilizing effects of climate change.Read full book review >
THE AGE OF ASPIRATION by Dilip Hiro
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"As comprehensive and knowledgeable as Hiro's earlier Inside India Today (1977; reissued 2013)."
An insider's economic report on the perils and scandals of India's precipitous drive into a market economy over the last decades. Read full book review >
RECLAIMING CONVERSATION by Sherry Turkle
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A timely wake-up call urging us to cherish the intimacy of direct, unscripted communication."
The founding director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self explores the danger that text messaging is replacing in-depth, face-to-face conversation. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"An accomplished chronicle of the setbacks and successes by a journalist in the trenches."
A committed gay rights journalist thoroughly tracks the president's hard-won "evolution" in embracing the national LBGT agenda. Read full book review >
THEN COMES MARRIAGE by Roberta Kaplan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 5, 2015

"Kaplan delivers a well-rounded, informative, and illuminating perspective on the complexities of nontraditional marriage."
A key litigator who argued and helped defeat the Defense of Marriage Act describes the process, the politics, and the history behind the watershed Supreme Court ruling. Read full book review >
SODA POLITICS by Marion Nestle
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 2, 2015

"A hard-hitting, exceedingly well-documented call for action."
Nestle (Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health/New York Univ.; Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics, 2012, etc.) calls for a campaign to regulate and tax the multibillion-dollar soda industry modeled on the successful anti-smoking campaign.Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"Serious readers will delight in these pages."
An unusually rewarding meditation on how a wild mushroom can help us see the world's ruined condition after the advent of modern capitalism. Read full book review >
SAVING CAPITALISM by Robert B. Reich
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"Reich's overriding message is that we don't have to put up with things as they are. It's a useful and necessary one, if not likely to sway the powers that be to become more generous of their own volition."
An accessible examination of how the "apparent arbitrariness and unfairness of the economy [has] undermined the public's faith in its basic tenets." Read full book review >
NEW OLD WORLD by Pallavi Aiyar
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Fresh insight into how Europeans might learn valuable lessons from developing countries."
A longing for harmony and an embrace of multiculturalism mark this foreign correspondent's examination of the European situation as seen from Brussels. Read full book review >
THE NEW TSAR by Steven Lee Myers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"A highly effective portrait of a frighteningly powerful autocrat."
The reptilian, poker-faced former KGB agent, now Russian president seemingly for life, earns a fair, engaging treatment in the hands of New York Times journalist Myers.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 >