Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 497)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 19, 1994

"This is compelling material worthy of treatment by Gordon Prange or Len Deighton, but it's told here by a sloppy researcher with poor narrative gifts. (B&w photos)"
A plodding account of one of the most fascinating of WW II stories—how Japan sought to spy on the Allies through neutral countries. Read full book review >
LOOKING AT THE SUN by James Fallows
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 18, 1994

"An astute observer's provocative response to what he deems the large-scale economic challenges posed by Asia to the West. (Author tour)"
While capitalism may have bested communism in the Cold War, Fallows (More Like Us, 1989; National Defense, 1981, which won the American Book Award) fears that the West does not realize that the world's balance of economic power is shifting from the North Atlantic to the Pacific Basin and, further, that Asian economic success is based on a system of free enterprise that diverges in crucial ways from that of the West. Read full book review >

DIPLOMACY by Henry Kissinger
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 18, 1994

"Profound and important."
The Nobel laureate and former national security advisor and secretary of state (Years of Upheaval, 1982, etc.) presents an engrossing and monumental (in every sense) historical survey of diplomacy from the 17th century to the present. Read full book review >
THE RIGHT DATA by Edwin S. Rubenstein
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 15, 1994

"The text has a foreword by Jack Kemp."
Against the odds, perhaps, this collection of columns by the National Review's house economics analyst and prominent outsiders has considerable impact as a lively, thought-provoking defense of positions near or dear to the hearts and minds of political conservatives. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 14, 1994

"An enjoyable, thought-provoking tale of family ties and cultural identity, but rock 'n' roll fans may be frustrated by the author's emphases."
A tender, sometimes funny memoir by a son of Chinese immigrants who became a writer and Rolling Stone editor. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 14, 1994

"Stranger at the Gate is likely to provoke useful dialogue among mainstream Christians and to offer unsentimental hope and comfort to many who are struggling to reconcile homosexual desires with hostile, yet deeply valued, religious traditions."
White, an evangelical minister and former ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and other prominent leaders of the religious right, here describes his half-century-long struggle to accept himself as a gay Christian. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 7, 1994

"Although welcome for its clarity and elegance, Jacoby's account, much more importantly, looks beyond faction toward the common good."
Jacoby (The Last Intellectuals, 1987, etc.) joins the culture wars with the aim of striking a middle balance between ``left'' and ``right''—and manages the job with brio. Read full book review >
MENCKEN by Fred Hobson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1994

"Even as he pursues Mencken's tracks, however, Hobson honors his privacy, respects his truths, and preserves his dignity."
By timing the posthumous release of his personal papers, Mencken (1880-1956) directs his biographers from his grave. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 1, 1994

"Travels through a newly emerging old world, then, with a suave character."
Ignatieff, well-known in British TV as the smooth host of cerebral talk shows and political documentaries, takes on what he calls the rising tide of ``ethnic nationalism.'' There are two kinds of contemporary nationalism, says Ignatieff, ``civic'' and ``ethnic,'' the first based on a common perception of shared law, and the second—derived from the German romantics—based on blood kinship. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 1, 1994

"Much ado about a marginal American political figure, important more for his early career as a labor organizer than for his later one as a Communist."
Johanningsmeier (History/Delaware) ponderously depicts Communist leader and three-time Presidential candidate William Z. Foster (1881-1961) as a ``thoroughly American radical'' whose journey through trade unionism and the Wobbly movement to an idiosyncratic Communism exemplifies the course of US radicalism. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 1, 1994

"Communist issue''), nor did he have access to the Cuban or the Soviet archives; but this is a careful, well-constructed, well- argued, and essential source."
A thorough and well-documented analysis by Paterson (History/U of Connecticut) of how Castro came to power in Cuba and why the United States failed to stop him. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 1, 1994

"Often exciting as an adventure tale, this is also a satisfying story of a modest man finding himself capable of the highest level of self-sacrifice."
A riveting first book by Patzert, who was captain of one of ships that ran refugee European Jews into British-protected Palestine before Israeli independence; not just a sea story, but a moral adventure as well. 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 >