MixedThe Washington PostBrownstein adopts a month-by-month approach to telling the story. Although appealing as a narrative device, doing so makes it more difficult to analyze the categories and draw connections between them. He is less engaged in offering close readings of any of the films, shows or songs than in the personalities who made and promoted the work. What lifts the book out of familiar terrain...are the interviews with actors, singers, writers, producers and executives who reflect on the creative urgency of the ’70s ... Brownstein’s profiles of the producers and writers behind the scenes are one of the book’s strengths ... The book will have done its work if it inspires readers to revisit these films, shows and songs.
David S. Reynolds
PositiveThe Washington PostRecovering the cultural meaning of the acrobat is typical of the volume’s originality ... Reynolds concludes that Lincoln possessed \'a radically progressive self\' and held \'an underlying radicalism on race.\' To make this case, Reynolds must excuse Lincoln’s support for Whig enslavers such as Henry Clay and Zachary Taylor, and, although he acknowledges that Lincoln’s early denigration of black suffrage was \'reprehensible,\' he dismisses Lincoln’s racist statements as being made \'reluctantly\' ... Abe, consistently learned and illuminating, goes a long way toward helping us fathom his transcendence.
PositiveThe Washington Post\"In Wilmington’s Lie, David Zucchino...punctures the myths surrounding the insurrection and provides a dynamic and detailed account of the lives of perpetrators and victims ... Deeply researched and relevant, Wilmington’s Lie explains how [Wilmington became a \'bastion of white supremacy\'] and suggests how much work remains to be done to come to terms with what took place.\
RaveSan Francisco Chronicle...pointed and penetrating ... Kakutani, the Pulitzer Prize-winning former chief book critic for the New York Times, draws on her vast literary knowledge (she quotes dozens of writers, from Hannah Arendt to Tom Wolfe) to pen truth’s obituary in the era of Trump ... The Death of Truth offers a clear-eyed, eloquent assessment of the current predicament. For those who may think criticism of Trump is overblown, this book is essential for understanding the corrosive effects of an ongoing, relentless assault on truth.
PositiveSan Francisco ChronicleDonald Trump lies. This is not news. Multiple media outlets keep track of his lies — in May, the list topped 3,000 falsehoods over 466 days in office. Many are innocuous, though revealing. For example, his claim that more people attended his inauguration than Barack Obama’s. Others are more pernicious, such as his assertion that millions of illegal votes were cast in the election on 2016. On the PolitiFact scorecard, most of what he says falls into the categories ‘mostly false,’ ‘false’ and ‘pants on fire.’ … No wonder that in her pointed and penetrating book, Michiko Kakutani laments the death of truth. Kakutani…draws on her vast literary knowledge…to pen truth’s obituary in the era of Trump … writing with clarity and force about the president’s ‘assault on language,’ which is ‘not confined to a torrent of lies, but extends to his taking of words and principles intrinsic to the rule of law and contaminating them with personal agendas and political partisanship.’
Stephen G. Bloom
PositiveSF Gate\"Bloom tells a captivating story of Burns’ ascent, presented alongside San Francisco’s breathtaking transformation in the first decades of the 20th century. To compensate for a lack of sources, he re-creates scenes and invents dialogue, a practice that will irk those who prefer their nonfiction unembellished.\
RaveThe San Francisco Chronicle...[a] comprehensive and masterful study of the period ... White excels at providing telling statistics to illustrate his points ... Continental development, White argues, allowed commentators to shift the narrative of Reconstruction from the failure to subdue Southern Democrats and protect the freedmen from exploitation and oppression to a story of successful nation building and westward expansion. Indians would be exterminated or assimilated and forced to cede their lands. White points out that in seizing Indian homelands, the United States acted as an imperial power. American imperialism in the era, however, is a theme left underdeveloped ... The ideal of the frontier has long captured the American imagination. At the end of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Huck decides to 'light out for the Territory ahead of the rest,' to leave behind the conflict and chaos of civilization for the freedom of the frontier. It’s a pleasing fantasy, but The Republic for Which It Stands makes it abundantly clear that Huck would find little respite there.