PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksBooth paints a textured portrait of a man driven not by an entrepreneurial desire to invent a product that changed the world but by a passion to improve the lives of deaf people. Booth interweaves these two themes into a revealing biography that will enlighten readers ... Much of Booth’s biography carefully details Bell’s personal life and his marriage, she does not spare a careful assessment of his theories and politics ... Booth has exhaustively researched Bell’s long life in preparation for her biography and provides many invaluable insights and information. However, reflecting the aesthetics of contemporary narrative nonfiction, the author repeatedly takes certain liberties in attributing psychological motivations to Bell like sayings, \'It must have been dawning on him\' and \'there must have been that dread.\' This is but a small price to pay for an informative and revealing biography.
PositiveThe New York Journal of Books... illuminating ... a complex study. It is anchored in a careful review of the history of the broad civil rights movements and the role interracial intimacies played—both actual and fantasied ... The author carefully reviews much of the legal issues in which the social intimacies between the races played out, including Reconstruction-era Constitutional Amendments through numerous critical states and federal (i.e., Supreme Court) decisions. Her consideration of \'blood purity\' requirements is a reminder of just how crazy racial politics can get ... White Fright’s strength and weakness is that it the narrative is intimately linked to the evolving civil rights movement during the century following the Civil War. Its focus on post-Civil War era does a disservice to the place of interracial relations that mark the two-and-a-half centuries the preceded the War Between the States. Perhaps Dailey should offer a follow-up study on this history ... offers a unique and, sadly, often overlooked glimpse into the history of Southern racism and the civil rights movement. It is a story Dailey tells thoughtfully and from which we can all learn, for it’s the American story.
Jonathan Daniel Wells
RaveThe New York Journal of BooksAll New Yorkers need to read this book. By recalling a truly painful era of the city’s history, it clarifies a deeper, structural problem that continues to haunt city life today ... The author artfully forges a tension between two historical characters who symbolized the kidnapping battles played out in the city during the pre-Civil War decades ... also offers a detailed discussion of the economic and political motives that drove the institutionalized racism and pro-Southern beliefs among of many city leaders, especially the police and judiciary. Equally revealing, it presents a powerful description of Ruggles and other within the New York’s small but determined abolitionist movement ... thoroughly researched.
PositiveThe New York Journal of Books... engaging and informative ... more than the rantings of a postmodern urban hobo. In addition to a careful critique of how Americans obsess about cleanliness, he offers valuable information and insight into the complex nature of the skin, the history of cleanliness and the business of skin care.
MixedThe New York Journal of BooksThe book, however well-intentioned, is a lamentation by a traditional Republican who ostensibly joined the Trump administration in an apparent senior position out of civic duty only to become disillusioned in the face of Trump’s ever-increasing personal and political irrationality ... a reader must trust that the author’s reconstruction of meetings and conversations are not only accurate but truthful to the intent of all the participants ... The author seems unable to fully understand or accept Trump’s inherent irrationality and the shortness of his attention span as his character. S/he keeps wanting him to be different, more like other recent presidents. But he’s not! And not accepting this prevents Anonymous from appreciating his appeal to his electoral base.
PositiveThe New York Journal of Books... impressive and impassioned ... Jackson brings a well-studied understanding to her new book ... an ambitious and invaluable undertaking that makes an original contribution in its appreciation of the roles played by traditionally anonymous individuals in the making of history ... However, like all historical studies, somethings are missing ... Jackson doesn’t bring her compelling analysis up to the current era, especially the tumultuous 1960s.
Jennifer M. Silva
PositiveNew York Journal of BooksTo fully grasp the depth of this suffering one needs to look past the media headlines and understand this ever-growing proportion of Americans on their own terms. This is the great reward of Silva’s powerful study; she lets her subjects tell their own stories ... Silva...is a gifted scholar who encourages those she interviews to tell their own stories in their own voices and allows them to not simply make sense of their often-painful personal lives but to place their lives in a very complex political context ... Silva’s rigorously argued study is grounded in academic research and a deeply held political commitment or belief in the need for working-class people—and Americans in general—to fashion a space for social struggle ... Silva’s rigorously argued study is grounded in academic research and a deeply held political commitment or belief in the need for working-class people—and Americans in general—to fashion a space for social struggle.
PositiveNew York Journal of Books...a truly exhaustive study ... compelling ... Leonard builds his complex story through a strong narrative style that personalizes the critical challenges Koch and KI faced as the two evolved over the last four decades ... One of Leonard’s most illuminating analyses involves how Koch not merely survived but prospered amidst the banking crisis—or Great Recession—of 2008 ... revealing, if alarming ... Leonard study is exhaustive and engaging, and sometimes overwhelming in terms of the people mentioned and the KI operating units discussed.
PositiveNew York Journal of Books...original and revealing ... Through extensive research, Polchin has collected innumerable long-lost newspaper accounts of anonymous sex crimes involving gay men and, through careful analysis, given them historical and political meaning ... The author considers reports of gay sex crimes from across the country to paint a vivid picture of not simply individual crimes and the men who committed—and suffered—them but to illuminate how the nature of homosexuality and crimes involving gay men have fundamentally changed ... Polchin concludes his valuable study by bringing the lessons he carefully recounts from the 1920s to the critical 1960s and the significance of the gay rights movement.
Kevin M Kruse
MixedNew York Journal of Books\"Fault Lines is a comprehensive portrait of American history over the last half-century that ignores the nation’s changing place in the increasingly globalized world ... The authors’ scholarship adheres to the convention that the invocation of history is drawing on news reports, first-person accounts, government data, and quotes from other academics ... While suggestive, the authors’ storytelling would have been significantly enhanced if they had ground their tale in the lived experiences of real people ... More troubling, Kruse and Zelizer fail to consider the profound changes in the nation’s place in the world order over the last half-century ... Reading past the exhaustive information carefully collected in Fault Lines one is left with a perception for some scholars the more things change, the more they remain the same.\
PositiveThe New York Journal of BooksJohn Strausbaugh likes to tell big stories about New York—and he tells them very well ... grounded in the same thorough scholarly research and literary flair that marks his earlier study, The Village ... unusually broad for a study ... Buried deep in Victory City are some remarkable revelations as to the role some major banks, oil companies, and other corporations played during the war.