MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewBuruma’s account perhaps unintentionally demonstrates that permanently yoking Britain’s global role to America’s has unnecessarily made permanent Britain’s subservient wartime relationship to the United States. More explicitly, Buruma maintains that London’s ongoing attachment to the special relationship has thwarted Britain from pursuing what he sees as its \'proper\' international role ... Clearly, many Britons in both parties share Buruma’s skepticism toward the international role Blair and Cameron have pursued, but Buruma, who also conspicuously wears the mantle of anti-Brexit cosmopolitan, probably wouldn’t plump, as some would, for a Little Englander revival to counter the interventionism that the special relationship has enabled.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewWith ethical and scholarly discipline, Moore, a political columnist of a decidedly right-wing cast for The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator...has produced a scrupulously evenhanded work. His use of evidence, absorbed from vast archival sources and hundreds of interviews, is punctilious, his judgments measured, his wit dry and sympathetic, his prose classically balanced. This sonorous, authoritative biography makes no empty claim to definitiveness. But it is a work for the ages: It will be the font from which every serious appraisal of Thatcher and Thatcher’s Britain draws ... Given the comprehensive approach Moore’s writ demands, this volume, like its predecessors, suffers something of a forest-for-the-trees problem. But Moore’s perspective shifts continually from Thatcher herself...to her advisers, her colleagues and rivals in the cabinet, her adversaries across the floor in the House of Commons and in Brussels, even her hairdresser. Only this cumulative approach can convey the interplay of Thatcher’s personality and outlook on history and the peculiar way she conducted politics ... With this masterpiece, Moore has given us Margaret Thatcher. She now belongs to history.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewWhile a full appreciation of Bagehot has been hobbled by his polymathic attainments, he has nevertheless been fortunate in his devotees ... James Grant follows this pattern, burnishing his subject’s reputation but offering a somewhat limited appraisal of Bagehot’s achievements ... The characterization that the highbrow Labour Party politician Richard Crossman (another Bagehot devotee) bestowed on Bagehot’s writing — a \'mixture of rollicking cynicism and cool analysis\' — applies to Grant’s own brilliantly contrarian criticism ... This biography, though, takes wing only when it treats Bagehot’s role as a banker and financial journalist. That these are the very aspects of Bagehot’s work that have been relatively neglected by most scholars, who have tended to concentrate on his literary, political and sociological oeuvre, might be reason enough to commend Grant’s excellent if uneven biography.