Current Affairs Book Reviews

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 >
TOWARD A MORE PERFECT UNIVERSITY by Jonathan R. Cole
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"An ambitious and visionary examination of American universities and 'how to develop them still further so that they may maximize their full potential.'"
A distinguished Columbia University sociology professor and former provost examines how American universities must evolve to maintain their global pre-eminence. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A striking exploration of the horrors of mass violence in the Western Hemisphere, with the author offering hope that radical policies could provide positive change."
British journalist Grillo (El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency, 2011) risks life and limb to interview gangsters, police, and victims of violence in this harrowing account of Latin American crime syndicates.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"An important contribution to an ongoing debate."
Two former Senate majority leaders contend that American party politics has gone off the rails, and they offer suggestions on how to get back on track. Read full book review >
BLOOD AND EARTH by Kevin Bales
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A cleareyed account of man's inhumanity to man and Earth. Read it to get informed, and then take action."
In a heart-wrenching narrative, Bales (Ending Slavery: How We Free Today's Slaves, 2007, etc.) explores modern slavery and the devastating effects on its victims as well as the environmental degradation caused by this morally reprehensible institution.Read full book review >
DEMOCRACY IN BLACK by Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A powerful and thoughtful call for 'a revolution of value and a radical democratic awakening' aimed at ending America's persistent racial crisis."
Glaude (Chair, African American Studies/Princeton Univ.; African American Religion: A Very Short Introduction, 2014, etc.) explores the worsening state of racial inequality under the nation's first black president.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 >