RaveColumbia MagazineCountless newspaper and magazine articles, academic studies, and popular books...have explored these issues ... Broke...stands apart from the rest by focusing on one misguided policy response and the resulting devastating consequences ... Kirshner...is admirably equipped to examine the often misunderstood concept of an entire city going broke, and she proves herself an adept guide to this complex situation ... Kirshner provides plenty of statistics, which demonstrate with acuity the interconnectedness of income and housing inequality, urban fiscal policy, population decline, and tax-base erosion. But the heart of this book is her powerful human-interest stories, which are likely to have the most significant impact on readers. Drawing on more than two hundred interviews, Kirshner brings us an unforgettable cast of characters ... In telling these stories, Kirshner is clear about her desire to expose the myth of the American dream ... While bankruptcy protection might seem like a simple solution for economically depressed cities, Kirshner is clear in her belief that this is not the answer.
PositiveThe Boston GlobeAnother winner ... The author covers all aspects of Ruth’s massive life, bringing true empathy and impressive depth of knowledge to her complex subject.
RaveThe Boston GlobeIn this suitable match of author and subject, Alissa Quart, executive editor of the nonprofit Economic Hardship Project (founded by Barbara Ehrenreich), lucidly demonstrates that for many, the dream of such satisfaction is increasingly out of reach ... Unlike recent books that are similar in spirit...Quart’s narrative focuses not on the bottom levels of American poverty but rather on the segment of the population that many of us would be surprised to learn are struggling to keep their heads above water ... Quart is especially good with the psychological dimensions involved in this pervasive problem ... Most readers will likely agree that the game is rigged, and Quart accessibly lays out the mechanics of the game ... Though she doesn’t offer sweeping agendas for change, the book is full of useful, good-sense ideas that legislators and other leaders should heed.
Bill Minutaglio and Steve L. Davis
RaveThe Boston GlobeLeary is the main figure in one of the decade’s most audacious and exciting stories, told with page-turning panache by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis... While the book is decidedly \'not a biography,\' the authors succeed admirably in their goal to present \'a dramatic, hidden piece of modern American history — a madly careening, twenty-eight-month global hunt for one man\' ... Free love and drugs figure prominently throughout, but this is no frivolous thriller ...Minutaglio and Davis bring to vivid, lucid light the chaos of the era ...exceptionally well-researched narrative, as sleekly plotted as the best spy thriller, moves along a well-balanced parallel track ...a wonderful portrait of a real-life trickster at work.
RaveThe Boston GlobeThe narrative is alternately moving and heartbreaking, as Latson walks readers through the tumultuous obstacles that Eli and Gayle face daily. Throughout, Latson demonstrates a sharp, journalistic eye for telling detail and the ability to capture poignant moments without resorting to cliché or overly sappy writing ... Refreshingly, Latson does not sugarcoat Gayle’s very real mental and emotional battles as she tries to make her son’s life as fulfilling as possible, and readers will be hard pressed not to empathize with Gayle’s attendant fight to maintain some sense of self ...In this balanced, readable work, Latson effectively and sympathetically captures Eli’s essential humanity and opens a clear window on a little-understood genetic disorder.
PositiveThe Boston GlobeGoldstein’s narrative shines because of its focus on the struggles of normal, middle- and working-class Americans ... In alternating chapters, Goldstein weaves together the moving, too-familiar stories of families facing an uncertain future ... These are the poignant stories that put faces to the headlines, and the author is to be commended for her dogged research over a five-year period. She is sympathetic, respectful, and evenhanded, even when discussing such hot-button topics as unions ... Admittedly, the book is not as well-written as Evicted — Goldstein is guilty of occasionally awkward or clichéd prose — or as deeply insightful as The Unwinding, and the epilogue, a neat, where-are-they-now summary, is a touch formulaic. But the flaws should be forgiven.
PositiveThe Boston GlobeSchwalbe seems uninterested in navigating more intellectually challenging shores; instead, he serves as a personable, amiable, relentlessly optimistic guide to a curated bookshelf that some readers will find random. He rarely dives deep, remaining consistently chatty, mostly upbeat, and frequently digressive. Indeed, one gets the sense that, given his vast experience in literature, Schwalbe could write another 10 books exactly like this one ... Throughout these pleasant, diverting essays, the author shows us how '[r]eading is an art we practice our whole lives,' and while the book may not hit hard enough for critics or scholars, it should convince even reluctant readers to pick up a book and 'help them find their way in the world and give them pleasure while they are at it.'
Kate Clifford Lawson
MixedThe Boston GlobeThe author’s pace is methodical, and her just-the-facts approach occasionally becomes tedious, but she succeeds in providing a well-rounded portrait of a woman who, until now, has never been viewed in full.