PanThe Washington PostOne senses in this account that, like many others, Karl is both attracted and somewhat repelled by Trump largely because of his propensity to lie ... Karl, writing before the coronavirus outbreak, seems to argue that some reporters have been too tough on Trump ... Karl’s book is chiefly a compilation of his encounters and interviews with Trump and members of his staff. There is far too much recounting, often in somewhat tedious detail, of Karl’s daily coverage of Trump ... It’s an account of things we have mostly seen and heard before, and it lacks analysis of the larger issues Trump and his presidency represent.
MixedThe Washington PostThe book, simply written in relatively few words, is a call to arms and a manual for campaign volunteers ... This is not really a detailed argument for why Trump should be defeated—that is a given to Plouffe and probably anyone who buys this book. Plouffe is preaching to the faithful here, and frequently sounding somewhat overwrought while doing it ... He’s not really wrong...but one can almost picture Plouffe on the verge of hyperventilating as he writes that his horror at Trump’s election had a greater impact on him than the elation he felt at Obama’s 2008 victory ... But his game plan could provide essential guidance for an army of Democratic social media warriors who can still post online and work the phones from home.
PositiveThe Washington PostIn Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity, Bunker offers ample evidence to illustrate how Franklin developed ingenuity and how it influenced the rest of his life ... Despite a heavy emphasis on Franklin’s family, friends and acquaintances, Bunker covers all the important events of his early life ... Bunker offers newly discovered information about Franklin’s friends and family and vivid descriptions of the political and cultural atmosphere Franklin knew in London and Philadelphia. At times the research can be overwhelming, and Franklin’s story gets a bit lost in the details about what can seem like every person he knew in his first 40 years. But these little-known people do offer an interesting cast of characters ... Anyone interested in Franklin and early America should find this book fascinating. It offers important insight into the internal struggles Franklin wrestled with as a youth and the questions he strove to answer.