MixedNPRAs with many campaign books, The Truths We Hold reads as a memoir-but-not-really. Harris does tell her life story, but she uses it as a vehicle for telling us what she really wants us to know about her ... It\'s not quite that the bar is lowered with the campaign book. It\'s perhaps more accurate to say that the bar is replaced with a series of hoops. In her opening argument for 2020, Harris jumps through them.
MixedNPR\"The first part of her book, and particularly the sections about her childhood and college years, is where Michelle Obama\'s writing shines brightest ... In other words, this is one of those rare political books with truly excellent writing. Unfortunately, crafter-of-immaculate-prose isn\'t Obama\'s only mode. Whether due to years in the political sphere or earnest concerns about American society, she often gets didactic, even social-science-y, in even basic descriptions of her life ... There\'s more warmth and authenticity in this book than your average political memoir, but some of the magic dims in the third section of the book ... The question is how miffed to get about this. On the one hand, Michelle Obama, like any former first lady, doesn\'t owe us any juicy details about her life. On the other hand, she is writing a memoir here...\
RaveNPR\"And Traister is trying to do a lot in her 250 pages. She writes in the introduction that her goal is to explore \'the specific nexus of women\'s anger and American politics, about how the particular dissatisfactions and resentments of America\'s women have often ignited movements for social change and progress.\' But there\'s much more here than that. She also illustrates the many ways that American society shuns angry women, convincing them that their rage is impolite, unattractive, or even unhealthy. This point is made over and over, but it doesn\'t get repetitive or tiresome, so much as that it hammers home just how pervasive the phenomenon is ... In covering all that ground, she has done her research — the book is thick with citations of other books, as well as interviews with candidates, activists, and longtime politicians. ... [Traister\'s] essays are impressively crafted, and it\'s a testament to Traister\'s talent that it\'s easy to shrug and continue reading in the maelstrom of history she brings together. Even if you occasionally lose the thread, Traister excels at consistently throwing out insights that are so clean that they seem like you had them in your head in the first place.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
MixedNPR...ultimately, it reads like a book she had to write, audience be damned — a book written out of exasperation. If Trump's combative inauguration speech was 'a howl from the white nationalist gut,' as Clinton puts it, her book is a howl from the gut of Hermione Granger — the embattled cry of the hyper-competent woman who desperately wishes the world were a meritocracy ... The revelations aren't the behind-the-scenes kind so much as the in-Hillary's-head kind. Those wondering how she got through those hours and days after the election get their answers ... Clinton parcels out responsibility, and she is exacting in her accounting. The result is a study in contrasts: She heaps praise on some people, which makes it that much more meaningful when she lambastes others ... The writing in What Happened is engaging — Clinton is charming and even funny at times, without trying to paint herself in too flattering of a light. While she presents herself as even-keeled and intelligent, she also comes off as hectoring and bookish.
PanNPR...one could have figured most of this out from any number of motivational speeches or career coaches. Often, the melange of quotes and how-to lists give the book more the aesthetic of a Pinterest board than a career guide ... Trump's book ends with a list of recommended books, websites and TED Talks (Trump appears to be a TED aficionado, listing at least two per chapter), pointing readers to places where they could presumably find more depth on any of the topics she touched upon.