Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 9)

AUDACITY by Jonathan Chait
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"Chait offers a well-organized, clearly written case that will be valuable to future historians in their assessments. The question is whether readers with different opinions about Obama's performance will alter those opinions."
A cogent argument that President Barack Obama has mostly succeeded in implementing his agenda. Read full book review >
REFINERY TOWN by Steve Early
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"A specific tale of governance at the local level that should appeal to labor activists and scholars of urban studies."
In Richmond, California, overlooking scenic San Francisco Bay, is a company town bankrolled by Chevron. A resident reports, in some detail, on his town's fraught governance. Read full book review >

THE ART OF BEING FREE by James Poulos
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"Provocative assertions buried in a confusing presentation."
A journalist expands on Alexis de Tocqueville's cultural critiques of American life. Read full book review >
NO WALL TOO HIGH by Xu Hongci
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"An often harrowing, valuable account for students of daily life in the early years of the period culminating in China's little-documented civil war of the 1970s."
An early victim of Mao Zedong's totalitarian regime is swept up in a time of terror. Read full book review >
HOW AMERICA LOST ITS SECRETS by Edward Jay Epstein
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"A wild and harrowing detective story and impressively evenhanded portrait of a very sticky case."
A nuanced portrait of the government contractor who absconded with top-secret National Security Agency documents in May 2013. Read full book review >

TEARS WE CANNOT STOP by Michael Eric Dyson
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"The readership Dyson addresses may not fully be convinced, but it can hardly remain unmoved by his fiery prose."
The provocateur-scholar returns to the pulpit to deliver a hard-hitting sermon on the racial divide, directed specifically to a white congregation. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 17, 2017

"An enlightening look into one of the less-familiar corners of the modern military world."
Two Israeli journalists look at how their country has become an innovator in battlefield technology. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 16, 2017

"While mainly for specialists, this provocative and obviously timely analysis is an important reminder of the role that reason and compromise have played in bridging the gap between political extremes."
The moderate tradition in American politics. Read full book review >
INSANE CLOWN PRESIDENT by Matt Taibbi
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Jan. 16, 2017

"A lively set of dispatches that shows how even the harshest skeptic in the pundit class can be blindsided."
Looking back in bemusement and (eventually) anger at the 2016 presidential campaign with Rolling Stone's pugnacious political correspondent. Read full book review >
AMERICAN HOOKUP by Lisa Wade
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"An eye-opening, conversation-starting examination of sex on the American college campus."
How and why American college students are engaging in nonintimate one-night stands. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A highly learned but sometimes-ponderous survey that will appeal to policy wonks. For most readers, a long-form essay would have sufficed."
A public policy insider mines the nuances of states' sovereignty and legitimacy in an increasingly unstable world. Read full book review >
THE NEW ODYSSEY by Patrick Kingsley
NON-FICTION
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A powerful firsthand account of a crisis that will continue to receive even more attention in the years to come."
Bravely following the refugee crisis from the Middle East to the European Union as it gains volume and urgency. 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 >