PositiveThe Washington PostIn Swanson’s book, we see Roosevelt’s face bloodied, blinded in one eye and overheated in pursuit of the strenuous life. It’s the sort of heartening journey that will make one want to shout \'Go, Teddy! Go!\' each time he surmounts another hurdle ... It’s less Roosevelt’s athletic prowess—he was often middling—and more his unrelenting grit that’s so inspiring. Here we find a president who is strong not because he brags about his might but because he publicly embraces his vulnerabilities ... There were moments when I could have done with fewer interjections by the author. Swanson’s conversational tone makes clear that he doesn’t intend for this to be a typical Roosevelt read. This is an engaging book you can hold with one hand while doing light bicep curls with the other ... At times, Swanson falls prey to the trap of mixing Roosevelt myths with facts ... Swanson succeeds in telling stories that will be entertaining for readers without any previous knowledge of Roosevelt, as well as those who don’t closely follow sports, like me. What’s most invigorating about Swanson’s book is watching T.R.’s struggle. Everyone wants to cheer for the bespectacled underdog with the high-pitched voice and the toothy grin, even if it’s the same man who ran a successful two-term administration and won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Emerson T. Brooking and P.W. Singer
PositiveThe Washington PostPacked with the past five years of news and a brief account of the birth of the Internet, LikeWar is a breezy read about modern warfare, with the authors flipping through tales of Russian bots, washed-up reality stars and Silicon Valley magnates like clips on your friend’s Instagram story. That rapid succession of stories makes it a suitable textbook for today’s journalism or political science students looking to understand how the same apps they use to communicate with friends can be amassed as tools in a potent arsenal ... There are points where LikeWar is too married to that textbook format ... LikeWar becomes a compelling read as Brookings and Singer give historical context to today’s news to demystify the Internet as a battlefield ... if [19th-century military theorist Carl von] Clausewitz crops up as a motif that grounds the book in staid military doctrine, references to pop stars and reality television celebrities keep the text out of the realm of the typical think tank fare. It may seem a cheap bid for younger readers at first, but the authors draw smart and eerie parallels between terrorist groups and seemingly vapid celebrities.