Current Affairs Book Reviews

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 >
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 >

RED PLATOON by Clinton Romesha
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"Romesha ably captures the daily dangers faced by these courageous American soldiers in Afghanistan."
An account of the horrendous October 2009 attack on the American Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan, told in a frank, engaging vernacular by the staff sergeant and Medal of Honor winner. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 3, 2016

"An occasionally humorous, definitely informative look at what Americans eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all those snack times in between and how our eating habits are changing who we are."
How American food habits have changed over time. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 3, 2016

"Convincing and damning but unlikely to influence U.S. leaders because the electorate largely approves of drone warfare. Apparently killing terrorists takes priority over legal niceties or the deaths of innocent non-Americans."
In this angry but well-documented polemic, journalist Scahill (Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield, 2013, etc.) and his colleagues at the Intercept add to a growing genre that denounces our leaders' fascination with a cheap, seemingly risk-free way to kill terrorists. 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 >
POWER WITHOUT CONSTRAINT by Chris Edelson
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 11, 2016

"A powerful warning about the future of constitutional government and an indictment of the ways it has been undermined in the recent past."
Edelson (Government/American Univ.; Emergency Presidential Power: From the Drafting of the Constitution to the War on Terror, 2013) raises troubling questions about the Barack Obama administration.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 >
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 >
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 >
FREE SPEECH by Timothy Garton Ash
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"A thorough and well-argued contribution to the quest for global free speech norms."
A field guide to the challenges of setting standards for free speech in a "cosmopolis" of diverse cultures. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: May 24, 2016

"Refreshingly optimistic; in our diversity lies great strength, Levin writes, a strength that can be tapped once all the rancor is put aside. Highly recommended for readers of whatever political stripe."
A voice of both reason and establishment conservatism offers a prescription for renewed political discourse and bipartisan action. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Marilu Henner
author of CHANGING NORMAL
April 26, 2016

After they’d been dating only a short while, and as they were falling in love, Marilu Henner and Michael Brown were hit with the ultimate bad news: Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Refusing traditional care, they pieced together a personal and holistic view on battling his cancer, all while forging an unbreakable bond. In this moving and informative book, Marilu pulls back the curtain on how they dealt with the blow. She relates her holistic perspective on health—including the superfoods, exercises, and immunotherapy they used to fight back—and why a diagnosis doesn’t have to be the end of romance or of a happy and fulfilling life. “An inspiring love story wrapped in a serious call for new ways to treat disease,” our reviewer writes. View video >