PositiveThe New YorkerHalf book, half brand extension, it’s an entertaining, rambling monologue, a slurry romp through the life of a man who knew every pleasure, denied himself nothing, and never paid the price. Maybe you can’t always get what you want. The rule doesn’t apply to Keith ... At times, the book sounds like a consequence-free version of William Burroughs’s Junky ... Another staple of the rock memoir or biography is the catalogue of sexual conquests, and, on this subject, Richards is almost shy ... Some readers may delight in Richards’s sly have-it-all-ways self-regard, but for me the most winning sections of the book are the tales of his becoming, the way his close adolescent friendship with Jagger and their mutual love for their blues heroes rapidly led to the formation of the Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band in the World.
RaveThe New YorkerI don’t know of a more complex autobiography by an American business figure, certainly not one that allows itself such moments of weakness, embarrassment, and pain. There is plenty of material in Personal History to satisfy the most obvious expectations—all the familiar episodes of the Post’s history are replayed, and famous faces bob into sight as if in a capital version of \'Grand Hotel\'—but more interesting is the degree to which this memoir is a description of the muggy intimacy of the world of Washington and the way one powerful woman learned to live her life there ... For all its glamour and great personages, Personal History is a litany of humiliations, incidents in which the memoirist faults herself for lack of judgment, of independence, or of strength ... Her allegiance to democratic capitalism is no less firm than that of William F. Buckley, Jr., and her inherent faith that the establishment élites will do the right thing is nearly absolute. She really does seem to believe that Watergate was an aberration.