PositiveFinancial Times (UK)\"The Aristocracy of Talent is finely constructed: fluent insights include the importance of Plato’s distrust of democracy, on the grounds that it tended to lead to tyranny, and his insistence on the need for a leadership of experts ... the anti-meritocratic meritocrats write of the need for a rebuilding of community ties and an egalitarian sharing of the fruits of talent. Wooldridge does some of this, but at half throttle. Both are vague on detail ... He...has raised his journalism to the point where it can confidently wrestle with the anti-meritocrat meritocrats, and challenge them to think through their positions more carefully.
Robert D. Putnam and Shaylyn Romney Garrett
PositiveFinancial TimesThe book’s many graphs, tracking everything from wage rates and inequality indices to intergenerational economic mobility and wealth distribution, are evidence of a civic tragedy ... The narrative is scrupulous in crediting the state the US is presently in with the benefits of independent speech and action. It is the lack of community that the authors regret.The book is hugely invested in the vision of what amounts to a soixante glorieuses from the early 20th century to the 1960s. It demonstrates all of Putnam’s fluency with statistics and graphs to illustrate that things were only getting better — though the authors pass by too quickly the 1930s depression, when gross domestic product per capita fell by 20 per cent in four years. But the conclusion is clear: the past was a better place in which to be an American ... Eloquent on America’s present woes and pains, they provide no plan for a balanced integration in the fraught, sundered society they describe. Immediate answers will much depend on how Americans vote on November 3. The larger issue remains — how can the resurrection of a past commitment to equality and growth be managed?
Svetlana Alexievich, Trans. by Bela Shayevich
PositiveThe Financial TimesAlexievich doesn’t know what she wishes to hear, except that it be the truth as her interviewee sees it ... Alexievich’s work follows the strands of thought and emotion wherever her voices take her — through nightmares, but also flashes of joy ... The work is unique in the intimacy of the experience transmitted through the writing: which is, after all, only the ability to have a human ear, to listen, and to publish. Only.
David E Hoffman
RaveFinancial Times\"This book, which won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction and is soon to be published in the UK, is in the best traditions of American long-form reportage ... Key characters are evoked in enough detail to make us care and then carry the narrative through to the end. It involves simplifications and elisions: but in this case, these are less important than the horrified fascination Hoffman... succeeds in rousing through a story at once journalistically detailed and morally alive ... Hoffman’s flowing narrative is so seductively readable that it seems destined for a conclusion which resolves all.\
RaveFinancial Times\"[Like David Halberstam,] Abramson is also a writer of detail — but is a sharper judge of the companies and their creators ... [Abramson\'s] reporting is lucid and her commentary insightful. She has fully grasped the worlds she describes, understands their pressures and the daring required to succeed — while posing an insistent question ... The book is a vastly useful immersion in the ways of contemporary journalism...\
PositiveThe Times Literary Supplement... well-informed and sharp ... relatively sympathetic to the Kremlin ... For Wood, Putin’s increasingly anti-Western search for a nationalist narrative embedded in a \'Eurasian\' identity is itself a reaction to his earlier disappointed search for an accommodation with the West—Wood returns to this theme several times without reminding the reader that the East European states clamored to join NATO precisely because they feared Russian revanchism, and that now they see the seizing of the former Ukrainian region of Crimea, and the Russian military support of anti-Ukrainian government rebels in the Donbas region, as a justification for having sought security in the organization ... Wood’s insistence that too much attention is paid to Putin and too little to the Russian people who support him and agree with his anti-Westernism is a reasonable point, but within limits. Though opposition figures like Alexei Navalny are denied visibility on television, there is a growing determination to produce new governing strategies.
RaveThe Financial TimesBoth brilliant in its sweep and near-miraculous in the detail and confident judgments provided on two and a half millennia of spying ... a crowning triumph of one of the most adventurous scholars of the security world.
MixedThe Financial TimesThis is a twilight book, underscoring the evanescence of journalism and of strivings for fame, position and affection, a threnody for doomed ambition ... The style, finely descriptive, is often frustrating, exacerbated by Stothard’s recourse to self-deprecation, which though clearly genuine seems unnecessary in one who edited two famed papers with distinction. ... Stothard’s classicists give us glimpses of the character of the court; it feels like they could have told us more.