Current Affairs Book Reviews

MODERATES by David S. Brown
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >
AMERICAN HOOKUP by Lisa Wade
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >

A WORLD IN DISARRAY by Richard Haass
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >
OUR BODIES, OUR DATA by Adam Tanner
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A thorough report, carefully researched and well-documented, aimed at both general readers and policymakers."
A disturbing look at the threat to privacy created by the lucrative and growing health care data-mining industry. Read full book review >

DEMOCRACY BETRAYED by William W. Keller
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"Though without the rhetorical fire of Noam Chomsky or Naomi Klein, Keller makes a spirited case for preferring untrammeled freedom to managed and monitored safety."
"Liberty must always be privileged over security": a persuasive cri de coeur from a national security expert. Read full book review >
TALKING BACK, TALKING BLACK by John McWhorter
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A vibrant separation of an African-American vernacular tradition from the thickets of contemporary racial debate."
A compact, lively defense of the grammatical legitimacy of "Black English." Read full book review >
ECONOMISM by James Kwak
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"Do the better angels of our nature demand double-digit profit? For a soft-path, smart refutation, Kwak's book is just the ticket."
A spry manifesto that dismantles the many suppositions of modern economic theory. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"A dramatic challenge to understand the shakiness of the foundations we take for granted and where energies committed to redress should be directed."
How conservative majorities in successive Supreme Courts have consistently acted in recent years to block citizens' access to redress of grievances through the courts. Read full book review >
THE UNBANKING OF AMERICA by Lisa Servon
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"Servon's approachable if somewhat academic study is an indictment of a financial structure bent on large returns at the expense of all else, but it also offers hope for ways around that ravenous system."
Banks seldom have much green money these days—and not many customers, either. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"Though the story suffers somewhat in the telling, Starr is proud of his accomplishments, and he deserves to be."
One man's amazing accomplishment in founding a school amid a series of daunting challenges. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 10, 2017

"Patterson is no Theodore White or Hunter S. Thompson, but he provides a readable, often astute record of a presidential campaign that future generations should ponder with astonishment—and disgust."
Patterson (Eden in Winter, 2014, etc.) takes a break from bestselling thrillers to ponder the solipsisms, slanders, slurs, and slogans of the last electoral cycle. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >