Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 7)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Dec. 1, 2015

"Solid reportage though without much flair; one wishes Christopher Hitchens were still around to bring these revelations to life. Still, the book is a must for politics junkies."
BuzzFeed political writer Coppins turns in a resounding study of the "clash of egos and personalities" that is the Republican primary scramble. Read full book review >
WHY TORTURE DOESN'T WORK by Shane O'Mara
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 30, 2015

"Everything you never wanted to know—but probably should—about interrogation techniques and outcomes."
A catalog of the scientific evidence of how torture is at best ineffective, usually counterproductive, and always inhumane. Read full book review >

MY JOURNEY AT THE NUCLEAR BRINK by William J. Perry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 25, 2015

"Not an exciting account but a solid record of a terrifically significant public career."
A methodical memoir of a long, top-level government career developing nuclear deterrence strategy. Read full book review >
LIVING BLACK by Mark S. Fleisher
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"A brief, accessible academic study suitable for a general readership."
A cultural anthropology professor's intriguing story of the six years he spent observing the daily lives of poor blacks in a Midwestern ghetto. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"A levelheaded, well-researched analysis of the many 'trappings of contemporary breastfeeding culture.'"
The pros and cons of using breast milk instead of formula for your baby. Read full book review >

BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"Rock-solid evidence on the rise of identity theft and the multiple steps one can take to counteract an attack."
Useful advice on protecting your identity. Read full book review >
CONCUSSION by Jeanne Marie Laskas
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"Effectively sobering. Suffice it to say that Pop Warner parents will want to armor their kids from head to toe upon reading it."
A maddening, well-constructed tale of medical discovery and corporate coverup, set in morgues, laboratories, courtrooms, and football fields. Read full book review >
AN ARGUMENT OPEN TO ALL by Sanford Levinson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 24, 2015

"A cleareyed description and analysis of the thinking of some of the most iconic figures in the political history of the United States."
Levinson (Law and Government/Univ. of Texas; Framed: America's 51 Constitutions and the Crisis of Governance, 2012, etc.) takes us through each of the 85 essays composing The Federalist, looking both at key arguments in those landmark documents and at their enduring relevance.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 19, 2015

"An imperative analysis that begs for discussion by industry watchdogs and consumers alike."
A succinct, disturbing report on the prevalence of malpractice in modern medicine. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"The author is not much of a prose stylist, but he gives enough historical evidence to back the theory that political and social change are in the hands of activists willing to make a stand against conventional practices."
Thoughts on how "alternative institutions" could revamp American society. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"Vital reading for those looking to understand, 65 years later, the origins of the continuing conflict in the Middle East."
A Middle East scholar uncovers the post-World War II history of American policy in Palestine. Read full book review >
THE RIFT by Alex Perry
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Nov. 17, 2015

"A welcome addition to our understanding of Africa that occasionally overpromises and underdelivers."
Exploring modern Africa in all of its complexities. 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 >