Largely of interest to policymakers and security experts, though with much for the Wired crowd as well.

THE FIFTH DOMAIN

DEFENDING OUR COUNTRY, OUR COMPANIES, AND OURSELVES IN THE AGE OF CYBER THREATS

Hacking, cracking, and stealing, whether elections or state secrets or cash—it’s all in a day’s work for the bad guys who populate the pages of this treatise on electronic security.

If you’re an individual computer user, you can do things to keep yourself secure like using two-factor authentication and secret password phrases. But what if you’re a nation-state? Cybersecurity experts Clarke and Knake (co-authors: Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What To Do About It, 2010, etc.), both of whom logged time inside the cybersecurity arms of presidential administrations, have much to say about the ways in which governments and companies have tried to make themselves safe from the legions of hackers out there, from your ordinary black hats to agents of Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and other entities. The militaries of those nations in particular are actively working to best our cyberdefenses—as the authors write, “the Russian military has not only used cyber weapons to collect intelligence, but has also employed cyber weapons to damage, disrupt, and destroy physical objects in the real world, beyond the realm of 1s and 0s.” Does this mean we’re at war? Regardless of the answer, the Russians are bad at covering their tracks—that’s how we know. Clarke and Knake survey the landscape: As they note, most governments may be bad at hiding information, but Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft “have security budgets that dwarf the GDP of Palau," and the private sector is likely to be the driver behind any real reform in cybersecurity and subsequent hardening of the fortress. Meanwhile, the authors counsel reassuringly, as companies finally make the transition to more secure systems of transmission, encryption, and data storage, there is hope that the threats of old will one day be a footnote. For the moment, the cost of mounting an attack on a bank is vanishingly small compared to the amount the bank is spending on keeping secure, so those attacks will keep coming.

Largely of interest to policymakers and security experts, though with much for the Wired crowd as well.

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-56196-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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Not an easy read but an essential one.

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HOW TO BE AN ANTIRACIST

Title notwithstanding, this latest from the National Book Award–winning author is no guidebook to getting woke.

In fact, the word “woke” appears nowhere within its pages. Rather, it is a combination memoir and extension of Atlantic columnist Kendi’s towering Stamped From the Beginning (2016) that leads readers through a taxonomy of racist thought to anti-racist action. Never wavering from the thesis introduced in his previous book, that “racism is a powerful collection of racist policies that lead to racial inequity and are substantiated by racist ideas,” the author posits a seemingly simple binary: “Antiracism is a powerful collection of antiracist policies that lead to racial equity and are substantiated by antiracist ideas.” The author, founding director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center, chronicles how he grew from a childhood steeped in black liberation Christianity to his doctoral studies, identifying and dispelling the layers of racist thought under which he had operated. “Internalized racism,” he writes, “is the real Black on Black Crime.” Kendi methodically examines racism through numerous lenses: power, biology, ethnicity, body, culture, and so forth, all the way to the intersectional constructs of gender racism and queer racism (the only section of the book that feels rushed). Each chapter examines one facet of racism, the authorial camera alternately zooming in on an episode from Kendi’s life that exemplifies it—e.g., as a teen, he wore light-colored contact lenses, wanting “to be Black but…not…to look Black”—and then panning to the history that informs it (the antebellum hierarchy that valued light skin over dark). The author then reframes those received ideas with inexorable logic: “Either racist policy or Black inferiority explains why White people are wealthier, healthier, and more powerful than Black people today.” If Kendi is justifiably hard on America, he’s just as hard on himself. When he began college, “anti-Black racist ideas covered my freshman eyes like my orange contacts.” This unsparing honesty helps readers, both white and people of color, navigate this difficult intellectual territory.

Not an easy read but an essential one.

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-50928-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: One World/Random House

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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