Current Affairs Book Reviews

THE GREAT DIVIDE by Joseph E. Stiglitz
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 20, 2015

"Smart, sometimes-stinging prose that rejects the doctrines of strangled government and artificial austerity, doctrines that require us to 'pay a high economic price for our growing inequality and declining opportunity.'"
Nobel Prize-winning economist Stiglitz (The Price of Inequality, 2012, etc.) examines some of the macro dollars-and-cents issues that separate the haves from the have-nots—and money is just of them. Read full book review >
BORDER ODYSSEY by Charles D. Thompson, Jr.
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 15, 2015

"A potent cri de coeur for a more compassionate, sane and humane border policy."
An exploration of 2,000 miles of fraught, rugged and deeply contested territory. Read full book review >

COAL WARS by Richard Martin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 14, 2015

"Martin is unequivocal and persuasive: The best use of coal is in holiday stockings."
Coal will never stop blighting our planet, writes energy analyst Martin (SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future, 2012), and its good riddance can't come too soon.Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 7, 2015

"A cautionary, timely gay rights manifesto with teeth."
The noted outspoken gay journalist and radio host passionately appeals to the gay community to resist complacency in the struggle for equality. Read full book review >
IN DEFENSE OF A LIBERAL EDUCATION by Fareed Zakaria
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 30, 2015

"A passionate appeal, for Americans in particular and the world at large, to rethink the benefits of a well-rounded, general education."
Why Americans should continue to embrace a well-rounded education. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"An impressive debut offering explanations based on coherence between people, cases and the events they adjudicated."
Center for American Progress senior constitutional policy analyst Millhiser assesses the damage caused by the Supreme Court to the Constitution, government and the citizens whose rights have repeatedly been curtailed or abrogated in arbitrary, capricious, bigoted and arrogant proceedings. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2015

"An earnest, eye-opening, important account for Western readers."
A brave, excoriating exposé of the systematic ruination of resource-rich countries of Africa, leaving "penury and strife" for its millions of inhabitants. Read full book review >
WHERE YOU GO IS NOT WHO YOU'LL BE by Frank Bruni
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 17, 2015

"Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions."
New York Times op-ed columnist Bruni (Born Round: The Secret History of a Full-time Eater, 2009, etc.) shows why rejection by an Ivy League college need not be a disaster and may even be a blessing. Read full book review >
STUFFOCATION by James Wallman
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"A provocative, challenging discourse likely to spur some to action."
A reasoned and passionate argument for culling the clutter and plugging into the joys of experiential living. Read full book review >
THE AGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT by Jeffrey D. Sachs
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Required reading for policymakers and students, and general readers will finish the book realizing they actually understand what sustainable development is all about."
A leading economist offers a brilliant analysis of the worldwide need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. Read full book review >
OUR KIDS by Robert D. Putnam
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"An insightful book that paints a disturbing picture of the collapse of the working class and the growth of an upper class that seems to be largely unaware of the other's precarious existence."
A political scientist calls attention to the widening class-based opportunity gap among young people in the United States. Read full book review >
LESS MEDICINE, MORE HEALTH by H. Gilbert Welch
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 3, 2015

"Welch's engaging style and touches of humor make this an easy read, and the facts he presents make a convincing case."
A bright, lively discussion of the excesses of medical care to which patients often unwittingly go due to certain false assumptions. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >