Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 505)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Urbane and intelligent: a useful analysis of a rapidly changing phenomenon."
A timely look at nationalism, a phenomenon more often noted than analyzed, by Pfaff (Barbarian Sentiments, 1989, etc.), longtime political commentator for The New Yorker, The International Herald Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"A lively, thoughtful call to bridge the information gaps that make the world a more dangerous place than it need be."
Having filed dispatches from more than 150 countries in the course of a lengthy career with the AP, Rosenblum (Back Home, 1989, etc.) developed some strong opinions on the state of the news business. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Stronger as biography than as feminist cultural history—and it's too bad that this book (published in England in 1992) wasn't updated to include Britain's new female Secret Service chief at work—at her desk. (Sixteen b&w illustrations)"
While ``Mata Hari'' remains synonymous with the femme fatale trading her body for secrets, this readable biography of the original—the Dutch-born exotic dancer executed by the French in 1917 for espionage—argues that she was framed and challenges the whole notion of women agents as sex workers. Read full book review >
EXECUTION EVE by William J. Buchanan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Photographs—not seen). (First printing of 20,000; film rights sold to Multimedia Motion Pictures)"
One of the strangest, most convoluted true-crime tales of the year, recounted with skill by Buchanan (Creative Writing/University of New Mexico), whose father figured prominently in the case. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Rambling and repetitive polemic that could have something important to say but by substituting assertion and anecdote for rigorous analysis, doesn't. (Illustrations—not seen)"
Here, Enloe (Government/Clark University) makes bold but often unsubstantiated assertions about the relationship between sexuality and militarism—as she seeks, not too persuasively, to chart changing post-cold-war sexual politics. Read full book review >

ALMA MATER by P.F. Kluge
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Rueful, tender, eloquent: an evenhanded view of the allure and penalties of academic life that should be required reading for everyone connected with a liberal-arts college."
Kluge (The Edge of Paradise, 1991) brings his personable manner, pellucid style, and sharp eye to recounting a year spent living at his alma mater of Kenyon College, juxtaposing the illusions about academic life with the reality. Read full book review >
BERIA by Amy Knight
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"In avoiding sensationalism or unbridled psychological speculation, Knight forgoes a full apprehension of the pathology of Beria and the system that bred him—without which many may choose not to endure the man's odious company. (Illustrations)"
Scrupulous academic account that ultimately fails to do full justice to the chilling fascination of its subject. Read full book review >
ASSASSINATION IN KHARTOUM by David A. Korn
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Korn apparently wanted to write a hymn to virtue and patriotism—but his song seems old-fashioned, a tune from another era. (Photographs and maps)"
Former Foreign Service officer Korn's account of the 1973 killing in Sudan of American diplomats Cleo Noel and George Moore by the radical Palestinian Black September movement. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Dramatic, frequently affectionate, takes on fractious rebel warriors whose success has yet to yield them the victory they thought they'd won by nine years of bloody battle. (Foreword by Dan Rather; maps and eight pages of photographs—not seen)"
A principal virtue of TV-journalist Lohbeck's vivid account of his lengthy sojourn in Afghan combat zones is the light it sheds on the mujahideen groups that—despite various political/religious agendas, internecine rivalries, and fitful aid from Western allies- -managed to drive Soviet troops from their mountainous, hostile homeland. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Military history, then, of a high—if circumscribed—order. (Photos and schematics)"
The riveting, resonant tale of an outsider who achieved success as a U-boat skipper in WW II Germany's Kriegsmarine—and met a unique fate on dry land far from home. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"A thoughtful analysis by an old cold warrior of how to meet post-cold-war challenges."
Reflective essays that, the author says, ``prick out a way of looking at political problems: ideas appropriate to the last decade of the century.'' Former top nuclear-arms negotiator Nitze (Diplomacy/Johns Hopkins; From Hiroshima to Glasnost, 1989) was assistant secretary of defense and secretary of the navy under JFK. Read full book review >
ABOVE SUSPICION by Joe Sharkey
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Bristling with vivid characters, knuckle-biting revelations, and psychological wallop: a true-crime standout. (Photographs)"
Uncommonly trenchant account of the only known FBI agent to confess to murder. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >