PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewPupetta, who died last December at 86, may be the star but she is hardly the only engaging figure in this crisply written, dutifully researched book exploring the role of women in a sector of Italian society not noted for its embrace of a #MeToo ethos ... [Nadeau\'s] prose is straightforward, with welcome flashes of irony.
PositiveNew York Times Book ReviewGleeson’s book...is a useful reminder, especially for Mafia romanticizers, that we’re dealing with sociopathic knuckle scrapers who settle scores with casual brutality ... Gleeson...is an able storyteller, though readers may find themselves flailing now and then in the dense weeds of who’s who and who did what. Maybe this is hard to avoid, given that the writer lists at the get-go the vast array of wiseguys, lawyers, investigators and politicians ... There is the stray ugh-inducing phrase...and at least one wince-inducing error ... But the imperfections are more than offset by keen insights and neat turns of phrase.
David Paul Kuhn
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Hardhat Riot...vividly evokes an especially ugly moment half a century ago, when the misbegotten Vietnam War and a malformed notion of patriotism combined volatilely ... Kuhn ably and amply documents the cowardly beating of women, the gratuitous cold-cocking of men and the storming of a shakily protected City Hall, where the mayor’s people, to the hard hats’ rage, had lowered the flag in honor of the Kent State dead ... Kuhn favors straightforward journalistic prose, with few grand flourishes. In setting scenes, he tends toward a staccato, some of it overdone ... Hardly every antiwar protester merits his go-to characterization of them as potty-mouthed hippies.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThis book is painful to read. Even with the passage of nearly 18 years, reliving modern America’s most terrible day hits an exposed nerve that you thought had been fully numbed, only to discover that the ache was merely in remission ... the overall picture that he shapes is not really new. But freshness of detail seems less his objective than preservation of memory ... this book derives its power from its focus on individuals in the main unknown to the larger world, who managed to survive the ordeal or who lost their lives simply because they were unlucky. With journalistic rigor, Zuckoff acknowledges what he doesn’t know, for example how exactly each group of hijackers seized control of its plane. His language is largely unadorned ... Heroes abound, though not in the way that word is routinely used and abused. Heroism, as we see here, is often a product of necessity.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewLeadon’s tale is a whirl of characters: architects and landlords, capitalists and unionists, reformers and traditionalists, visionaries and charlatans. It is a whirl, too, of events like ticker-tape parades, civic battles, financial booms and inevitable busts. Enlivening the stories are cameo appearances by the rich and famous, like the showmen David Belasco and George M. Cohan, the ever-burdened Edgar Allan Poe, the radical Emma Goldman and the rivalrous cousins of enormous wealth William Waldorf Astor and John Jacob Astor 4th ... This is a book best read in several sittings; there is a lot of detail to absorb. At times, it can be nearly numbing. Is it really necessary to recite practically the entire inventory of the vast Arnold Constable department store, located in 1869 at Broadway and 19th Street? But Leadon is graced with a wry wit. Flashes of it are sprinkled throughout ... As Leadon says, 'It is the nature of things in New York that very little lasts.' True enough, and Broadway the book shows that Broadway the street is no exception.