PositiveLos Angeles Review of BooksHe is a man who has studied history in depth and who is able to recognize its echoes in the present day ... So does the book accomplish what it sets out to do? Yes, but not without a couple of major caveats ... this book is too ambitious for its own good. Because Meacham tries to weave together an overarching narrative that demonstrates the conflict between fear and hope, he is forced to skip around American history to the points where that conflict is most obvious. The result is a book that contains large chunks of fascinating analysis that are strung together by dizzyingly quick summarizations of the periods in between ... Despite this choppiness, the book is a captivating read. It is incredibly well researched, and the prose is always vivid and clear. The book also displays an impressive use of primary sources ... Readers may feel that Meacham has copped out by not directly addressing the fearmongering of President Trump, but I would argue that he has instead written a book that will be relevant long after this president’s term is up.