An indispensable journalist presents an impassioned, well-informed warning about vital global issues.



A Filipino journalist who won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize describes her ongoing fight against political corruption and online disinformation.

For years, Ressa has been a brave and consistent critic of technology’s increasing power in affecting people’s behavior, and she and the news site she co-founded in 2012, Rappler, have been consistently targeted by the regimes of Rodrigo Duterte and his successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Like Russian journalist Dimitry Muratov, with whom she shared the Nobel, the author has battled the information warfare tactics of dictators and remains under constant threat of harassment and arrest. In this engaging work, Ressa shares the story of her life and career, beginning with her immigration to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1973, when she was 10. Her early years in the U.S., she writes, were defined by three lessons: Always choose to learn, embrace your fear, and stand up to bullies. These lessons would follow her into a successful career as a journalist—first at CNN, where she served as the bureau chief in Manila and then Jakarta, followed by a role heading the news division at the Philippines network ABS-CBN. When she resigned over an ethics issue in 2010, she and some journalist friends began work on Rappler, with the intention of injecting the positive elements of social media into old-fashioned journalism. Increasingly, however, evenhanded journalists—who once served as reliable “gatekeepers of facts and information”—were being pushed aside by unscrupulous tech companies and manipulated by populist politicians like Duterte and Trump via bots, fake accounts, and disinformation campaigns. These nefarious tactics led to the author’s profound disillusionment with Facebook, in particular, which she now calls “one of the gravest threats to democracies around the world.” Her courageous work has garnered well-deserved international attention, and her book serves as a readable, urgent plea for journalistic integrity, vigilance, and transparency. Amal Clooney, who serves as one of Ressa’s attorneys, provides the foreword.

An indispensable journalist presents an impassioned, well-informed warning about vital global issues.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-325751-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2022

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Disingenuous when not willfully oblivious.


The former vice president reflects warmly on the president whose followers were encouraged to hang him.

Pence’s calm during the Trump years has been a source of bemusement, especially during the administration’s calamitous demise. In this bulky, oddly uncurious political memoir, Pence suggests the source of his composure is simple: frequent prayer and bottomless patience for politicking. After a relatively speedy recap of his personal and political history in Indiana—born-again Christian, conservative radio host, congressman, governor—he remembers greeting the prospect of serving under Trump with enthusiasm. He “was giving voice to the desperation and frustration caused by decades of government mismanagement,” he writes. Recounting how the Trump-Pence ticket won the White House in 2016, he recalls Trump as a fundamentally hardworking president, albeit one who often shot from the hip. Yet Pence finds Trump’s impulsivity an asset, setting contentious foreign leaders and Democrats off-balance. Soon they settled into good cop–bad cop roles; he was “the gentler voice,” while “it was Trump’s job to bring the thunder.” Throughout, Pence rationalizes and forgives all sorts of thundering. Sniping at John McCain? McCain never really took the time to understand him! Revolving-door staffers? He’s running government like a business! That phone call with Ukraine’s president? Overblown! Downplaying the threat Covid-19 presented in early 2020? Evidence, somehow, of “the leadership that President Trump showed in the early, harrowing days of the pandemic.” But for a second-in-command to such a disruptive figure, Pence dwells little on Trump’s motivations, which makes the story’s climax—Trump’s 2020 election denials and the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection—impossible for him to reconcile. How could such a selfless patriot fall under the sway of bad lawyers and conspiracy theorists? God only knows. Chalk it up to Pence's forgiving nature. In the lengthy acknowledgments he thanks seemingly everybody he’s known personally or politically; but one name’s missing.

Disingenuous when not willfully oblivious.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2022

ISBN: 9781982190330

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2022

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Certain to be controversial, but all the more important for that.


The final book from the longtime activist anthropologist.

In a lively display of up-to-date anthropology, Graeber (1961-2020) offers a behind-the-scenes view of how a skilled researcher extracts knowledge from the slimmest evidence about a long-ago multiethnic society composed of pirates and settled members of existing communities. In this posthumous book, the author turns to 17th- and 18th-century Madagascar and examines hard-to-credit sources to tease out some plausible facts about the creation and early life of a distinctive Indian Ocean society, some of whose Malagasy descendants (“the Zana-Malata”) are alive today. Exhibiting his characteristic politically tinged sympathies, Graeber describes the pirates who plied the seas and settled on Madagascar as an ethno-racially integrated proletariat “spearheading the development of new forms of democratic governance.” He also argues that many of the pirates and others displayed European Enlightenment ideas even though they inhabited “a very unlikely home for Enlightenment political experiments.” Malagasies were “Madagascar’s most stubbornly egalitarian peoples,” and, as the author shows, women played significant roles in the society, which reflected Jewish, Muslin, Ismaili, and Gnostic origins as well as native Malagasy and Christian ones. All of this information gives Graeber the chance to wonder, in his most provocative conjecture, whether Enlightenment ideals might have emerged as much beyond Western lands as within them. His argument that pirates, women traders, and community leaders in early 18th-century Madagascar were “global political actors in the fullest sense of the term” is overstated, but even with such excesses taken into account, the text is a tour de force of anthropological scholarship and an important addition to Malagasy history. It’s also a work written with a pleasingly light touch. The principal audience will be anthropologists, but those who love pirate lore or who seek evidence that mixed populations were long capable of establishing proto-democratic societies will also find enlightenment in these pages.

Certain to be controversial, but all the more important for that.

Pub Date: Jan. 24, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-374-61019-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Oct. 6, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022

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