Current Affairs Book Reviews (page 4)

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 25, 2014

"Tyson can expect an avalanche of criticism for flouting a dozen precepts of journalism, and Gant has been accused of an unrealistically romantic view of Afghan tribalism. Still, readers will encounter one of the only satisfying products of a dismally unsatisfying war: this entertaining book."
To win in Afghanistan, dedicated American soldiers must live among the tribes, earning their trust and molding them into effective fighters against Taliban and al-Qaida networks. Decorated Green Beret Jim Gant made this argument in a 2009 paper that impressed Gen. David Petraeus and other leaders, who told him to go ahead with the plan. Read full book review >
A CALL TO ACTION by Jimmy Carter
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 25, 2014

"The overall effect is one of well-meaning but fuzzy prescription, less rigorous than this difficult subject requires."
The former president and indefatigable humanitarian writes again, this time linking worldly woes that "fall disproportionately on women and girls." Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 25, 2014

"A powerful story of courage and hope that should inspire others to follow trailblazers like Steckel and his students."
Inspiring account of what it takes to overcome class and ethnic barriers to gain acceptance to college. Read full book review >
A CLIMATE OF CRISIS by Patrick Allitt
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 24, 2014

"An optimistic book that downplays the clamorous work of environmental groups and attributes progress to the institutions of democracy and capitalism."
A wide-ranging history of the American environmental movement. Read full book review >
A SLIVER OF LIGHT by Shane Bauer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 18, 2014

"An unsugared account that demonstrates the admirable, unbreakable bond of friends, parents and countrymen."
The three American hikers imprisoned in Iran in 2009 alternate relaying their versions of their scary, uncertain ordeal. Read full book review >

CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"An important book that should be required reading for educators, parents and school boards."
An educator offers a bold prescription to promote equality in America's public schools. Read full book review >
THE PROMISE OF A PENCIL by Adam Braun
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 18, 2014

"Informative and inspiring but somewhat marred by a self-congratulatory tone."
The founder and CEO of the nonprofit Pencils of Promise explains the secret of his success: reliance on social media and "cause marketing." Read full book review >
WALKING PREY by Holly Austin Smith
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"A powerful voice on behalf of young people who should not be stigmatized but need support from schools and communities to protect them from predators."
An unvarnished account of one woman's painful "journey from victim to survivor," as she came to understand the "dynamics of commercial sexual exploitation, especially child sex trafficking." Read full book review >
CONSPIRACY THEORIES AND OTHER DANGEROUS IDEAS by Cass R. Sunstein
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"Sunstein seemingly never runs out of ideas. Many of them are solid, some of them are debatable and a few are even provocative, but calling them "dangerous" says more about the bankrupt state of our current civic dialogue than it does about the author and his ideas."
Supposedly controversial essays from an allegedly dangerous man. Read full book review >
SHADOW WARFARE by Larry Hancock
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"Readers who care about the intentions of the Founders and the niceties of human rights will come away depressed by this grim yet trenchant portrait of American imperial reach—and overreach."
Congress declares war, right? Constitutionally, yes—but, as intelligence analysts Hancock and Wexler (The Awful Grace of God: Religious Terrorism, White Supremacy, and the Unsolved Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., 2012) write, there's a reason it doesn't. Read full book review >
THE LOST SPRING by Walid Phares
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"Alarmist and unlikely to convince readers who don't already share the author's views."
Phares (The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East, 2010, etc.) argues that the Obama administration has squandered a good opportunity for spreading democracy across the Middle East and checking Islamism. Read full book review >
BORDER PATROL NATION by Todd Miller
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 18, 2014

"An unsettling but important read."
Solid, absorbing reportage on the government's racist and constitutionally questionable notions of border security in the post-9/11 world. Read full book review >