PositiveThe Washington PostEllis dives into these evils and attendant blindness to what we see easily now. He is no apologist for the hypocrisy of Jefferson and interrogates every significant Framer’s culpability for the failures of the epoch. He does so, however, with awareness that they did not see or reason with the same powers we possess ... He also renders judgments, many of them surprising, of the events of 1773 through 1783 ... Most timely of all, though, is Ellis\'s thorough treatment of both Washington and Jefferson’s views of, and shame for, the enslavement of people ... Ellis is no apologist, but he is a chronicler of the entire revolution, its best aspirations, its worst contradictions and its ongoing dilemmas.
RaveThe Washington PostTurns out Chuckie O’Brien is Goldsmith’s stepfather. Turns out that Jack Goldsmith was once Jack O’Brien until, as an adult, Goldsmith shed the name of his stepfather. Turns out, as well, that this brilliant mind of the American Bar is also deeply steeped in the history and operations of the Mafia.I was prepared to be informed by Goldsmith. He’s always worth reading on any topic on which he opines. But I wasn’t prepared to be transfixed by a D.C. \'backstory\' unlike any out there ... Through Chuckie O’Brien’s and Goldsmith’s eyes, there’s an opportunity for some empathy and a lot of astonishment. This is a National Book Award nominee waiting to happen. And though Hoffa did not go gently into the night, his abrupt and final exit is as dark as any tragedy ... It’s hard to overstate how unlikely this story is, and similarly difficult to overestimate my certainty that readers from all backgrounds and across entire political and economic spectra won’t be able to put it down.