Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 7)

Released: April 21, 2015

"An invigorating book with much fodder for thought on this side of the Atlantic."
Vigorous polemic on the makeup of England's ruling elite, with eerie parallels to the inequality in the United States. Read full book review >
THE GREAT DIVIDE by Joseph E. Stiglitz
Released: April 20, 2015

"Smart, sometimes-stinging prose that rejects the doctrines of strangled government and artificial austerity, doctrines that require us to 'pay a high economic price for our growing inequality and declining opportunity.'"
Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz (The Price of Inequality, 2012, etc.) examines some of the macro dollars-and-cents issues that separate the haves from the have-nots—and money is just of them. Read full book review >

BORDER ODYSSEY by Charles D. Thompson, Jr.
Released: April 15, 2015

"A potent cri de coeur for a more compassionate, sane and humane border policy."
An exploration of 2,000 miles of fraught, rugged and deeply contested territory. Read full book review >
COAL WARS by Richard Martin
Released: April 14, 2015

"Martin is unequivocal and persuasive: The best use of coal is in holiday stockings."
Coal will never stop blighting our planet, writes energy analyst Martin (SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future, 2012), and its good riddance can't come too soon.Read full book review >
FATEFUL TIES by Gordon H. Chang
Released: April 13, 2015

"An intriguing exploration of a significant, if peculiar, aspect of American history."
Christopher Columbus carried a letter of introduction from his Spanish sovereigns to China's emperor. Thus, the discovery of America was an accidental consequence of the European desire to reach the riches of Asia. Read full book review >

DEMOCRACY IN THE DARK by Frederick A.O. Schwarz, Jr.
Released: April 7, 2015

"A thorough, if sometimes discursive and loosely organized, presentation of a complex problem that is unfortunately lacking specific suggestions for solutions beyond a call for a general change in attitudes."
An exploration of the growth of American government secrecy. Read full book review >
EPIC MEASURES by Jeremy N. Smith
Released: April 7, 2015

"A fascinating account of a charismatic visionary who successfully battles the convoluted politics of international health bureaucracies."
Smith (Growing a Garden City, 2010) a freelance journalist who covers health and environmental issues for Discover, the Chicago Tribune and other leading publications, chronicles an ambitious project to collect comparative data on global health issues.Read full book review >
MICHELLE OBAMA by Peter Slevin
Released: April 7, 2015

"Slevin delivers a somewhat fawning portrait, but when necessary, he is willing to criticize and reveal his subject's missteps."
A Chicago-based journalist probes the fortunate yet humble upbringing of the first lady and, in a tedious refrain, her effective blackness. Read full book review >
Released: April 7, 2015

"An intriguing report on unusual objectives pursued through outreach and debate."
Proceedings from the 2010 Mind & Life Institute conference, featuring dialogue with the Dalai Lama. Read full book review >
Released: April 7, 2015

"An exhaustive, occasionally exhausting look at the long and winding road to a smart car future."
Environmental Protection Agency insider Oge meticulously recounts the political battles that have cleared the way for more intelligent, fuel-efficient transportation. Read full book review >
Released: April 7, 2015

"One might call the events Sky describes as a comedy of errors, except that there's nothing comedic about it. A tragedy of errors, then, crisply recounted by one who was there."
A grimly clinical assessment by a former high-ranking adviser of the "modern-day Crusade of ideologues and idealists" who drove the United States invasion of Iraq—to say nothing of their "ignorance, arrogance, and naivety." Read full book review >
WEED THE PEOPLE by Bruce Barcott
Released: April 7, 2015

"Will the rest of the country follow suit? To judge by Barcott's useful book, you'd do well not to bet against it."
Journalist Barcott (The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw: One Woman's Fight to Save the World's Most Beautiful Bird, 2008, etc.) goes on a long, strange trip to document the changing fortunes of Big Dope.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >