PositiveThe New York Times...George F. Will does to the president what the president most fears: He ignores him. This is at once the strength of The Conservative Sensibility ... But it is also its weakness. For this account of conservatism fails to address why it has collapsed as a political force in America in the 21st century, or how the political party that Will has supported for most of his adult life has rejected it decisively in favor of strongman rule ... Restraint; prudence; skepticism; awe; responsibility and ease in modernity. All these virtues are to be found in Will’s very American variety of conservatism. And these reflections of a conservative disposition or sensibility save Will from some of the more abstract forms of ideology that his defense of natural rights implies ... In fact, as Will’s argument makes cumulatively clear, the current Republican Party is as great a threat to conservatism as Will understands it as a feckless progressivism. This book is therefore not only a case for a certain kind of politics in the West. In its silence and implications, it is a damning indictment of what American \'conservatives\' have become.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewIt isn’t until you start reading it that you realize how much we need a book like this one at this particular moment ... It tries to take in almost everything, an impossible task, but I’d be hard-pressed to think she could have crammed more into these 932 highly readable pages ... It’s a big sweeping book, a way for us to take stock at this point in the journey, to look back, to remind us who we are and to point to where we’re headed. This is not an account of relentless progress. It’s much subtler and darker than that. It reminds us of some simple facts so much in the foreground that we must revisit them ... Lepore panders a little to liberal sensibilities ... But she is withering about the New Left, and liberalism’s turn toward elitism and identity politics. And she highlights truths that are usually dim-lit ... This is not an account conservatives will hate. She’s brilliant at times ... Lepore is also a writer. This book is aimed at a mass audience, driven by anecdote and statistic, memoir and photograph, with all the giants of American history in their respective places. There wasn’t a moment when I struggled to keep reading ... There are moments, however, when you wince at the purple prose ... But these are quibbles. We need this book. Its reach is long, its narrative fresh and the arc of its account sobering to say the least. This is not Whig history. It is a classic tale of a unique country’s astonishing rise and just-as-inevitable fall.
Cass R. Sunstein
RaveThe New York TimesWhere does this leave us with respect to Donald Trump? Sunstein smartly doesn’t answer the question directly — instead teasing out various hypotheticals with some similarities to our current concerns.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review...somehow manages to pack all the emotional power of that film with far more granular detail and narrative force. I doubt any book on this subject will be able to match its access to the men and women who lived and died through the trauma and the personal testimony that, at times, feels so real to someone who witnessed it that I had to put this volume down and catch my breath ... the merit of this book is that it shows how none of this was inevitable, how it took specific, flawed individuals, of vastly different backgrounds, to help bring this plague to an end in a decade and a half ... the first and best history of this courage.