RaveWiredWhile his book doesn’t shrink from direct criticism of the new president and an administration that prizes \'alternative facts\' and condemns all dissenting views as \'fake news,\' the most insightful and important part of Clapper’s book is not the two chapters at the end on Russia and Trump’s election...but the sustained argument that Trump is merely a particularly acute and deadly symptom of a longer and, to Clapper, worrisome trend in American society ... Readers of this memoir will find a more complex and nuanced portrait than they might expect. The James Clapper who comes across in the book possesses a self-deprecating charm and wry sense of humor...that would surprise people familiar only with the dour and gruff \'grumpy grandpa\' routine he’s known for at congressional hearings and on cable news interviews ... Much of the book’s subtlety befits an intelligence professional comfortable working in the spaces in between ... No part of the life story of a grizzled military veteran comes across as more human and surprising than his recounting of his journey to being an \'LGBT ally\' ... Every chapter of the book offers hard-earned lessons for our modern moment ... The truth, Clapper argues time and again, is critical.
James B Comey
MixedRolling Stone\"Most Americans will never go beyond the juicy bits trumpeted by the wall-to-wall Comey coverage this week – but they should. James Comey’s book is more interesting and more important than the gossipy headlines make it out to be, albeit not necessarily for the reasons the author may have wanted ... Higher Loyalty is really three different books in one. It\'s a meditation on ethical leadership (a conceit that disappears for scores of pages at a time), a traditional memoir of a senior public servant and an exposition of Trump’s presidency ... It’s an obviously hurried project and one that perhaps would have benefited from more distance for self-reflection ... I believe, too, that Comey believes he consistently did the right thing for the right reasons throughout 2016. That said, he doesn’t do a good job of convincing readers why he did what he did – those seeking insights into his decisions over the course of 2016 will likely find themselves disappointed by his accounting and reckoning with those actions in this book.\
PositiveWall Street JournalNot surprisingly, the book is at its strongest when it re-creates the location’s most notorious episode. Indeed, Watergate—the scandal, not the building—was a much wilder story than we remember, taking place during an era when the nation’s capital was more village than city, with small, elite circles entertaining themselves with dinner parties and gossip ... The Watergate suffers at times from a suffocating level of detail, with lengthy digressions into Historic Preservation Review Board controversies and unnecessary asides like refinancing the mortgage on one of the buildings. Elsewhere, Mr. Rodota recounts the dozen or so Watergate residents who attended Tricia Nixon’s wedding, and the buildings themselves aren’t even fully constructed in the first 100 pages. Still, Mr. Rodota offers an informative, comprehensive account of one of America’s most famous building complexes.
PositiveThe Washington PostThe book’s exposés, such as they are, offer for historians not much that is new or revelatory, but casual readers will probably be shocked by just how boneheaded and illogical much of the Cold War’s grand strategy really was. Yet Ellsberg’s book, perhaps the most personal memoir yet from a Cold Warrior, fills an important void by providing firsthand testimony about the nuclear insanity that gripped a generation of policymakers … The Doomsday Machine is strongest as a portrait of the slow corruption of America’s national security state by layer upon layer of secrecy. He relates how the Cold War, the nuclear build-up and trillions of dollars of defense spending were compromised by information purposely withheld from the policymakers and politicians who debated and shaped our path.