RaveThe Atlantic... don’t let the instinct to insult [Levy] overwhelm you, for the book and the film raise questions that are rarely posed so starkly ... So much is working against the return of empathy to the public sphere that it is easy to be skeptical of this message, to respond with sarcasm or scorn. But before anything can change or improve, someone has to believe that change and improvement are possible. Pessimism is easy but irresponsible, because it implies that nothing can or need be done. Optimism is much more difficult and risky, but without it we can’t see a better future. The Will to See offers precisely that kind of difficult optimism: Both the book and the film call on people not just to see the world, but to be moved and interested by what they find there, and to do something about it.
PositiveThe AtlanticBelton does not prove Putin’s personal involvement in any of these projects, which isn’t surprising. The Russian leader has gone to great lengths to conceal his real role during the four and a half years he spent in Dresden. But throughout her book, which will surely now become the definitive account of the rise of Putin and Putinism, she adds enough new details to establish beyond doubt that the future Russian president was working alongside the people who set up the secret bank accounts and held the meetings with subversives and terrorists. More important, she establishes how, years later, these kinds of projects came to benefit him and shape his worldview. Building on the work of others, Belton incorporates crucial new material from interviews with former KGB operatives, Kremlin insiders, and bankers in various countries. She shows that Putin may have been burning documents in Dresden, but he never lost touch with the people, the tactics, or the operations launched by the KGB at that time ... While many of these stories have been written before, Belton puts them in the larger context.
PanThe New York Review of Books... this is not a book that belongs on the shelf alongside Gloria Steinem and Susan Faludi. It belongs in the business section ... Sandberg has conducted no original research. Instead she deploys autobiographical anecdotes, backed up by social science studies and material from other people’s books. Some of the social science studies are dubious ... Lean In also offers not specific advice but more universal words of wisdom ... she is offering inspiring but generic suggestions that could have equally come from a fortune cookie ... Sandberg frequently contradicts herself ... there’s nothing new here ... read Lean In if you’re looking for some positive uplift, some stirring stories, and some advice about your job or your marriage. But don’t read it if you want to learn how to change the world.
RaveThe New York Review of BooksSome of the details are almost too good to be true ... This dramatic description of Thatcher’s fall is the emotional high point of the third and final volume of Moore’s trilogy. Not merely the authorized biography, Moore’s is the definitive biography of Thatcher, and perhaps one of the definitive books about Britain in the late twentieth century ... he does not hide his admiration for Thatcher, and this may not be a bad thing: nobody who did not admire Thatcher would be able to do what he has done ... Yet Moore maintains a genuine objectivity as well, always seeking to understand and reflect the views of people who did not admire Thatcher.
PositiveThe New York Review of BooksIn Bloodlands, a brave and original history of mass killing in the twentieth century, he argues that we still lack any real knowledge of what happened in the eastern half of Europe in the twentieth century. And he is right ... Though some of the anecdotes and statistics may be surprising to those who don’t know this part of the world, scholars will find nothing in Bloodlands that is startlingly new ... Snyder’s original contribution is to treat all of these episodes — the Ukrainian famine, the Holocaust, Stalin’s mass executions, the planned starvation of Soviet POWs, postwar ethnic cleansing — as different facets of the same phenomenon ... Yet Snyder does not exactly compare the two systems either. His intention, rather, is to show that the two systems committed the same kinds of crimes at the same times and in the same places, that they aided and abetted one another, and above all that their interaction with one another led to more mass killing than either might have carried out alone.
PositiveThe New York Review of Books...an adept and useful synthesis of an extraordinarily complex era ... Kershaw’s book is a competent and comprehensive survey of Europe in the second half of the twentieth century... Something about the unexpected magnitude of the current crisis, its deep roots, and its lack of an obvious solution seems to have spooked Kershaw, who ends by wondering whether \'the ghosts of the past [are] likely to return to haunt the continent.\' But he doesn’t want to give an answer, and ends the book on a bland note: \'The only certainty is uncertainty.\' It’s as if he senses that the European story that seemed to have ended so well just a few years ago—with the Europe \'whole and free\' that so many wanted for so long—could yet go awry in unpredictable ways. It might soon need yet another reassessment, even more thorough than this one.