MixedThe New York Times Book ReviewWritten in his folksy manner, On the House is certainly more entertaining than the standard \'halls of power\' narratives, as Boehner calls them ... But as a work of history, the book falls short. Most important, Boehner doesn’t acknowledge the role that his generation of Republicans played in building the bridge from Ronald Reagan’s era to our current times ... until senior Republicans acknowledge how they helped radicalize the party, there is little hope that it will transform itself. Boehner’s memoirs are an X-ray into the mind of Reagan-era Republicans who did whatever was necessary to win and who today are seeing the high costs of their decisions.
Gerald F. Seib
MixedThe New York Times Book Review... well-written if familiar ... Seib’s history echoes the outlook of the #NeverTrump movement. If the origins of conservatism were relatively pristine, then there can be a version of Republicanism that doesn’t tolerate a president tweeting out videos of a supporter yelling \'white power!\' at protesters ... But Seib plays down what was there all along. The decision to stir a white backlash dates back at least to Richard Nixon’s 1968 \'law and order\' campaign. The role of reactionary populism, including nativism and anti-Semitism, was always relevant, even if past politicians used dog whistles instead of bullhorns.
Stuart E. Eizenstat
RaveThe Washington Post\"The author is well positioned to provide an insider’s account of the period between the election of 1976, when Carter defeated President Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan’s landslide victory in November 1980 ... For this book, Eizenstat also consulted the voluminous records at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and conducted 350 interviews with top participants from those years. The result is a comprehensive and persuasive account of Carter’s presidency that stands far above the familiar confessional and reveal-all accounts by former White House officials we are accustomed to reading ... Though readers may find the nearly 900 pages of text overwhelming, Eizenstat offers a compelling narrative filled with colorful stories about events such as the Camp David Accords ... Political junkies and presidential-history buffs will love this book ... Regardless of what readers think of Carter’s legacy, the book will interest anyone who wants to learn about a president who took the job of governance seriously.\
Randall B. Woods
MixedThe Washington PostIf Woods overstates Johnson’s power in domestic affairs, he is too generous to LBJ when dealing with Vietnam. He presents the war as another example of how Johnson’s genuine commitment to liberalism simply missed the limits of what the U.S. government could accomplish. Yet he plays down how Vietnam was a crass political trade-off Johnson made to protect Great Society liberalism and its supporters from the chronic attacks on Democrats as weak on defense. Obsessed with protecting his coalition, Johnson destroyed his legacy. None of this detracts from the fact that Prisoners of Hope is a sweeping history of LBJ’s domestic record. Readers will come away with a better appreciation of this moment in history when a savvy Texan produced a burst of liberal reform comparable to the New Deal.