Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 9)

ISIS by Jessica Stern
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"Despite being dense reading, this book offers much to learn about ISIS and an expanded understanding of current events."
A detailed study of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from its rise out of al-Qaida to its intended fulfillment of apocalyptic prophecies. Read full book review >
WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU'LL BE by Frank Bruni
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 17, 2015

"Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions."
New York Times op-ed columnist Bruni (Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater, 2009, etc.) shows why rejection by an Ivy League college need not be a disaster and may even be a blessing. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 13, 2015

"A valuable contribution to the national dialogue on health care and education, told through the voices of the mothers whose children's futures should be of concern to all of us."
Blum (Sociology/Northeastern Univ.; At the Breast: Ideologies of Breastfeeding and Motherhood in the Contemporary United States, 1999 etc.) addresses how demands on women have escalated and increasing numbers of maladjusted children are diagnosed with mental disabilities. Read full book review >
DETAINED AND DEPORTED by Margaret Regan
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Together, Regan's books bring into focus the fates of undocumented people fighting against the odds to make it into America and then, if they get here, struggling, and often failing, to build a life."
A timely look at the inhumane effects of immigration policies in the United States. Read full book review >
COLLEGE DISRUPTED by
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Even those who agree on the problems might take issue with the author's solutions."
A manifesto that analyzes higher education as another industry ripe for disruption. Read full book review >

DREAMERS by Eileen Truax
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"A forthright, moving piece of advocacy journalism."
In this English-language edition of her first book, an immigrant, LA-based reporter tells the intimate stories of the young people who, by no choice of their own, live without legal status in the United States. Read full book review >
KILL CHAIN by Andrew Cockburn
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Sharp-eyed and disturbing, especially Cockburn's concluding assessment that, nourished by an unending flow of money, 'the assassination machine is here to stay.'"
An examination of the rise of the present generation of killing machines, antiseptic and seemingly inescapable. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"A thoughtful yet obscure Cassandra warning of great vulnerabilities disguised as gifts."
Ambitious yet dry treatise regarding a particular terror of modern life: the increasing ubiquity of potential harm spawned by technological transformations. Read full book review >
STUFFOCATION by James Wallman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"A provocative, challenging discourse likely to spur some to action."
A reasoned and passionate argument for culling the clutter and plugging into the joys of experiential living. Read full book review >
THE BAREFOOT LAWYER by Chen Guangcheng
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 10, 2015

"Richly layered and vibrant, Chen's stirring tale of bravery and perseverance in the face of oppression is a moving call to arms for the ideas of human dignity and the rule of law."
Secretive government agents pursue a blind dissident who scales the walls of his prison in the dead of night. No, it's not the next Hollywood thriller but rather the story of Chen's life. Read full book review >
THE AGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT by Jeffrey D. Sachs
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Required reading for policymakers and students, and general readers will finish the book realizing they actually understand what sustainable development is all about."
A leading economist offers a brilliant analysis of the worldwide need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. Read full book review >
OUR KIDS by Robert D. Putnam
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"An insightful book that paints a disturbing picture of the collapse of the working class and the growth of an upper class that seems to be largely unaware of the other's precarious existence."
A political scientist calls attention to the widening class-based opportunity gap among young people in the United States. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >