PositiveNew Statesman...rather like Hernando’s Life and Deeds of his father, Wilson-Lee’s book – the first modern biography of Hernando written in English – is far more than just a straight account of a life, albeit a rich one ... Wilson-Lee, however, manages to recapture something of the father through the son as he dissects Hernando’s accounts of their relationship and adventures ... Hernando’s was the first universal library, an attempt to collate and systemise all known knowledge, and Wilson-Lee revels in enumerating and sometimes getting lost in its contents ... not everything succeeds in this book ... What is particularly odd in a book that celebrates Hernando’s library is that its actual classification, organisation and display is only cursorily described in the penultimate chapter ... Nevertheless, Wilson-Lee does a fine job of capturing the intellectual excitement of a moment in European history when universal aspirations in the fields of learning and travel seemed boundless.
RaveThe Wall Street JournalMr. Duneier is pessimistic about the chances of any immediate political solution to the problem he calls the 'forgotten ghetto' in American cities. But his concerns are born from profound sociological and historical understanding. His book is an incisive, balanced yet commendably biting account of the unfinished history of the ghetto.