RaveThe New York Times Book Review... [a] meticulously assembled and brilliantly written account ... Philipps leaves little reason to doubt his conclusion that Gallagher really did plunge that special knife of his twice into the ISIS prisoner’s neck. But he also reveals that the killing was only the culmination of years of indiscipline, recklessness, tactical incompetence and bragging ... There are other distinctly drawn characters too ... the most interesting part of this remarkable and engrossing book examines the SEALs as an institution and as a subculture within the military ... And yet even though he believes that Gallagher and his immediate superiors escaped justice, Philipps comes to a surprisingly upbeat conclusion.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewOne should be grateful to Bergen, even though none of the stories are fundamentally new ... raises, even if it does not address deeply, some important questions about the outlandish and sordid tale ... an unenchanted view of generals, as of other human beings, tells us that ambition, wishful thinking and unfounded self-confidence can afflict any of us.
PositiveThe Washington Post...[an] elegant and deftly written book ... Much of the time, the book’s political purpose is masked by Greenblatt’s expert and shrewd reading of plays, those well-known and those less so. Sometimes, however, the light shines from behind the scrim, and the connections become obvious and somewhat forced ... A number of passages like this in Tyrant are too heavy handed and thus not entirely convincing. Greenblatt’s political anxieties are serious and his diagnoses may have merit, but they should have been made uncloaked ... Greenblatt is powerful and more convincing, though, in his discussion of those who aid and support tyrants. He is particularly acute on the ways in which they deceive themselves about the end that awaits them ... We know so little about Shakespeare’s political views because he left virtually nothing behind to tell us what they were. But we may guess, and as a guide to the guesswork, Stephen Greenblatt is, whatever his own politics may be, excellent.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewAntony Beevor, one of the finest narrative military historians now writing, is a master of revealing vignettes...Beevor captures the microevents of battle brilliantly, the ambushes and fire fights, the horrors of tanks swerving over foxholes to bury their inhabitants alive, tales of psychological collapse and superhuman courage.