Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 498)

UP AT OXFORD by Ved Mehta
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 13, 1993

"First Class degree give it a bittersweet, sometimes slightly forced, quality."
An engaging memoir of life at Oxford University in the 50's, by the prolific—and blind—Indian-born Mehta (The Stolen Light, 1989, etc.). Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 13, 1993

"A sustained analysis of the bleak situation in much of Latin America, and a well-reasoned prescription for change—but this is more grist for the policy-wonk mill than general food for thought."
With the collapse of the Soviet Union irrevocably altering class struggles throughout the world, Casta§eda (Political Science/Autonomous Univ. of Mexico; coauthor of The Limits to Friendship, 1988) takes a close, sympathetic look at the current sociopolitical situation in Central and South America. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 13, 1993

"It need only claim the name."
The elder-statesman/philosopher of the French right ponderously warns that humanity must choose between ``democratic capitalism or extinction,'' and calls for ``liberal democracies'' to assert their ``right to intervene'' in other nations' affairs. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 10, 1993

"There's no deep revelation of the spirit of America here, but the ride is good fun, and the characters and dialogue are as alluring as in many novels. (Eight pages of b&w photographs, map- -not seen)"
Cosmopolitan columnist Kurtz (Mantalk, 1987, etc.) chronicles her voyage of discovery made by criss-crossing the country on Greyhound buses. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 10, 1993

"Unlike many well-intentioned books on the subject, this is cogent, clear, jargon free—a pleasure to read."
A provocative, intelligent defense of the science of ``enomics''—defined as a new and growing set of links between ``green'' thinking and corporate profitability—by Silverstein (The Environmental Factor, 1989—not reviewed), former advisor to the Clinton/Gore campaign. Read full book review >

NEW YORK DAYS by Willie Morris
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 9, 1993

"Morris's pride, hurt and otherwise, is on every page—but disappointingly little of the cautionary tale of literary power that shades his whole story breaks free and takes over, or is allowed to be fascinating. (First printing of 25,000)"
Morris (The Courting of Marcus Dupree, 1983, etc.), Mississippi-born, was barely 30 when, in 1963, he took the helm of Harper's magazine and changed it from a genteel and respectable cultural warhorse into a writer-driven journalistic whiz-bang, publishing Mailer and Halberstam and everyone else who was pushing journalism into more plastic realms. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 1993

"For a blue-blooded bodice-ripping morality tale, this isn't half bad. (Photos—not seen)"
A real-life Beauty and the Beast. Read full book review >
MERCHANT ADVENTURER by Marquis James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 7, 1993

"A lively chronicle, doubly welcome because it rescues from undeserved obscurity one of the Gilded Age's more consequential players—as well as a master annalist's handiwork."
A long-lost literary treasure with an absorbing tale of its own. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 7, 1993

"Steven painted the kitchen cabinets bright yellow and I made orange and yellow flowered curtains''); noteworthy mostly as a mother's farewell. (Thirty-two b&w photographs—not seen)"
Well-intentioned but bland biography of the high-school social-studies teacher who died in the Challenger space shuttle explosion, written by her mother. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"It's a bravura performance, albeit one indelibly marked by Buckley's perpetually righteous, and right-wing, stance."
It's interesting to note, in these days of political realignment, that—per the subtitle—Buckley now seems to be calling himself a ``libertarian'' rather than a ``conservative''- -though you wouldn't know it from the almost invariably middle-of- the-road to left-leaning targets he spits darts at in this generous collection of National Review columns (1985-93), speeches, and essays from Playboy, The New York Times, and elsewhere. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"While never encumbering his text with ponderous arguments about constitutionality or educational theory, Bates strikes with range and depth at the heart of these issues, crucial for educators and all concerned Americans."
A balanced, well-documented account of a battle recently fought by a handful of Tennessee fundamentalist parents against high-school textbooks. Read full book review >
THE DEVIL WE KNEW by H.W. Brands
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

"A provocative audit of an adversarial world order whose passing, in retrospect at least, seems to have been long overdue."
A sophisticated interpretation of America's involvement in the cold war that appears calculated to draw fire from the left as well as right. 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 >