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Deeply insightful advice for the coming decades.

A thorough investigation of “America’s top foreign policy challenge.”

One of the most significant geopolitical trends is the explosive growth of China. With assistance from Graff, Alperovitch, entrepreneur, cybersecurity expert, and founding member of the U.S. government’s Cyber Safety Review Board, warns that America is now engaged in “Cold War II” with a nation far more populous and efficient than the former Soviet Union —and just as skilled at bending the rules. The author begins with a fictional scenario describing China’s conquest of Taiwan in 2028. Most readers know that this is a long-standing Chinese obsession, but Alperovitch emphasizes that it would be a massive geopolitical triumph, assuring domination of the South China Sea and access to one of the world’s most valuable resources: computer chips. “Taiwan alone is responsible for nearly 40 percent of new computing power manufactured every year worldwide,” writes the author, adding that the Chinese are as productive, hardworking, and imaginative as Americans—and there are four times as many of them. Beijing’s goal of becoming the world’s top superpower seems inevitable unless U.S. officials act decisively. “To succeed over the next half century,” writes Alperovitch, the U.S. “needs to prioritize two broad enablers of innovation—semiconductor chips and immigration.” Regarding the latter, the author echoes other observers in his demonstration of how the U.S. discourages even skilled legal immigrants, a significant problem. Giving computer chips so much emphasis seems a stretch, but the author makes a convincing case that they are today’s primary engines of progress. Eschewing the usual homilies about freedom, the author urges America to pay more attention to traditional allies as well as China’s neighbors. “Other countries do not need to love us…and most of them…never will,” he writes. “But as long as they hate China more, they may prefer to partner with us.”

Deeply insightful advice for the coming decades.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9781541704091

Page Count: 400

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

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From the Pocket Change Collective series

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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A welcome call to grow up and cut out the whining.

The New York Times columnist serves up a cogent argument for shelving the grudge and sucking it up.

In 1976, Tom Wolfe described the “me decade” as a pit of mindless narcissism. A half century later, Bruni, author of Born Round and other bestselling books, calls for a renaming: “‘Me Turning Point’ would have been more accurate, because the period of time since has been a nonstop me jamboree.” Our present cultural situation, he notes, is marked by constant grievance and endless grasping. The ensuing blame game has its pros. Donald Trump, he notes, “became a victor by playing the victim, and his most impassioned oratory, such as it was, focused not on the good that he could do for others but on the bad supposedly done to him.” Bruni is an unabashed liberal, and while he places most of the worst behavior on the right—he opens with Sean Hannity’s bleating lie that the Biden administration was diverting scarce baby formula from needy Americans to illegal immigrants—he also allows that the left side of the aisle has committed its share of whining. A case in point: the silencing of a professor for showing an image of Mohammed to art students, neither religiously proscribed nor done without ample warning, but complained about by self-appointed student censors. Still, “not all grievances are created equal,” he writes. “There is January 6, 2021, and there is everything else. Attempts by leaders on the right to minimize what happened that day and lump it together with protests on the left are as ludicrous as they are dangerous.” Whether from left or right, Bruni calls for a dose of humility on the part of all: “an amalgam of kindness, openness, and silliness might be an effective solvent for grievance.”

A welcome call to grow up and cut out the whining.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9781668016435

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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