Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 497)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

"A lost reputation rises from the dead and adds a fearless new voice to the black Renaissance. (Fourteen halftones—not seen.)"
Richly voiced African-American memoir by Davis (1905-87), a journalist-poet who disappeared in 1948 and became known as the ``mystery poet.'' This memoir has been lovingly edited by John Edgar Tidwell (English/Miami University of Ohio) from a variety of manuscripts put together after Davis's death, and it may be expanded if more of his second volume, That Incredible Waikiki Jungle, is ever found. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 1, 1993

"An illuminating rundown on a largely ignored, albeit important, chapter in diplomatic and military history. (One map.)"
Much has been written (e.g., David Kahn's Seizing the Enigma, 1991) about the high-grade intelligence (dubbed ``Ultra'' and ``Magic'') available to the Allies during WW II as a result of the UK's ability to read many of Nazi Germany's ciphers and of America's success in cracking Japanese codes. Read full book review >

GUERRILLAS by Jon Lee Anderson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"It took guts to research and write this; relentlessly grim— not through Anderson's fault, since he does a superb reporting job- -it's no picnic to read either."
The bloody world of the modern revolutionary, as seen by free- lance writer (Harper's, etc.) and documentary filmmaker Anderson. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"An intricate analysis rather than a denunciation—but in focusing on the day-to-day activities of a handful of highly skilled lobbyists, Birnbaum conveys the ambiguous relationship between Congress and those who solicit its favors."
An attempt to convey how lobbyists really work in Washington, by Wall Street Journal reporter Birnbaum (coauthor, Showdown at Gucci Gulch, 1987). Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"An annoying format—but a valuable theory against which to test decision-making aimed at avoiding unethical behavior and unforeseen negative outcomes."
Jacobs, who changed prevailing notions of urban planning and city life with The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961), now looks at societal ethics and delineates two contradictory moral systems. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"Jenner argues persuasively that China may be largely immutable, but he never really deals with today's ultimate agent of change: the information avalanche, which buried even the Soviet Union."
Provocative analysis of how China's culture will affect that nation's current and future behavior; by Jenner (History/Australian National Univ.). Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Dec. 1, 1992

"Bone-chilling."
Real-life stories of 416 innocent men convicted for crimes punishable by death. Read full book review >
IZZY by Robert C. Cottrell
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 30, 1992

"Well researched, but flavorless and flabby; the work seems longer than it is because Cottrell tells you everything three times. (Twelve b&w illustrations.)"
A warmly sympathetic but one-dimensional biography of the American Left's most fearlessly independent journalist. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 23, 1992

"Earnest in intent, but in logic wandering confusedly in the torn battlefields of academe."
Avoiding the explicit taking of sides in the academic war between ``radicals'' and ``conservatives,'' Graff (Humanities and English/Univ. of Chicago; Professing Literature, 1989, etc.—not reviewed) argues that everything in higher education will be fine- -in fact better than ever—if the great battle itself becomes what college students study. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 19, 1992

"Admirable passion, then, but screwy logic."
Scathing attack on American Jews by the former editor-in-chief of Globes, Israel's leading business newspaper. Read full book review >
RUSSIA'S SECRET RULERS by Lev Timofeyev
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 18, 1992

"Not wholly persuasive, then—though Timofeyev's not alone in seeing Russia's criminal classes in the ascendant: This is also the premise, for instance, of Martin Cruz Smith's most recent novel, Red Square (p. 1085)."
An informative but confused look at the perpetuation in power of Russia's previous rulers, by one of the last dissidents to be jailed by the Gorbachev regime. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 18, 1992

"Given the current massive flux of US ethnic makeup, then: a timely work."
Thoughtful examination of ``ethnoracial'' influences on US foreign policy from colonial times onward; by DeConde (History/UC Santa Barbara; Town and Gown—ed., 1971, etc.). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >