Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 4)

OUR KIDS by Robert D. Putnam
Released: March 10, 2015

"An insightful book that paints a disturbing picture of the collapse of the working class and the growth of an upper class that seems to be largely unaware of the other's precarious existence."
A political scientist calls attention to the widening class-based opportunity gap among young people in the United States. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives."
An alarming view of the burgeoning dark side of the Internet. Read full book review >

BELIEVER by David Axelrod
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Obama has been profiled many times but seldom with so practical an outlook. An excellent view of politics from the inside."
Longtime political adviser Axelrod, late of the White House, tells most of what he's seen in the cloakroom. Read full book review >
IT'S WHAT I DO by Lynsey Addario
Released: Feb. 5, 2015

"A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir that is as inspiring as it is horrific."
A remarkable journalistic achievement from a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winner that crystalizes the last 10 years of global war and strife while candidly portraying the intimate life of a female photojournalist. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A meticulously detailed feat of rare footage inside the DPRK's propaganda machinery."
Exhaustively researched, highly engrossing chronicle of the outrageous abduction of a pair of well-known South Korean filmmakers by the nefarious network of North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"A dragon awaits, in other words. Cheerless and even nightmarish, one of the best books yet about the war in Central Asia."
Think Afghanistan is bad now? Just wait until American forces leave entirely and the dragon rises again. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"A convincing argument that becoming resilient is not only possible, but essential; food for thought for all and especially recommended for community leaders."
A revealing examination of the anatomy of resilience, the capacity to withstand and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Read full book review >
WHY WE LOST by Daniel P. Bolger
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"With vigorous, no-nonsense prose and an impressive clarity of vision, this general does not mince blame in this chronicle of failure."
A former commander of advisory teams in Iraq and Afghanistan offers historical perspective and a forthright breakdown of the failure of those conflicts. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Not always cohesive, but the stylish rendering of the Russian culture, which both attracts and appalls the author, will keep the reader captivated."
Everything you know about Russia is wrong, according to this eye-opening, mind-bending memoir of a TV producer caught between two cultures. Read full book review >
NO MAN'S LAND by Elizabeth D. Samet
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"Both the incisiveness and the perspective—of a civilian professor and the military students she loves and mourns—enrich readers' appreciation for the psychological complexities of war and its aftermath."
A singular mix of literary criticism and memoir from a West Point English professor who helps plebes mold the mindset that prepares future officers for war. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"Historical prognostication has a dismal record, but readers will find it difficult to put down this fascinating addition to the 'rise and fall of nations' genre."
Geopolitics, the influence of geography on nations, made the United States great and will keep it there, writes the author of this ingenious, optimistic overview of America's superpower status. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"This remarkable memoir serves as a moving examination of the complex forces of ethnicity, nationality and history that shape one's sense of self and foster, threaten or fray the fragile tapestry of community."
A young Armenian-American journalist examines her identity and personal history. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >