PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewKennedy’s expansive life has yielded no shortage of biographies, but Gabler’s is on its way toward becoming the most complete and ambitious. As a character study it is rich and insightful, frank in its judgments but deeply sympathetic to the man Gabler regards as \'the most complex of the Kennedys\' ... Catching the Wind lends a cinematic sweep to Kennedy’s legislative crusades ... Gabler makes these battles exciting, though at times he seems intent on making everything exciting; scenes are often over-egged, amped up by incantation ... The reader needs no such prodding; the drama, as it develops, is real enough ... Kennedy, for his part, felt the winds shifting ... As Gabler’s next volume will no doubt describe, Kennedy’s response was not to change course. He would simply sail harder.
Julian E Zelizer
PositiveThe Washington PostZelizer is not the first to suggest that Gingrich \'broke politics,\' as a recent article in the Atlantic put it, but his book provides an engaging, unsettling and, alas, timely look at the torch that Gingrich took to our system of self-government ... Many readers will know how the story ends, but Zelizer tells it with authority, investing it with tension as Gingrich conjures the storm and wrecks, perhaps permanently, the political landscape.
Joseph J. Ellis
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewEllis ... writes with insight and acuity in the present tense, just as he always has in the past tense, and in American Dialogue he draws connections between our history and our present reality with an authority that few other authors can muster. It may cost him some of his readership on the right, but Ellis, clearly, has reached the limit of his tolerance for the mythical, indeed farcical, notion that the anti-Federalists won the argument in the late 18th century, or that the founders, to a man, stood for small and weak government, unrestrained market capitalism, unfettered gun ownership and the unlimited infusion of money into the political sphere.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe election of 1968 decided one thing: that Richard M. Nixon and not Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey would become president. It left nearly everything else unresolved ... Lawrence O’Donnell, the host of a political talk show on MSNBC, tells that story with zeal in Playing With Fire ... knows how to pace a story, and could not have dreamed up a more compelling cast of characters ...moves briskly and ably through these candidacies, their collisions and a dark bacchanal of events that still defies belief... O’Donnell’s own observations frequently recall the tossed-off hyperboles of cable news ... This is the voice of the pundit, and in a work of history it sounds jarring — all the more so when it’s discussing Donald Trump, as O’Donnell does repeatedly.
PositiveThe Washington PostSchlesinger is not quite a full treatment: The book has much less to say about his scholarship, despite its enduring influence, than his 'near addiction to the narcotic of political battle,' as Aldous puts it, and devotes fewer than 30 pages to the last four decades of his life, productive though they were. That aside, it is a convincing portrait, rendered with skill and sensitivity, sympathetic toward its subject while capturing the quirks that made him, in the words of one contemporary, 'so Arthurish.'
RaveThe Washinton Post..this insightful book is focused less on Trump himself than on the conditions that sustain him — and on what, if anything, can be done to reverse them ... Enough Said displays many of the qualities that it identifies as lacking in our civic discourse. It is thoughtful, nuanced and wise; it considers opposing views; it takes ample note of history and is unafraid of complexity. To read this book is to feel there is cause, however tenuous, for hope.
Michael J. Graetz & Linda Greenhouse
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewIf the 'theme' of the Warren court was equality before the law, they contend, then under Burger, 'equality took a back seat to other values: to the prerogatives of states and localities...to the efficiency of the criminal justice system, to the interests of business and, above all, to rolling back the rights' that the court, in the 1950s and 1960s, had granted to the poor and the powerless. This is the case the authors make — with clarity, authority and evident passion — identifying the principles at stake and the costs, as they see it, of the Burger retrenchment. The book provides a powerful corrective to the standard narrative of the Burger court — and should change the way that period is perceived ... the Burger court effectively ended judicial oversight of plea bargaining and sentencing, leaving both in the hands of prosecutors and state legislatures, neither of which are known for restraint. While not equally persuasive across all areas of law, the book establishes a similar pattern in cases concerning race, the separation of church and state, employment discrimination and other issues: on the surface, moderation; underneath, and in the aggregate, an erosion of fundamental rights ... Graetz and Greenhouse acknowledge that women’s rights, including reproductive rights, appear a 'glaring exception' to the Burger court’s conservatism.