Science & Technology Book Reviews

HISTORY
Released: April 15, 2015

"A meticulously detailed, welcome addition to the literature of World War I, the 'first ‘total' war in which all the resources of the state were involved.'"
TV producer and writer Downing (Night Raid: The True Story of the First Victorious British Para Raid of WWII, 2013, etc.) recounts the complete transformation of warfare during World War I, the first industrialized war.Read full book review >
COAL WARS by Richard Martin
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: April 14, 2015

"Martin is unequivocal and persuasive: The best use of coal is in holiday stockings."
Coal will never stop blighting our planet, writes energy analyst Martin (SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future, 2012), and its good riddance can't come too soon.Read full book review >

TERMS OF SERVICE by Jacob Silverman
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
Released: March 17, 2015

"Intelligent, provocative and illuminating in the author's argument that social media companies must examine their ethics and find business models that don't depend on perpetual surveillance of customers."
Freelancer Silverman, a celebrated Jeopardy! champion and contributor to Slate, the Atlantic and other publications, debuts with a deep and disquieting plunge into digital culture.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: March 16, 2015

"Ingenious, lucid and revealing look at the lives of two brilliant men who changed our way of seeing the world."
A fine addition to the burgeoning genre of dual biography of great figures whose lives were related, if often distantly. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: March 10, 2015

"Let us be grateful that there are writers like Dreger who have the wits and the guts to fight for truth."
Dreger (Clinical Medical Humanities and Bioethics/Northwestern Univ.; One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal, 2004, etc.) passionately investigates character assassinations in academia and how "[s]cience and social justice require each other to be healthy, and both are critically important to human freedom."Read full book review >

SHRINKS by Jeffrey A. Lieberman
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: March 10, 2015

"Vastly edifying and vigorously written—a much-needed update on how far the psychiatric industry has come, both medically and from a public perception standpoint."
An intelligent, encouraging survey of the psychiatric industry. Read full book review >
THE AGE OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT by Jeffrey D. Sachs
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 10, 2015

"Required reading for policymakers and students, and general readers will finish the book realizing they actually understand what sustainable development is all about."
A leading economist offers a brilliant analysis of the worldwide need to balance economic development and environmental sustainability. Read full book review >
LESS MEDICINE, MORE HEALTH by H. Gilbert Welch
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 3, 2015

"Welch's engaging style and touches of humor make this an easy read, and the facts he presents make a convincing case."
A bright, lively discussion of the excesses of medical care to which patients often unwittingly go due to certain false assumptions. Read full book review >
DATA AND GOLIATH by Bruce Schneier
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 2, 2015

"An accessible, detailed look at a disturbing aspect of contemporary life."
A jeremiad suggesting our addiction to data may have made privacy obsolete. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A vital piece of work that demands attention."
Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Scheer (Communication and Journalism/Univ. of Southern California; The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street, 2010, etc.) examines how online convenience has supplanted bedrock American values of personal freedom and the right to privacy.Read full book review >
THE UTOPIA OF RULES by David Graeber
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A sharp, oddly sympathetic and highly readable account of how big government works—or doesn't work, depending on your point of view."
Hate bureaucrats? Then stop supporting violent states. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"A powerful wake-up call to pay attention to our online lives."
An alarming view of the burgeoning dark side of the Internet. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fatima Bhutto
April 14, 2015

Set during the American invasion of Afghanistan, Fatima Bhutto’s debut novel The Shadow of the Crescent Moon begins and ends one rain-swept Friday morning in Mir Ali, a small town in Pakistan’s Tribal Areas close to the Afghan border. Three brothers meet for breakfast. Soon after, the eldest, Aman Erum, recently returned from America, hails a taxi to the local mosque. Sikandar, a doctor, drives to the hospital where he works, but must first stop to collect his troubled wife, who has not joined the family that morning. No one knows where Mina goes these days. But when, later in the morning, the two are taken hostage by members of the Taliban, Mina will prove to be stronger than anyone could have imagined. Our reviewer writes that The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is “a timely, earnest portrait of a family torn apart by the machinations of other people’s war games and desperately trying to survive.” View video >