RaveThe Boston Review... excellent ... Nichols’s career has been well-documented and extensively celebrated, and it is with some wariness that one approaches the new Harris biography. A project undertaken with the family’s blessing, sporting a book jacket crowded with celebrity blurbs, buoyed by countless A-List interviews, and written by a well-connected insider friendly with his subject invites suspicion...Fortunately, such concerns are swiftly dissipated, although the book is not without its flaws. The last third of the narrative does indeed nearly devolve into a series of gentle and self-serving first-person anecdotes, and the study refrains from penetrating analyses of Nichols’s oeuvre. Moreover, Harris often slips into the passive voice when criticizing his subject ... Nevertheless, these are modest quibbles. Mike Nichols: A Life is extraordinarily well researched; unflinching in assessing its subject’s foibles, follies, and failings; and comprehensive. It will take its place as the standard single volume study of its subject. And the biography is not just well done, it is an absolute page-turner.
Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner, Henry M. Paulson Jr.
MixedLos Angeles Review of BooksFirefighting is mercifully short and succinct, yet all the key elements of the chronicle are here ... The book is also surprisingly well-written ... However, for those who followed the crisis more closely the interest does not lie in new information, of which there is really none, but in how the authors assess their own efforts with the benefit of hindsight. Needless to say, they think they got it mostly right, while honourably admitting they had to scramble and improvise given the opacity of the financial sector when the crisis started and the speed at which previously unthinkable events unfolded ... No doubt these policymakers did a solid job in extraordinarily challenging circumstances. Their policies worked, and they worked rather well. But they were not the only policies available, nor do their choices have a strong claim to being the best ones...What they do not seriously consider is whether their policies to restart credit flows could have worked even with a less bailout-friendly approach, saving both money and political anger. These are the ideological blind spots revealed by reading Firefighting between the lines.