Nature & Travel Book Reviews

WHITE SANDS by Geoff Dyer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 3, 2016

"A mesmerizing compendium that reflects on time, place, and just what, exactly, we are doing here."
In a slender volume that contains multitudes, the award-winning critic and novelist details his travels in such far-flung places as Tahiti and the Arctic Circle. Read full book review >
PANIC AT THE PUMP by Meg Jacobs
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Released: April 19, 2016

"A readable and neatly paced examination of recent history that sheds light on even more recent events."
Political economist Jacobs (Woodrow Wilson Center/Princeton Univ.; Pocketbook Politics: Economic Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America, 2005, etc.) considers the effects of the 1970s OPEC embargoes on subsequent politics.Read full book review >

GETTING TO GREEN by Frederic C. Rich
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 18, 2016

"Essential reading for anyone with a stake in the environmental debate."
A corporate lawyer and conservation leader argues that only a new bipartisan coalition can end the legislative logjam facing the American environmental movement. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 15, 2016

"Great fun for anyone with even a slight knowledge of Roman and English history and geography—or those curious about them."
A delightful trip from Rome to Hadrian's Wall—in C.E. 130. Read full book review >
ARE WE SMART ENOUGH TO KNOW HOW SMART ANIMALS ARE? by Frans de Waal
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 25, 2016

"After this edifying book, a trip to the zoo may never be the same."
Intrigued by the search for intelligent life? No need for space travel—it's happening right here on Earth, and the results are amazing. Read full book review >

DOOR TO DOOR by Edward Humes
NATURE & TRAVEL
Released: April 12, 2016

"A revealing look at the reality and impact of our 'buy-it-now, same-day-delivery, traffic-packed world.'"
The story of the massive, complex global system that transports people and things from door to door, day and night. Read full book review >
CONNECTOGRAPHY by Parag Khanna
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 19, 2016

"A consistently interesting, almost wholly persuasive vision of a future in which flow prevails over friction, where globalization's new 'scale, depth, and intensity' reshape the map we thought we knew."
Global strategist Khanna (Asia and Globalization/National Univ. of Singapore; How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance, 2011, etc.) analyzes the new world of global connectivity.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"Between the dizzying sums lost and gained, Zacks offers a rollicking history perfect for Twain's countless fans."
An amusing, singular account of the world tour by the nation's most famous humorist, chased by creditors. Read full book review >
THE END OF KARMA by Somini Sengupta
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 7, 2016

"A compelling portrait of what will soon be the world's most populous nation, one on the verge of great change—for better or worse."
India's young population is growing dramatically, writes Indian-American journalist Sengupta—and it's growing impatient with the roadblocks its elders have erected. Read full book review >
RIGHTFUL HERITAGE by Douglas Brinkley
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 15, 2016

"Overlong, as are so many of Brinkley's books, but a brightly written, highly useful argument, especially in a time when the public domain is under siege."
Brinkley (History/Rice Univ.; Cronkite, 2012, etc.) returns with the provocative argument that Theodore Roosevelt was not the only environmentalist in the Roosevelt clan—far from it.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 5, 2016

"A captivating history of two men who dramatically changed their contemporaries' view of the past."
Daring adventurers unearth a buried civilization. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 19, 2016

"A chilling portrait of a country under siege and one man's defiance."
The tale of a devoted collector of manuscripts who outwitted militant jihadis. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >