An early, vivid re-creation. Readers seeking great depth and understanding will have to look elsewhere.



CNN’s photo-and-text account of the 2016 presidential election.

Appropriately oversized to embrace a larger-than-life, over-the-top story, this profusely illustrated, sometimes-insightful, blow-by-blow account captures all the highlights of the election year, from the primaries to the party conventions and debates to the election of Donald Trump. CNN politics writer Lake’s well-written narrative, interspersed with contributions by more than a dozen correspondents, analysts, and commentators, reflects the same “all in” approach the network took to its televised coverage. “One of the things we did was to ‘event-ize’ the major days and nights,” writes CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, with pride. “Whether it was a debate, a town hall, a primary night, or the conventions, our approach was the same. Cover them as big events to let the audience know they are important….That added a degree of energy and excitement to our programs, while never getting in the way of our news-gathering, our analysis, or our interviews.” The same hyperbolic view of a surreal election permeates these pages, which read like a graphic portrait of a major traffic accident rather than the “ultimate keepsake” (as described by the publisher) of an election to remember. Fully exploiting the event’s P.T. Barnum–esque aspects, the book offers few pleasing thoughts for remembrance: not Trump’s “blunt, bigoted language,” not Hillary Clinton’s “predilection for secrecy,” and not the other, dull members of the Republican primary field, who displayed “too much common decency.” The election, says CNN presidential historian David Brinkley, was “an overproduced race to the gutter.” Lake writes, “the media covered Trump relentlessly, because he was accessible, newsworthy and usually good for some outrage, which drove up clicks and ratings.” The most revealing moments are downers, as when Asian-American reporter M.J. Lee described the “off-color remarks” she encountered about her ethnicity when covering Trump rallies.

An early, vivid re-creation. Readers seeking great depth and understanding will have to look elsewhere.

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-59591-096-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Melcher Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular...

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Pulitzer Prize Finalist


A neurosurgeon with a passion for literature tragically finds his perfect subject after his diagnosis of terminal lung cancer.

Writing isn’t brain surgery, but it’s rare when someone adept at the latter is also so accomplished at the former. Searching for meaning and purpose in his life, Kalanithi pursued a doctorate in literature and had felt certain that he wouldn’t enter the field of medicine, in which his father and other members of his family excelled. “But I couldn’t let go of the question,” he writes, after realizing that his goals “didn’t quite fit in an English department.” “Where did biology, morality, literature and philosophy intersect?” So he decided to set aside his doctoral dissertation and belatedly prepare for medical school, which “would allow me a chance to find answers that are not in books, to find a different sort of sublime, to forge relationships with the suffering, and to keep following the question of what makes human life meaningful, even in the face of death and decay.” The author’s empathy undoubtedly made him an exceptional doctor, and the precision of his prose—as well as the moral purpose underscoring it—suggests that he could have written a good book on any subject he chose. Part of what makes this book so essential is the fact that it was written under a death sentence following the diagnosis that upended his life, just as he was preparing to end his residency and attract offers at the top of his profession. Kalanithi learned he might have 10 years to live or perhaps five. Should he return to neurosurgery (he could and did), or should he write (he also did)? Should he and his wife have a baby? They did, eight months before he died, which was less than two years after the original diagnosis. “The fact of death is unsettling,” he understates. “Yet there is no other way to live.”

A moving meditation on mortality by a gifted writer whose dual perspectives of physician and patient provide a singular clarity.

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-8129-8840-6

Page Count: 248

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?