Current Affairs Book Reviews

INCARCERATION NATIONS by Baz Dreisinger
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"An eye-opening, damning indictment of the American prison system and the way its sins reverberate around the globe."
A writer and social activist chronicles her visits to prisons around the globe to gain insight into what works and doesn't work. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A usefully organized, concise history of social movements that will appeal to newer generations of activists."
Optimistic overview of the recent surge in politically directed, nonviolent mass advocacy movements, focused on historical examples and the tactical future. Read full book review >

THE GHOST WARRIORS by Samuel M. Katz
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A detailed book that is refreshingly full of sound research rather than polemic."
An action-packed, nondidactic examination of how Israel's special operation units rose to the challenge of the Palestinian intifada. Read full book review >
UNTANGLED by Lisa Damour
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Expert information and counsel on helping parents raise well-rounded girls."
The director of the Laurel School's Center for Research on Girls offers parents concrete advice on how to help their teenage daughters navigate the often tumultuous teenage years. Read full book review >
NEMESIS by Misha Glenny
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Glenny does an admirable investigative job, delving deeply into the complicated causes and effects of Rio's drug trafficking."
A page-turning chronicle of the life and career of a favela don illustrates the larger challenges of a deeply impoverished, class-ridden Brazilian society.Read full book review >

OUTPATIENTS by Sasha Issenberg
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 6, 2016

"Policymakers will benefit from the author's densely detailed but accessible, on-the-ground reporting of an increasingly commonplace phenomenon with serious implications for the future of health care."
Monocle Washington correspondent Issenberg (The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, 2012, etc.) describes the rise of medical tourism, which draws patients from around the world to such unexpected places as Hungary, the acknowledged dental capital of Europe, and Thailand, whose government touts it as the "Medical Hub of Asia." Read full book review >
NATIVE by Sayed Kashua
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A wickedly ironic but humane collection."
A journalist and novelist's sharp-eyed take on his life as a Hebrew-speaking Palestinian in Jerusalem. Read full book review >
THE BLACK PRESIDENCY by Michael Eric Dyson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Dyson succeeds admirably in creating a base line for future interpretations of this historic presidency. His well-written book thoroughly illuminates the challenges facing a black man elected to govern a society that is far from post-racial."
An early assessment of America's first black presidency. Read full book review >
ONE CHILD by Mei Fong
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Finished just before the announcement of the policy's demise, One Child is a touching and captivating anthropological investigation of one of the most invasive laws ever devised."
Widespread female infanticide and officials jailing pregnant women's families to induce them to surrender to abortions—these are scenes not from a dystopian novel but from China's family planning bureaucracy. Read full book review >
UNITED STATES OF JIHAD by Peter L. Bergen
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Thoughtful and sensitive, Bergen's book faces a nightmare scenario head-on."
A frightening survey of Islamic terrorists bred on American soil. Read full book review >
THE INDUSTRIES OF THE FUTURE by Alec Ross
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Discerning insights on approaching changes to our economic and social landscapes and solid advice on how we should navigate them."
From the former Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a survey of technologies that will dominate the global economy in the coming decades. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A provocative, well-told story of love at all costs and an incisive examination of the continued violation of women's rights in Afghanistan."
A Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist's account of how two young Afghanis from warring ethnic clans risked disgrace and death to wed each other.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >