Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 9)

CRUCIBLE by Michael Nelson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 22, 2018

"A useful compendium of tips if the sitting president had any interest in learning them, but otherwise of interest to students of governance and public policy."
An assemblage of economists, political scientists, and kindred policy wonks offer advice and observations to guide the sitting president. Read full book review >
TRUMP'S FIRST YEAR by Michael Nelson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 22, 2018

"A concise and dispassionate analysis of the controversial president's performance over the year since his unexpected election win."
This academic publication from the publisher's First Year Project won't generate the bombshell headlines of more sensationalist and gossipy books, but it provides context and balance for its conclusions, ones that are consistently at odds with Trump's own assessment of his performance. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A rich, complex book that makes splendid use of data to trace the recent renaissance of city neighborhoods and how children and the poor flourish in a time of relative peace."
A sociologist's account of the "stunning" decline in urban American violence in the past two decades. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A well-written, matter-of-fact, inspirational account of how a man prevailed against a criminal justice system that is deeply flawed."
A travesty of the Texas judicial system leads to death-row vindication. Read full book review >
SO YOU WANT TO TALK ABOUT RACE by Ijeoma Oluo
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A clear and candid contribution to an essential conversation."
Straight talk to blacks and whites about the realities of racism. Read full book review >

Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"Equal parts advocacy and analysis—a welcome addition to the growing literature around the politics of welfare."
Algorithms, predictive models, regression analyses: all are tools for criminalizing the poor and immiserating the middle class. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"A brief but sensible entry in the abortion wars."
A law professor brings her learned perspective and anecdotal evidence to one of the world's most controversial topics. Read full book review >
WHEN THEY CALL YOU A TERRORIST by Patrisse Khan-Cullors
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"Not without flaws but an important account of coming of age (and rage) within today's explosive racial dynamic."
A founder of Black Lives Matter chronicles growing up sensitive and black in a country militarized against her community. Read full book review >
HOW DEMOCRACIES DIE by Steven Levitsky
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"The value of this book is the context it provides, in a style aimed at a concerned citizenry rather than fellow academics, rather than in the consensus it is not likely to build."
A provocative analysis of the parallels between Donald Trump's ascent and the fall of other democracies. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"Solid reportage and inspirational reading for those who imagine they can do it—whatever 'it' is—better."
Profiles in courage—at least the courage to challenge conventional wisdom and innovate successfully in a world of business and institutions that don't necessarily welcome change. Read full book review >
TRUMPOCRACY by David Frum
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"Evenhanded, ideologically consistent, and guaranteed to generate a slew of angry tweets should a copy land at the White House."
The conservative stalwart takes measure of the current administration and finds it sadly wanting—and dangerous, and immoral, and…. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 16, 2018

"Thoroughly depressing—but urgent, necessary reading, at least for those who aren't true believers in the Trumpite cause."
If there's such a genre as anti-hagiography, Johnston (The Making of Donald Trump, 2016, etc.) adds materially to it with this new polemic against the sitting president. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >