Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 5)

88 DAYS TO KANDAHAR by Robert L. Grenier
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 27, 2015

"A catalog of occasional victories and constant missteps that is eye-opening, illuminating and maddening."
Former CIA officer Grenier delivers an action-packed tale, rich in implication, of the post-9/11 race to unseat the Taliban and rout al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Read full book review >
GHETTOSIDE by Jill Leovy
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 27, 2015

"A sobering and informative look at the realities of criminality in the inner city."
Los Angeles Times reporter and editor Leovy looks at the thinly veiled racist origins of violence in South Central LA. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 21, 2015

"A hard-hitting kickoff to the 2016 election campaign."
A call to arms to defend Social Security from sneak attack. Read full book review >
MURDER AT CAMP DELTA by Joseph Hickman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"A plainly told, unsettling corrective to the many jingoistic accounts of post-9/11 military action."
Disturbing account of abuse and secrecy at the Guantánamo Bay military prison, tied to the deaths of three detainees. Read full book review >
ONCE UPON A REVOLUTION by Thanassis Cambanis
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"A clear exposition and analysis of complex, swiftly changing events. The book gives readers cause to understand why we might support regime change in the Middle East, even if it brings instability and incoherence."
Smart, troubling study of the events surrounding Tahrir Square and their aftermath. Read full book review >

GUANTÁNAMO DIARY by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"Slahi may or may not be a reliable narrator; readers are called on to suspend disbelief. By his account, of course, he is not guilty. His memoir is essential reading for anyone concerned with human rights and the rule of law."
A harrowing prison memoir, the first to date by an inmate who is behind bars at the Cuban penitentiary that has become a byword for an American gulag. Read full book review >
GOD, GUNS, GRITS, AND GRAVY by Mike Huckabee
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 20, 2015

"More of the same from the outspoken Southerner."
More chuckly preaching from the former Arkansas governor and Fox News weekly show host. Read full book review >
THIEVES OF STATE by Sarah Chayes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 19, 2015

"Scattershot but often insightful, disquieting reading for policymakers."
Former NPR reporter and current Carnegie Foundation associate Chayes (The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban, 2006) offers an alarming account of the role played by acute government corruption in fostering violent extremism.Read full book review >
CULTURE CRASH by Scott Timberg
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"Timberg's bibliographic essay cites many authors echoing his arguments; a more focused analysis and concrete solutions would have strengthened this book."
A journalist investigates the state of the arts. Read full book review >
THE TYRANNY OF THE MERITOCRACY by Lani Guinier
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"Drawing on academic research and anecdotal evidence, the book makes a strong pedagogical case but is short on specifics as to how we get from here to there."
From admission standards to teaching philosophy, a renowned academic calls for a paradigm shift in higher education. Read full book review >
THE DOGS ARE EATING THEM NOW by Graeme Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
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 >
AMERICAN DREAMS by Marco Rubio
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"Readers will know what's coming before they turn the first page—no better or worse than the average politico prose; as to the contents, all will depend on point of view."
Florida senator and conservative hero Rubio (An American Son, 2012) hits the hustings to proclaim a—surprise—right-wing economic platform.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >