Current Affairs Book Reviews

BASE NATION by David Vine
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A frank, significant look at how the proliferation of foreign military bases has 'helped lock us inside a permanently militarized society that in many ways has made all of us less safe and less secure.'"
America's seldom thought of, and largely misunderstood, military outposts around the globe are brought into sharp relief. Read full book review >
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 >
THE HAUNTING OF THE MEXICAN BORDER by Kathryn Ferguson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"A wise and humane account that draws on a lifetime of exploring the border country and pondering its meaning."
A memoir that grapples with life, death, and documentary filmmaking on the United States-Mexico border. Read full book review >

INSIDE THE MACHINE by Megan Prelinger
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 17, 2015

"Sophisticated in its grasp of science and technological history but also accessible to general readers."
A highly original cultural history of 20th-century technology examined through the lens of commercial art. Read full book review >
SHOTS ON THE BRIDGE by Ronnie Greene
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A poignant and skillful examination of a case that adds to the ongoing public debate about corrupt police practices, the militarization of local law enforcement, and convoluted legal decisions."
Associated Press investigative journalist Greene (Night Fire: Big Oil, Poison Air, and Margie Richard's Fight to Save Her Town, 2009) examines the shockingly overlooked case of police brutality that left six unarmed citizens shot during the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Promising prescriptions to five of India's baneful environmental cases—right thinking and accusatory in all the right places."
Journalist Subramanian examines a handful of environmental woes besetting India, along with hopeful remedies. Read full book review >
AFTER NATURE by Jedediah Purdy
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A profound vision of post-humanistic ethics."
Purdy (Law/Duke Univ.; A Tolerable Anarchy: Rebels, Reactionaries, and the Making of American Freedom, 2009, etc.) examines the growing awareness of the relationship between humans and other species, which could create "a Copernican revolution in ethical imagination." Read full book review >
$2.00 A DAY by Kathryn J. Edin
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An eye-opening account of the lives ensnared in the new poverty cycle."
An analysis of the growing portion of American poor who live on an average of $2 per day. Read full book review >
INVISIBLE IN AUSTIN by Javier Auyero
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A scholarly study conducted with dignity and thoroughness."
A sociological study focusing on the experiences of 11 characters toiling in the underbelly of a vibrant American city. Read full book review >
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Useful for anyone with a horse in the race regarding law enforcement—in other words, most American citizens."
A handbook for making sense of America's approach to crime and incarceration and its effect on communities across the country. 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 >