PositiveThe Washington PostIt’s hard to argue with Sullivan’s news judgment ... You might expect Sullivan’s book, Newsroom Confidential: Lessons (and Worries) From an Ink-Stained Life, to be a reminiscence of her professional triumphs and a reflection on their larger meaning for the industry ... So why...is the news business in such a state of disarray and disrespect? And how does it get its voice of authority back? Those are the questions that haunt the pages of Newsroom Confidential. The title suggests a gossipy tell-all, and there’s a heaping dollop of that ... If Sullivan started out intending to write a memoir, she ended up with a manifesto. This is a book about the role of the press in a democracy that’s in grave jeopardy ... Sullivan attributes the Times’ fixation on scoring Clinton exposés to an error in news judgment: Assuming that Trump couldn’t win and Clinton would be the next president, the paper reserved its most gimlet-eyed scrutiny for her. For those outside the news business, post-mortems like this should be the most important revelation in Newsroom Confidential ... Sullivan struggles to end her book on a note of gratitude and positivity. But her anecdote arguing for the redemptive power of feature writing rings more than a little hollow ... [A] discomfiting book.
PositiveThe Washington Post... a lovingly detailed memoir composed in a humble register ... Chasing History can be read as an origin story of many of the debates we’re still having today—about race, about culture, and about the appropriate role and reach of American power across the globe. But it can also be read as a call for a debate that we should be having but aren’t—about how to support the kind of public-service-minded, labor-intensive journalism that inspired Bernstein to get into the business. As much as it is about Bernstein, this book is about the vibrant life and inexorable death of the Star and, by extension, all too many other major metropolitan dailies. It is, however, hardly sentimental ... More than any numbers could, Bernstein’s book gives a vivid sense of what has been lost.
MixedThe Washington PostThere’s an odd and poignant disconnect between the book’s tone and its unsettling subtext. The voice is warm, engaging, occasionally profane...It’s as if Boehner himself hasn’t quite processed the transformation of the sunny \'morning in America\' Republicans he joined in the 1980s into the dark conspiracy theorists who dog-whistled a mob to the Capitol on Jan. 6...Still, having his excoriating assessments collected between hard covers makes for a powerful indictment, the more so because Boehner’s book vividly captures the growing horror of a bartender’s kid who evolved from a reflexive Democrat to a Reagan Republican to a tea party whipping boy ... Mostly, Boehner is clear-eyed about his weaknesses and knows how to compensate for them.
PositiveThe Washington Post... a powerful brief ... There’s nothing dishy about this insider’s account by a former a top aide to Reid. Nonetheless, it’s a compelling read ... Meeting these challenges will require a lot more than the changes in Senate rules and procedure Jentleson recommends at the end of his book. That’s because the problems he so vividly describes are not just the Senate’s to solve; they belong to the nation that it, however imperfectly, represents.