RaveThe New York Review of Books... elegant ... In rich detail, Rid walks us through a hundred years of political warfare, recounting the exploits powers both major and minor inflicted on one another via the disinformation units of their intelligence agencies. Some of the stories are hair-raising ... The characters...are pure le Carré ... what Rid discovers is that while Russia kept going right until the bitter end, \'the West deescalated\' its disinformation hostilities following the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. Rid doesn’t offer much by way of explanation, leaving the reader to suspect that Western spymasters concluded that there was no active measure they could concoct that would better alienate citizens of the Eastern bloc from their masters than de facto imprisonment behind a high wall topped with barbed wire.
MixedThe Guardian (UK)Cameron offers the same defense for Brexit that Blair gave for Iraq: yes, things might have turned out disastrously, but my mistake was honest, I acted in good faith, I only did what I truly believed was right. Which is not to say that For the Record is not self-critical ... On Brexit, he is scathing, counting off the judgments he got wrong ... At first, all this makes Cameron an appealing narrator ... But that’s not the chief reason why this litany of confessed errors gradually loses its charm. At a certain point, the reader stops feeling sympathy for the author and concludes that he was just serially and unforgivably wrong. For the Record is meant to be the case for the defense. In fact, Cameron has written his own indictment ... Nevertheless, For the Record reminds you why Cameron dominated British politics for so long. The prose is, like him, smooth and efficient. There are welcome splashes of color... Cameron’s most unbending critics will put down this book as sure as ever that he was a hollow man lacking in any ideology or conviction beyond a vague, patrician faith in public service and his own ability to do the job of PM well.
John B Judis
MixedThe New York Times Book Review\"Like many of his fellow explainers, Judis writes as a liberal who has wised up, one who has seen what so many of his progressive confreres have missed and who sighs with exasperation at how desperately out of touch they have become ... Methodically and with data widely drawn, Judis points the finger at a globalization that has seen once well-rewarded jobs shipped overseas; at immigration and the cultural and economic resentment it stirs; and at terrorism and the fear of the other it provokes ... But Judis... too easily caricatures [certain populations] as unmoored citizens of the world ... More troubling is Judis’s embrace of some of the presumptions that underlie the hawkish nationalism he aims to analyze ... this book is a timely, if flawed, reminder of [naionalism\'s] importance.\
James B Comey
PositiveThe Guardian\"Even those who follow Comey’s logic – and most readers will, I suspect, conclude that his motives were pure – are likely to struggle nonetheless with the other crucial decision he took in 2016 ... Comey records such details throughout, noting who has emotional intelligence and who lacks it ... In Comey’s telling, Obama was something of a saint in the swamp. Obama valued what Comey himself cherished and regarded as near-sacred: the independence of US institutions and, more important still, the obligation to tell the truth.\