Condoleezza Rice, the former national security adviser and secretary of state, was among the key architects of the U.S. response to the Sept. 11 attacks, and was at the center of divisive debates within the George W. Bush administration. In her memoir, No Higher Honor, Rice explains and defends Bush's decision to engage in war in Iraq, and shares how her work took a toll on her personal life. As NPR's Michel Martin notes, Rice's memoir has been called an expansive record of the Bush years, as well as the first serious memoir about that presidency.
No two countries are experiencing the global financial crisis in the same way and, according to author Michael Lewis, you can tell a lot about each country by looking at its problems and proposed solutions. In Boomerang, Lewis surveys some of the most financially challenged countries in the world, and identifies a fatal flaw in each country's culture, which he says helps explain how they lost their economic way when they were offered cheap credit. "Anybody who wanted to borrow basically could, in virtually unlimited sums," Lewis tells NPR's Lynn Neary. "And given that temptation, different countries wanted to do different things with the money."
For years, Myanmar has largely been portrayed as a place worthy of humanitarian attention, but unconnected to the larger story of Asia's global rise. But former U.N. diplomat Thant Myint-U argues that the nation also known as Burma may actually have a bright future as a bridge between China, India and their two burgeoning economies. As new high-speed rail and gas pipeline projects surmount geographic obstacles, such as mountain ranges and jungles, Myint-U looks toward the transformation of all three countries.
Michael Moore didn't plan on becoming a filmmaker. As a teenager growing up in the Midwest, he spent his adolescent and young adult years rabble-rousing. He was elected to the school board as a senior in high school, became a young supporter of Richard Nixon, and even flirted with the idea of becoming a Catholic priest. But in making his first film, Roger and Me, Moore stumbled upon a new kind of documentary: confrontational, comedic and provocatively political. Written as a series of vignettes, Moore's engaging and funny memoir, Here Comes Trouble, touches on his upbringing in Flint, Mich., his family's arguments over long hair and Vietnam, and key influences on the award-winning documentarian's often brash interview style.
After complaints that he used inappropriate language against the Prophet Muhammad, the prophet's wives and the Quran in his novel The Daughters of Allah, Turkish writer Nedim Gursel was charged with inciting religious hatred. He is just one of many authors around the world who've had their right to free expression challenged. Burn This Book, edited by Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison,is a collection of essays on the power of literature written by members of PEN, a human rights organization dedicated to helping persecuted writers.
Charlotte Abbott edits "New in Paperback." A contributing editor for Publishers Weekly, she also leads a weekly chat on books and reading in the digital age every Friday from 4-5 p.m. ET on Twitter. Follow her at @charabbott or check out the #followreader hashtag.