RaveThe AtlanticMead leads us with an even tone and expert hand through centuries of history, and through disparate topics including Puritan theology, the politics at the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and the personality of Billy Graham ... In the guise of a book about Israel and America, in other words, Mead has actually written an ambitious and idiosyncratic history of large swaths of Western politics and thought. Implicitly, and perhaps even more important, the book makes a case that complicated and sensitive topics can still be covered with balance, sympathy, and even occasional humor ... Most striking, for this reader, was the reminder of the depth of Zionist enthusiasm in non-Jewish America, where the idea of a literal Jewish return to the Land of Israel was popular among Christians long before it caught on among Jews ... impressive and timely.
Sarah Abrevaya Stein
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe account of this one Mediterranean clan, like the best micro-histories, contains much more than a family story, illuminating the forces that shaped the world we live in now ... Stein, a U.C.L.A. historian, has ferocious research talents — she collected papers in multiple languages from nine different countries on three continents — and a writing voice that is admirably light and human. She became so involved in the Levy universe that they now copy her on some family emails. All of this has produced a superb and touching book about the frailty of ties that hold together places and people ... The family papers that Stein has mined here, with great effort and a keen eye, illustrate history by zooming in as tightly as possible and showing, as she writes, \'how this family loved and quarreled, struggled and succeeded, clung to one another and watched the ties that once bound them slip from their grasp.\'
RaveThe Washington PostThe revolutionary digital landscape then in gestation, and now in full swing, is the subject of an important and accessible new book by journalist David Patrikarakos... Reporting on the war between Russia and Ukraine from that city, he found that Twitter knew things long before traditional media did... The actual military moves seemed less important than the stories both sides were spinning online ... Elsewhere in the Middle East, the author recounts how the tech-savvy militants of the Islamic State rose from the ashes of Iraq in tandem with the rise of YouTube and Twitter ... Patrikarakos has performed a service by giving readers a relatable, even enjoyable, introduction to the way the battlefield has moved onto our phones and laptops, and from there directly into our brains ...a necessary read for everyone affected by this baffling state of affairs — that is, everyone.
PositiveThe Wall Street JournalMs. Hoffman, an American writer who has spent many years in Jerusalem, resurrects these forgotten men and succeeds in adding fascinating human detail to the cityscape. Almost everything in the book was new to me, though I’ve lived in Jerusalem my entire adult life and have passed some of the buildings she describes thousands of times ... The stories in Ms. Hoffman’s account brought new pieces of Jerusalem to life and made me more alert to the choices, good and bad, made by those who put the city together over the years ... The author’s take is open to some debate...Ms. Hoffman’s description of Jerusalem, in any case, seems to be less one of the city’s appearance than of its soul, which leads us back to the question of what exactly Jerusalem is and where its soul lies.