Current Affairs Book Reviews

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Well-written and superbly reported."
An absorbing account of the clash between environmentalists and oyster farmers in the coastal towns north of San Francisco. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A hackle-raising book about nature and human nature, venality and justice, and how disasters—before, during, and after—sharply mirror society."
How the most significant deleterious factor in natural disasters may be the human element. Read full book review >

BLUE by Joe Domanick
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Sprawling, engrossing, and highly relevant to the ongoing controversies about policing post-Ferguson, which Domanick addresses in an epilogue."
An incisive examination of American policing, using a tumultuous two decades in Los Angeles as a lens. Read full book review >
PAID FOR by Rachel Moran
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Moran's thoughtful, highly readable, and provocative treatise shines a necessary light on a dark and underdiscussed topic."
Leaving her Dublin home and dysfunctional family at 14, Moran became homeless before she turned to prostitution to survive. Her stirring memoir chronicles her seven-year journey on the streets and in the brothels and examines the costs to society and her soul. Read full book review >
WHAT PHILOSOPHY CAN DO by Gary Gutting
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 8, 2015

"Somewhat less supple than Simon Blackburn's Think (1999) as a general introduction to philosophy but an excellent, readable, and eminently practical guide."
It can't take you to the airport, but philosophy, as this spirited book argues, can do all sorts of great things—including contribute to our happiness. Read full book review >

OBJECTIVE TROY by Scott Shane
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"Shane's reporting is superb, and the way he frames the public policy debate makes the narrative compelling from start to finish."
New York Times national security reporter Shane compares and contrasts the trajectories of President Barack Obama and Anwar al-Awlaki, the American citizen residing in Yemen whom Obama ordered to be killed by a drone. Read full book review >
EMPIRE OF FEAR by Andrew Hosken
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A tremendously useful, insightful study of the frightening spread of a culture of death."
An exploration of the spreading terror of the self-proclaimed new caliphate. Read full book review >
LET THERE BE WATER by Seth M. Siegel
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 15, 2015

"A major contribution to this hotly debated issue and to broader questions of environmental policy.
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An in-depth report on how Israel has combined technological innovation with conservation to achieve a water surplus at home and become a world leader in water management. Read full book review >
A STREET DIVIDED by Dion Nissenbaum
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"A must-read for anyone interested in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian drama."
The revealing story of a street "at the epicenter of one of the world's most intractable conflicts." Read full book review >
THE NEW TSAR by Steven Lee Myers
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"A highly effective portrait of a frighteningly powerful autocrat."
The reptilian, poker-faced former KGB agent, now Russian president seemingly for life, earns a fair, engaging treatment in the hands of New York Times journalist Myers.Read full book review >
BLACK FLAGS by Joby Warrick
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 29, 2015

"Warrick stops short of offering policy solutions, but he provides a valuable, readable introduction to a pressing international security threat."
Crisply written, chilling account of the personalities behind the emergence of the Islamic State, or ISIS. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Oct. 1, 2015

"Serious readers will delight in these pages."
An unusually rewarding meditation on how a wild mushroom can help us see the world's ruined condition after the advent of modern capitalism. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >