MixedPittsburgh Post-Gazette\"Mr. Bolton’s book is \'must\' reading for observers of Mr. Trump\'s execution of America\'s foreign policy and his general approach to government in the run-up to 2020\'s presidential elections ... It dishes the dirt to a degree, but also reveals to some extent an honest effort on the president\'s part to conduct a reasonable foreign policy, addressing problems, as they arise, with the exception of the global coronavirus pandemic, which Mr. Trump has attempted to blow off ... I just got tired of Mr. Bolton\'s detailed accounts of his scraps with the other parties to internal policy-making. The normal objective of such intra-governmental efforts is to achieve a reasonable consensus as the U.S. position. We already knew Mr. Trump gives top priority to his own personal interests as opposed to putting the best interests of the country he ostensibly leads, first. Mr. Bolton uses the whole front end of the book to recount his efforts to get the National Security job. Given his background and subsequent performance, it is hard to care.
PanThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteEven though some of the book is absolutely appalling in what it describes as going on among America’s politicians and the president’s family, it reads easily and contains some real laughs ... Mr. Wolff reports some shocking stories of relations among the cast of characters who comprise Mr. Trump’s ostensibly professional and familial spear-carriers ...most incredible and troubling among the anecdotes that Mr. Wolff recounts are those involving the president himself ...causes me to deplore the fact that it would be impossible to recommend this book to younger readers who otherwise could profit from the snapshot of high-level American government it provides ...there is too much 'beef' in the book for it not to be fact-based as well as bile-based.
PanThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteIf the reader’s idea of worthwhile literary entertainment is to read Ken Follett’s made-up account of Catherine of Medici, Queen of France, instructing a lady-in-waiting of Mary, Queen of Scots on how Mary might fake the taking of her virginity by French King Henri II, if he were not able to on their wedding day, then A Column of Fire might be considered tasty reading ... It takes actual historical events, peopled by real historical figures, and then mixes into the story fictional characters that he has invented. The stories of the fictional characters, and sometimes even the real characters woven together produce a reasonable historical account of the period... For readers who like to read either history or fiction, with a clear line between them, A Column of Fire is definitely not for you ...a perhaps better informed picture of life in the period, with key social factors examined to a degree.
RaveThe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette...a very painful, but essential book in understanding American history of the same rank and nature as Dee Brown’s 1970 classic, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee ... [Grann] not only chases down every loose end in the publicly available account of the Osage members, weaving a riveting story, but he also pursued as an eagle-eyed reporter modern loose ends, adding poignant details that extend the story into our times. His success in tracking the story adds to the horror of what occurred in Oklahoma in the 1920s but also makes it at least partly comprehensible how human beings could have done what was done to the Osage and remain identifiable as human beings with feelings, a perception otherwise hard to grasp.
RaveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteJ.D. Vance has written a book that goes some way to helping the rest of us understand what makes these people tick, the lives that they lead that cause them to behave the way they do ... What is so striking about the book is the counterpoint between the utter dreadfulness of Mr. Vance’s life, his persistent good humor in the face of it, and his perseverance in doing what he had to do to survive and get out.
Andrew J. Bacevich
PositiveThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteMr. Bacevich has enough experience, accompanied by some distance, perspective and objectivity, to walk us through in an informed way the past 35 years of our splashing around in the Middle East ... Whether one agrees with Mr. Bacevich’s overall conclusions, his observations are sharp and provoke very useful thought. They provide an irreplaceable backstory to what is more generally known of U.S. and international political developments of the past few decades.