Current Affairs Book Reviews

HARA HOTEL by Teresa Thornhill
Released: April 17, 2018

"A brave, affecting book about a continuing humanitarian crisis."
Thornhill (The Curtain Maker of Beirut: Conversations with the Lebanese, 2011, etc.) offers a personal account of her time volunteering in Greece as refugees arrived from Syria and other nations beset by strife. Read full book review >
Released: April 17, 2018

"At times bedeviled by academic jargon and repetition of obvious problems, but essentially a worthy plea for change."
A research-heavy, advocacy-grounded study of urban blight and incarceration, in which the authors "argue that efforts to end mass incarceration must go beyond reforming legislation or police practices." Read full book review >

Released: April 17, 2018

"Passionate pieces that repeatedly assail the inability of many to empathize and to humanize."
A collection of sharp-edged, humanistic pieces about the American heartland, originally published between 2012 and 2014. Read full book review >
THE BURNING SHORES by Frederic Wehrey
Released: April 17, 2018

"Essential reading for anyone interested in the facts of the Benghazi attacks and in the future of a definitively troubled region."
A searing tale of violence, chaos, and unintended consequences in post-Gadhafi Libya. Read full book review >
WEST WINGING IT by Pat Cunnane
Released: April 17, 2018

"A revealing window into the fascinating aquarium of the 'Obama people' and all their 'hope and hard-won change.'"
The inside scoop on how a recent college graduate went from working in a warehouse to becoming a senior writer for the Barack Obama White House. Read full book review >

GOD SAVE TEXAS by Lawrence Wright
Released: April 17, 2018

"A revelation—Wright finds the reflection of his own conflicted soul in the native state he loves and has hated."
One of the state's most renowned writers takes readers deep into the heart of Texas. Read full book review >
ALT-RIGHT by Mike Wendling
Released: April 15, 2018

"A thoughtful distillation of research that is sadly relevant to our current political moment."
The factions and personalities behind the so-called alt-right, associated both with a white nationalist resurgence and Donald Trump. Read full book review >
SPEAK FREELY by Keith E. Whittington
Released: April 13, 2018

"In the current divisive political climate, Whittington shows why safeguarding the civil exchange of diverse ideas is an urgent need."
A timely defense of intellectual debate and critical thinking. Read full book review >
NO IMMEDIATE DANGER by William T. Vollmann
Released: April 10, 2018

"Vollmann promises a second volume to come—and perhaps more beyond that. Only the irradiated future will tell."
Vollmann (The Dying Grass, 2015, etc.) apologizes to the future that we've ruined, charting how our choices of energy sources made the planet scarcely inhabitable. Read full book review >
Released: April 10, 2018

"Capitalism as we know it today is anti-democratic—and not likely to relinquish power without a fight. A useful resource for setting agendas."
Democracy and the world's dominant economic system are at loggerheads. So argues American Prospect co-founder Kuttner (Debtors' Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility, 2013, etc.) in this vigorous critique. Read full book review >
Released: April 10, 2018

"A wide-ranging and learned work that celebrates the city as rich, engaged, tolerant, and alive."
Why more ethical and open cities represent the future of urban planning. Read full book review >
SPEAKER JIM WRIGHT by J. Brooks Flippen
Released: April 10, 2018

"An engrossing history that sheds light on our own fractious times."
A revealing biography of a complex, contradictory political leader. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >