MixedThe New York Times Book Review[Morain\'s] insider’s view provides a revealing portrait of the people and events surrounding Harris’s rise to political stardom ... Morain paints Harris as a pragmatic, ambitious politician ... Despite his inclusion of stories that show Harris’s warmth outside the limelight, his biography is not fawning. Nor is it very personal ... This book is unlikely to satisfy readers enamored of the nation’s barrier-breaking vice president, who may find Morain’s judgments at times unduly critical, and his use of phrases like \'brusque and antagonistic style\' and \'brash confidence\' as distinctly gendered. At the same time, Kamala’s Way could appeal to aficionados of California politics who want a better understanding of the high-powered political world where Harris’s national star rose.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewMiriam Pawel’s fascinating book ... bills her family saga as a \'lens through which to tell a unique history of the 31st state,\' but it does much more. Her engaging narrative of the politics, ideas and policies of the two Edmund Browns illuminates the sea change in the nation’s politics in the last half of the 20th century ... Pawel portrays Brown as a thoughtful visionary whose faith in the emancipatory potential of the free market helped usher in the nation’s second Gilded Age. Neoliberal economic policies, often associated with conservative Republicans, appealed to iconoclastic Democrats like Brown, who were hostile to bureaucracy and skeptical of establishment institutions. But Jerry Brown’s counterculturally-inflected distrust of government has helped make liberal California the poverty capital of America.
PanThe New York Times Book Review[Gallagher's] book is the work of an enthusiast, an ode to a little-heralded but flagship government enterprise ... She reminds us, echoing the historian Richard John, that the post office forged a communications revolution just as far-reaching as the later telegraph and internet revolutions ... Gallagher glosses over such controversies to present an almost mythic vision of the past, particularly the nation’s westward expansion. She tells us of the post office’s crucial role in moving information across great distances, and in forging a national presence in Western territories. In the process, however, she simplifies the history of cultural exchange, diplomacy, violence, expropriation and warfare in a West that was, however inconveniently, already settled...she ignores generations of historians who have told a more complex story of settler colonial capitalism, and its tragic meaning for the indigenous populations ... Gallagher’s discussion of the postal system’s 'Golden Age' during the Progressive Era is more convincing.