PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewGoing beyond the events of Jan. 6, [Mogelson] shows how such protesters often proudly bond in communities of imagined apocalypse. More broadly, he traces a disturbing link between mobilized extremists, the dominant faction of the Republican Party, and the big lie ... Powerful though it is, The Storm Is Here has a few flaws. At times I felt dizzy moving among continents, American states, extremist groups and animating issues. For my taste, the author doesn’t take enough time — camera down, phone ringer off — to ask why this is happening ... The storm is here, Mogelson’s important book warns us, in the threat of public violence and at the ballot box. It’s here because a loss has for too long gone unrecognized, and because a lie that ties itself to this loss can feel more compelling to some than a truth that ignores it.
Michael J. Sandel
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewSandel is not about guilt-tripping anxious parents of front-row kids; they’re suffering too, he says. But the credentialed have come to imagine themselves as smarter, wiser, more tolerant — and therefore more deserving of recognition and respect — than the noncredentialed ... But we are left with an important issue Sandel does not address: the targeting by the right wing of colleges themselves ... So now’s a good time for both sides to sit down for a very serious talk, with The Tyranny of Merit required reading for all. And invited from inner-city, suburban and rural schools across the land should be those who warmed seats both in the front row and in the back.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewIt is a highly important book ... Though repetitive, the prose in Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism is clear, the style is discursive and the spirit reflects the boundless curiosity that led the two economists to sociology ... One issue this book does not raise is how, at a time of great partisan divide, readers will receive its message. Those on the conservative side might question the idea of deaths of despair since they tend to see addiction and suicide as moral flaws ... Readers on the liberal left, on the other hand, are likely to applaud the authors’ many highly thoughtful proposals to counter growing inequality. But while liberals tend to root for the underdog, white males have not been first in line for their sympathy.
Gilbert M. Gaul
MixedThe New York Times Book Review... carefully researched and eye-opening ... Gaul doesn’t tell us what to do about New York City or New Orleans, paycheck-to-paycheck victims of coastal hurricanes or inland disasters. Nor does he fully trace the logic between the facts he lays out and the greater problem they point to: climate denial ... Critical as they are of the federal government, they staunchly defend the idea of disaster relief. Gaul’s book both affirms that faith and alerts them to high-end developers and others with a financial interest in denial.
Ben Bradlee Jr.
PositiveThe Washington PostAmong the flood of books explaining how we got Trump, The Forgotten serves as an unintended companion volume to Thomas Frank’s Listen Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? ... The Forgotten reveals the political impact not so much of poverty as of decline ... This is not a big-thesis book, nor a deep dive into new facts or ideas. But whatever the Russians did or the Koch brothers funded, this searing portrait shines a light on the disheartened voters the Democratic Party forgot.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review...[a] stunning and beautifully written book ... What forces set these nomads in motion? Here I wish Bruder had given us a view from beyond the driver’s seat ... Those huge, billowing clouds of topsoil that drove millions from their homes now seem safely tucked away in sepia-tinted photos of a bygone past. But without ominous clouds above to warn us of what lies ahead, the powerful force of automation and the destruction of any safety net may silently push more and more of us onto the open road.
PositiveThe Washington PostLilla in his new book issues an important, passionate and highly critical wake-up call to liberals who, he believes, are stuck in the mud. In its early stages, his argument is illuminating but then veers seriously off course before ending up focusing on the right goal ... What Lilla isn’t seeing is that we come to electoral politics in many different ways. Some people come to it through a desire for public service, bypassing social movements altogether. Others join social movements, get stuck in identity silos and ignore elections. This book is for them. But many others — like myself — were drawn to politics by participating in social movements ... Lilla’s message to liberals is timely and welcome. But he might better advise them: Go on your march. Join the marches of other groups, too. And continue to protest, above all. Then come home and organize that fundraiser for your favorite candidate for governor, the state legislature or Congress.