MixedThe New York Times Book Review... illuminating ... Sitaraman has a lot of well-intentioned ideas, some more aspirational than practical, but collectively they would represent a huge expansion of government that would be very expensive and sure to attract bitter opposition from the country’s economic elite, not to mention a Republican Party that benefits from the status quo. Sitaraman is a longtime adviser to Elizabeth Warren, and reading this book you can see the outlines for many of her plans.
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewYou could fill an entire bookshelf with works about the crisis of democracy in the Trump era, but Lessig has been eloquently hammering this point longer than most ... This is by now a familiar critique, but Lessig tells it with skill, citing a plethora of studies and historical examples to make a persuasive case about the unrepresentativeness of America’s political institutions ... The second part of Lessig’s book, where he discusses what ails \'us\' — by which he means society at large, not just political institutions — is more surprising but less convincing. For someone devoted to expanding democracy, Lessig is sharply critical of how the will of the people is expressed in American politics today ... though he rightly condemns the anarchy of social media, he’s strangely nostalgic for the world of 1950s-era broadcast news, when three networks dominated by white males largely determined what the public did and didn’t see ... Most startling of all, Lessig thinks the few, not the many, should determine public policy.
E.J. Dionne Jr. & Norman J. Ornstein & Thomas E. Mann
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewIf someone had hibernated through the 2016 election, woke up early this year and logged onto Twitter or turned on cable news and wondered, what the hell happened?, this would be the book to read. One Nation After Trump devotes considerable space to tackling the unprecedented nature of Trump’s election and presidency...but the book is particularly useful in showing how, despite all the talk of Trump as an aberration in American politics, his rise reflects the longer-term trends that have shaped the modern Republican Party … Parts of the book feel hastily assembled, particularly the second half, where the authors offer policy prescriptions for ‘a new economy, a new patriotism, a new civil society and a new democracy.’ While many of their ideas are good ones, they read like a laundry list of proposals … Given the authors’ depth of knowledge about how Washington works, the best parts of their book frame the dangers of Trump’s presidency in a broader political context. The greatest threat Trump poses, they say, apart from any individual policy, is to democracy itself.
MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewThere has been a great deal written about Roosevelt ... By focusing on the 1912 primaries, Cowan brings new insight to a well-worn story. His painstaking recounting of each primary, however, can overwhelm the reader, who may have difficulty keeping track of a whirl of delegate counts, party hacks and campaign stops.