Current Affairs Book Reviews

BORDER ODYSSEY by Charles D. Thompson, Jr.
CURRENT AFFAIRS
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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"An earnest, eye-opening, important account for Western readers."
A brave, excoriating exposé of the systematic ruination of resource-rich countries of Africa, leaving "penury and strife" for its millions of inhabitants. 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 >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives."
An alarming view of the burgeoning dark side of the Internet. Read full book review >

BELIEVER by David Axelrod
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Obama has been profiled many times but seldom with so practical an outlook. An excellent view of politics from the inside."
Longtime political adviser Axelrod, late of the White House, tells most of what he's seen in the cloakroom. Read full book review >
IT'S WHAT I DO by Lynsey Addario
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 5, 2015

"A brutally real and unrelentingly raw memoir that is as inspiring as it is horrific."
A remarkable journalistic achievement from a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur Fellowship winner that crystalizes the last 10 years of global war and strife while candidly portraying the intimate life of a female photojournalist. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"A meticulously detailed feat of rare footage inside the DPRK's propaganda machinery."
Exhaustively researched, highly engrossing chronicle of the outrageous abduction of a pair of well-known South Korean filmmakers by the nefarious network of North Korea's Kim Jong-Il. Read full book review >
THE DOGS ARE EATING THEM NOW by Graeme Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 13, 2015

"A dragon awaits, in other words. Cheerless and even nightmarish, one of the best books yet about the war in Central Asia."
Think Afghanistan is bad now? Just wait until American forces leave entirely and the dragon rises again. Read full book review >
THE RESILIENCE DIVIDEND by Judith Rodin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"A convincing argument that becoming resilient is not only possible, but essential; food for thought for all and especially recommended for community leaders."
A revealing examination of the anatomy of resilience, the capacity to withstand and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses. Read full book review >
WHY WE LOST by Daniel P. Bolger
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"With vigorous, no-nonsense prose and an impressive clarity of vision, this general does not mince blame in this chronicle of failure."
A former commander of advisory teams in Iraq and Afghanistan offers historical perspective and a forthright breakdown of the failure of those conflicts. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Nov. 11, 2014

"Not always cohesive, but the stylish rendering of the Russian culture, which both attracts and appalls the author, will keep the reader captivated."
Everything you know about Russia is wrong, according to this eye-opening, mind-bending memoir of a TV producer caught between two cultures. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >