Current Affairs Book Reviews

SPIRAL by Mark Danner
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 14, 2016

"A chilling cautionary tale of Orwellian repercussions."
A somber examination of why the war on terror has stretched over 15 years and appears to have no end in sight. Read full book review >
BUT WHAT IF WE'RE WRONG? by Chuck Klosterman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"Replete with lots of nifty, whimsical footnotes, this clever, speculative book challenges our beliefs with jocularity and perspicacity."
An inquiry into why we'll probably be wrong about almost everything. Read full book review >

THE INVENTION OF RUSSIA by Arkady Ostrovsky
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"An astute, accessible, illuminating navigation of the idea that the 'only consistent feature in Russia's history is its unpredictability.'"
A focused, bracing look at how the control of the media has helped plot the Russian political trajectory from dictatorship and back again. Read full book review >
TO PROTECT AND SERVE by Norm Stamper
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: June 7, 2016

"A vivid, well-written, vitally important book."
Most of the nation's approximately 18,000 police departments receive scathing criticism from one of their own: an author who began as a San Diego beat cop in 1966 and rose to become a police chief in Seattle. Read full book review >
SECONDHAND TIME by Svetlana Alexievich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Profoundly significant literature as history."
A lively, deeply moving cacophony of Russian voices for whom the Soviet era was as essential as their nature. Read full book review >

ROGUE JUSTICE by Karen J. Greenberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"A sophisticated study of executive tyranny in the never-ending war on terror."
A terrifying history of American surveillance in the 21st century that shows how the government has eroded civil liberties since 9/11. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 17, 2016

"An inspiring, well-rendered, deeply reported, and often infuriating account."
Salon contributing writer Dayen illuminates how, during the past 10 years, home buyers ended up illegally evicted from their residences as the result of dishonesty, greed, and heartlessness involving mortgage lenders, mortgage servicers, investment bankers, and unscrupulous lawyers. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 17, 2016

"A thoroughly impressive debut."
In his first book, a former infantry sergeant-turned-historian surveys more than 200 years of the administration of American military justice. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 10, 2016

"Provocative, timely, and immensely rewarding reading."
The story of one of the longest-lasting negative metaphors in America politics: the limousine liberal. Read full book review >
THE MORNING THEY CAME FOR US by Janine di Giovanni
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 3, 2016

"This brilliant, necessary book will hopefully do for Syria what Herr's Dispatches (1977) did for Vietnam."
Newsweek Middle East editor di Giovanni (Ghosts by Daylight: A Modern-Day War Correspondent's Memoir of Love, Loss, and Redemption, 2013) dives headfirst into the nightmarish shadow world of modern Syria.Read full book review >
PUMPKINFLOWERS by Matti Friedman
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"A haunting yet wry tale of young people at war, cursed by political forces beyond their control, that can stand alongside the best narrative nonfiction coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq."
Powerful account of youthful Israelis maturing, fighting, and dying at a forgotten Lebanon outpost. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 1, 2016

"A comprehensive analysis that lays the foundation for a discussion of necessary reforms and how they can be achieved."
Why the theories used to rationalize our beliefs in democracy are broken beyond repair and must be replaced. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Chris Cleave
June 14, 2016

In bestseller Chris Cleave’s latest novel Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, it’s London, 1939. The day war is declared, Mary North leaves finishing school unfinished, goes straight to the War Office, and signs up. Tom Shaw decides to ignore the war—until he learns his roommate Alistair Heath has unexpectedly enlisted. Then the conflict can no longer be avoided. Young, bright, and brave, Mary is certain she’d be a marvelous spy. When she is—bewilderingly—made a teacher, she finds herself defying prejudice to protect the children her country would rather forget. Tom, meanwhile, finds that he will do anything for Mary. And when Mary and Alistair meet, it is love, as well as war, that will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passion, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams. “Among all the recent fictions about the war, Cleave’s miniseries of a novel is a surprising standout,” our reviewer writes, “with irresistibly engaging characters who sharply illuminate issues of class, race, and wartime morality.” View video >