Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 500)

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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 16, 1992

"Often too lenient on the Arab part in this deadly stalemate- -but a frequently convincing call for a new Middle East diplomacy, shorn of cold-war tensions and reconciling Israeli security with Palestinian desire for a homeland. (Maps & tables—not seen.)"
A sweeping indictment that claims that America's political, military, and economic ties to Israel have obstructed the path to peace and run counter to both countries' interests. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 14, 1992

"Within this long but well-told cliffhanger, Packard weaves a message: that neutrals are not mere cowardly inconveniences to the great powers, but are nations with cultures and agendas (and diplomatic know-how) of durable value. (Maps.)"
Unpretentious, well-developed history of WW II from the viewpoints of the European neutrals, by Packard (History/Univ. of Portland; Sons of Heaven, 1987, etc.). Read full book review >
MURDERER WITH A BADGE by Edward Humes
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 10, 1992

"One almost wishes that Humes were a novelist, so deft is his writing, but his story here is far stronger and more compelling than most crime fiction. (Photographs—not seen.)"
With this superbly crafted chronicle of one of the most complex, enigmatic criminals in memory, Humes (Buried Secrets, 1990) takes his place as one of our finest crime writers. ``Mild Bill'' Leasure was one of the LAPD's blandest officers- -well liked but hardly noticed. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 5, 1992

"Popular history of a high order, on a subject of great contemporary significance."
An excellent history of Arab culture and politics, emphasizing modern manifestations of traditional behavior, by Mackey (Lebanon, 1989). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >