PositiveThe Wall Street Journal... isn’t a detailed narrative of the era’s political struggles or a political-science thesis with tables and graphs. The wondrous profusion of technological innovation and economic growth of the late 19th century is touched on, but without the robotic denunciations of \'robber barons\' that permeate so many historians’ accounts. Mr. Grinspan’s focus is on practical politics, which in this period meant mass politics—the highest rates of voter turnout and mass participation in the nation‘s history.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal... Ms. Shlaes now offers an illuminating alternative to sentimental reminisces of liberals’ attempts in the 1960s—actually, in the years starting around 1963 and ending around 1972—to banish poverty in America ... Her account is original and persuasive, presenting the leading poverty warriors not with scorn but with sympathy and piercing insight ... Ms. Shlaes’s chronicle is not just a story of how good people’s good intentions went wrong. It is also a story of how the assumption that the near future will closely resemble the recent past can lead even the best intentioned and most well-informed people to pursue policies that turn out to be mostly counterproductive and often destructive.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal\"... breezy and informative ... Mr. Salvanto... explains matters well known to political junkies: how samples are weighted to reflect relevant characteristics of the expected electorate; how questions are worded to avoid nudging respondents in one direction or another; how a random sample of 1,000 people can almost always provide a usefully close approximation of the opinions of tens of millions ... If you want to get a feel for what it’s like working at a network decision desk on election night, go read Mr. Salvanto’s first chapter.\
MixedThe Wall Street JournalMr. Woodward makes it plain, if anyone had doubts, that it’s no fun serving in the Trump administration ... most of Mr. Woodward’s text is indeed, as he said to Ms. Conway, about substantive issues ... Those anticipating Mr. Trump’s downfall for collusion with Russia will be disappointed by Fear ... Is the reporter who broke the Watergate scandal suggesting there’s no real scandal here?
James F. Simon
RaveWall Street Journal\"Mr. Simon presents a vivid account of how Warren deferred an immediate showdown, schmoozing the Texan Tom Clark, parrying the judicial-restraint theories of former professor Felix Frankfurter, facing down the doubts of the eloquent Robert Jackson (who was perhaps echoing the arguments of his law clerk William Rehnquist) ... The fact is that Eisenhower and Warren were both acting under political constraints—something that Mr. Simon, in his gripping account, describes generously in Warren’s case but somewhat more grudgingly in Eisenhower’s.\
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal...the focus is not on partisan politics: Janesville is more the story of a strong union town come to grief. Ms. Goldstein deftly sketches the city’s industrial history ... Ms. Goldstein makes a few partisan jabs but is generally fair-minded, recording, for instance, the resentment of private-sector union workers at the cushy pensions and pay security of unionized public employees. One lesson of Janesville is that bad things can happen to good people. Another, perhaps, is that systems designed to produce fail-safe security are at risk of catastrophic failure, hurting those who might have made other choices if the expensive security guarantees hadn’t been there in the first place.