Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 499)

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 28, 1994

"A grim book that weighs vital questions of guilt, responsibility, and forgiveness."
The story of an SS war criminal, seen through the eyes of Holocaust survivors, and how it took 50 years to bring him to justice. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 28, 1994

"Not greatly argued, then, but a high and useful appeal for action."
The legal and routine torture of criminals was abolished in the 19th century, Millett (The Loony-Bin Trip, 1990, etc.) maintains; but torture made a comeback in the 20th century against political enemies of the state, and now half the world's countries use torture to control and intimidate their own citizens. Read full book review >

THE NEW SUPERREGIONS OF EUROPE by Darrell Delamaide
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 17, 1994

"That problem notwithstanding, Superregions is full of good ideas, and a fine guide for researchers, businesspeople and others interested in Europe's—and everyone's—future. (10 maps—not seen)"
An engaging look at Europe's economic prospects, forcefully demonstrating that the continent's future will depend on furthering regional alliances that transcend outmoded and restrictive national boundaries. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 1994

"Hoyt adds nothing to our knowledge of Mussolini and, though claiming to take a fresh look at Il Duce, seems only to confirm that he was a repugnant figure whose rule was a disaster for Italy."
In this odd revisionist biography of Mussolini, Tokyo-based journalist and historian Hoyt (Now Hear This, 1993, etc. etc.) unconvincingly argues that the Fascist leader ``deserves a better rating than he has yet been given in the West.'' Elected prime minister after the 1922 ``March on Rome,'' Mussolini soon established Europe's first modern dictatorship. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 16, 1994

"More an artifact than a full exposition of the issues involved, but a primary source response to a craven episode in nomination history."
The nominee for assistant attorney general for civil rights who was dumped by President Clinton in the face of right-wing pressure offers the academic writings that were distorted into soundbites and led to her being labeled a ``quota queen'' by the Wall Street Journal and others. Read full book review >

GOING UP COUNTRY by John Coyne
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 9, 1994

"Immensely diverse, often clever, unfailingly gripping as volunteers reach through barriers of tradition and culture to touch other lives, while a series of epiphanies blows their minds clear as a moonscape."
Novelist Coyne (Child of Shadows, Fury, etc.), once a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia, edits a sheaf of lively essays close to his heart. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 9, 1994

"An urgent and, after the Long Island Railroad massacre, sadly timely wake-up call to stop America's 'new tyranny' of gun violence."
A frightening tour through America's gun culture by way of a single weapon — a semiautomatic hailed by its manufacturer as "the gun that made the '80s roar," and a single criminal — a troubled Virginia teenager who used the gun in a terrifying rampage. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 5, 1994

"But Owens allows amateur psychological conjecture to intrude on his day-to-day, procedural work on the case. (Eight pages b&w insert—not seen)"
An inside look at the Rodney King case, the ensuing trials, and the L.A. riots that followed, by the private detective hired by King's attorney to investigate the police officers' conduct and provide security for the beleaguered beating victim. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 1994

"A compelling book that explores the depths of a subject routinely trivialized—if treated at all—in literature."
A penetrating, witty, moving exploration of the lives of three women trying to find themselves in their new roles as mothers. Read full book review >
CHASED by Billy Chase
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1994

"Serious, intriguing stuff rendered trite with hyperbole and tough-guy talk."
The melodramatic saga of Connecticut narcotics agent Chase, who infiltrated drug gangs from street dealers to the Gambino crime family. Read full book review >
BERTHA KNIGHT LANDES OF SEATTLE by Sandra Haarsager
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 1, 1994

"A potentially rich subject given a plodding, didactic treatment."
Journalist/Communications professor (Univ. of Idaho) Haarsager on the subject of first woman elected mayor of a major American city (1926-28). Read full book review >
MAY THE LORD IN HIS MERCY BE KIND TO BELFAST by Tony Parker
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 1, 1994

"But it is also a sobering reminder of just how perilous and difficult the peace process will be."
From oral historian Parker (Bird, Kansas, 1989, etc.), riveting interviews that speak to the heart of the ``Troubles'' in Belfast, where even to be neither Protestant nor Catholic is not sufficient: ``what matters is where did you begin?'' Parker learned that everything in Belfast, from your choice of camera shop to which hotel you stay in, is affected by religious affiliation. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Emma Straub
author of MODERN LOVERS
May 30, 2016

In Emma Straub’s new novel Modern Lovers, friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth and Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch (of sexuality, independence, and the ineffable alchemy of cool) to their own offspring. Back in the band’s heyday, Elizabeth put on a snarl over her Midwestern smile, Andrew let his unwashed hair grow past his chin, and Zoe was the lesbian all the straight women wanted to sleep with. Now nearing fifty, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn, and the trappings of the adult world seem to have arrived with ease. But the summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose—about themselves, and about the famous fourth band member who soared and fell without them—can never be reclaimed. “Straub’s characters are a quirky and interesting bunch, well aware of their own good fortune, and it’s a pleasure spending time with them in leafy Ditmas Park,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >