PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewA compact jeremiad on the persistence of extreme want in a nation of extraordinary wealth, a distillation into argument form of the message embedded within the narrative of Evicted ... Desmond’s ideological allies on the left will nod along with many of these points. Where things get more interesting is when he considers the ways that upper-middle-class Americans, many of them proud progressives, are complicit in the taking ... Desmond’s case might have been strengthened by a more considered structuring and tone; at moments, the book can feel somewhat dashed off ... But these are minor quibbles — a ragged edge is to be expected from a book that amounts to more manifesto than treatise.
MixedThe New York Times Book Review\"Swenson sketches the rise of tough-on-crime policing in the 1970s that formed the backdrop of the officers’ actions, but they are individuals, like Vernon and the defendants, whose motives and moral agency could have used more expansive treatment. Swenson’s account of the War on Crime context also elides the role that was played by demands from within the black community to take on drug dealers. Another shortcoming is one of excess, not absence. Swenson has a predilection for figurative language that occasionally hits the lyrical mark but more often distracts ... It’s almost as if Swenson doesn’t entirely trust his material to carry a book without his stylistic embellishment. But it does. It’s the story of a grave injustice, whose long-overdue correction delivers a strong emotional punch when it finally arrives.\
RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"Tara Westover’s new tale of escape, Educated, makes [J.D.] Vance’s seem tame by comparison ... The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing ... It is only when the final, wrenching break from most of her family arrives that one realizes just how courageous this testimonial really is. These disclosures will take a toll. But one is also left convinced that the costs are worth it. By the end, Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.\