RaveThe Washington Independent Review of Books... a near-flawless account ... The question Weinman’s book fails to answer, perhaps because there is no answer, is why a criminal’s talent for turning a phrase confers on him an air of innocence — at least to the more naïve among the literati? Are these writers’ egos so large they cannot imagine that a fellow man (or woman) of letters would be anything other than morally upstanding? It is particularly incongruous that a law-and-order guy like Buckley took up Smith’s mantle ... Weinman’s prose is spare and direct throughout. Her fast-paced story reads like the true-crime thriller it is, but she is not content to simply \'rip from the headlines.\' She dug deep, combing through primary source materials...What she did with that material demonstrates her fine skills.
MixedThe Washington Independent Review of BooksGibson’s exhaustive work is worthy scholarship. He painstakingly chronicles the phases of the prototype-building and interviews scores of people who live and work along the border. While his heart is clearly with the undocumented immigrants desperate to enter the country, his journalist’s eye also focuses with precision on the contractors building the wall, the border agents patrolling it, and the politicians supporting it ... The book is filled with poignant stories like Avila’s — unfortunately, for continuity, it is filled with too much detail about some of them. Rather than stick close to the wall, so to speak, Gibson meanders into the minutiae of the lives of those he meets along the way, sometimes confusing the reader and diluting the message of the greater meaning of the wall. By turning off the tape recorder a bit sooner with some of his subjects, he would have had a smoother narrative ... by the time the author returns to his theme, the reader is so bogged down in extraneous details that De La Fuente’s significance to the story is forgotten. He does this with other interview subjects as well ... Still, Gibson’s wanderings sometimes work.
Charles B Rosenberg
PositiveThe Washington Independent Review of BooksCharles Rosenberg plays an older political parlor game, \'What if?\' in his slow- moving yet ultimately entertaining new novel ... The author kindly includes a cheat-sheet at the end of the novel giving the casual student of Revolutionary history a CliffsNotes’ version of the war and its major players ... The most compelling aspects of [The Trial and Execution of Traitor George Washington] is the history center around the very real politics of the time and place.