Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 502)

TAKING PART by Robert Josephy
Released: July 1, 1993

"With the exception of a few chapters, then, Josephy's memoir likely will prove more interesting to his progeny than to the general public. (Thirty-five photographs—not seen)"
The memoir of a bashful nonagenarian—who here fails to provide an intimate enough view of himself or of his sometimes- famous friends. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

"But at the very least, Dealy's bare-knuckle audit (which should set media circles abuzz) suggests that the situation bears watching. (Sixteen pages of photos—not seen)"
A gossipy, albeit unsparing, critique of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, from an erstwhile insider. Read full book review >

Released: July 1, 1993

"A fascinating story undermined often by its wooden dialogue and by cautious, and overly polemical, exposition. (Maps and sixteen pages of photographs—not seen)"
The not-quite-exciting memoir of the middle-aged owner of a construction company who doubled as a spy for Israel's Mossad. Read full book review >
Released: July 1, 1993

From virtuoso trial-lawyer Spence, defender of Karen Silkwood and Imelda Marcos: a fiery ``collection of free-floating thoughts about freedom.'' Spence is profoundly uncomfortable with the socioeconomic interdependence caused by our complex economy. Read full book review >
Released: June 30, 1993

"How a happy hippie blew it on blow—finely researched, told with pizzazz. (Illustrations)"
The up-your-nose, in-your-face life of George Jung, the high-school football star from small-town USA who became the American linchpin of the Colombian cocaine connection. Read full book review >

WARTHOG by William L. Smallwood
Released: June 30, 1993

"An absorbing tale of how a decidedly ugly duckling became a military hero of some consequence. (Nineteen photos, map—not seen) (Main Selection of the Military Book Club)"
A valentine for one of the ugliest, albeit most lethally effective, warplanes ever built—as well as for the men who flew them during the Desert Storm campaign. Read full book review >
MONSTER by Kody Scott
Released: June 28, 1993

"Anyone who wants to know why L.A. burned will find the chilling answer here. (First printing of 65,000; first serial rights to Esquire)"
LÇon Bing's study of L.A. gangs, Do or Die (1991) featured on its cover an awesomely muscular African-American male, naked to the waist, wearing sunglasses and wielding an automatic weapon. Read full book review >
A SPECIAL AGENT by Frank Buttino
Released: June 22, 1993

"An important story—but a lackluster treatment that will engage only the most resolute of readers. (Photographs—not seen)"
A jumbled account of how Frank Buttino, a 20-year FBI special agent, is fired—and fights back—when the Bureau receives an anonymous letter accusing him of being gay. Read full book review >
Released: June 18, 1993

"Intelligent insight into what was being said and thought at the time, at least in higher political circles, makes this a useful resource for historians; but Greenwald only occasionally brings to life the passion and turbulence of those last few days. (Illustrations)"
Interesting but unexciting diary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and East Germany, by Greenwald, who at the time was the political counselor to the US embassy in East Berlin. Read full book review >
Released: June 16, 1993

"Laqueur brings to this study an incomparable knowledge, sureness of touch, and deftness of judgment that make it far more than just an analysis of the role of the Russian right. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs)"
From prolific Russian scholar Laqueur (Stalin and Soviet Union 2000, both 1990, etc): a path-breaking analysis of the extreme right in Russia, including a thoughtful and plausible prediction of its role in that country's future. Read full book review >
COMMAGER ON TOCQUEVILLE by Henry Steele Commager
Released: June 15, 1993

"Often lugubrious and polemical but consistently wise, sobering, and profound."
In an eloquent and insightful search for portents and counsel for modern America, the distinguished historian (Emeritus/Amherst; Empire of Reason, 1977, etc.) revisits the classic Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-59). Read full book review >
Released: June 14, 1993

"A sobering and worthy subject—but an inadequate, at times almost trifling, treatment. (Twenty-four b&w photographs—not seen)"
A superficial and simplistic overview of the environmental havoc wreaked by war through the centuries. 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 >