RaveThe New Republic... a valiant and abrasive attempt to sift through a legacy his father refused to abjure. If Camelot really was a kind of court of midcentury kings, a high watermark for liberal capitalism distant from our moment of fracture, how fortunate we are to have such a thoughtful account of that world from someone who was born into it. Unlike many memoirs from this milieu and journalistic treatments of it, Craig McNamara’s book evinces the sort of hippie humanity that his dad, in his own way, worked to squash ... You can tell Craig McNamara means business because he directly links his formative experiences with geopolitical explosions, the elite class of U.S. bureaucrats reacting to them, and how these encounters might connect to the lives of their children ... a captivating text for anyone grappling with the pain of possessing a parent who did horrible things. It is also a charming account of a long-since-dead international liberal aristo-bureaucracy. That a son published such a loving denunciation of his father is fairly astonishing.
RaveThe New Republic\"Cohen has found a semifictional historical tapestry adequate to his vast imagination. He has written one of the only genuinely funny novels of political satire to be published since Donald Trump was elected president. Best of all, by invoking archetypes of claustrophobia—the liberal arts college, sexual rebellion, in-laws, stale dinners, creaking boards, cramped reading spaces, sneezes, twitches, farts—Cohen is working in new territory for the Netanyahus, successfully cutting the dynasty down to size while bringing its delusions of grandeur into relief ... In glimpses of Netanyahu family life that come into view two-thirds of the way through the book, Cohen shows that the best literary twists on political characters rest on inventing entirely new worlds for their readers, allowing them to see familiar brokers of the established order in entirely unfamiliar contexts.
PanThe Baffler... there are books whose fusion of factual inaccuracy and moral sophistry is so total that they can only be written by Malcolm Gladwell ... sly maliciousness and explosive vacuity: the two primary qualities of Gladwell’s oeuvre ... by taking up military history, Gladwell’s half-witted didacticism threatens to convince millions of people that the only solution to American butchery is to continue shelling out for sharper and larger knives ... The stakes of The Bomber Mafia are no less than World War II and life or death, and yet Gladwell’s narrative is transmitted as seamlessly as the Wall Street or Silicon Valley koans that appear atop LinkedIn profiles, Clubhouse accounts, and Substack missives. Even his statements of objective fact are written to look like something an HSBC junior analyst might tell himself after a bad quarterly review ... interrogation of the actual historical record and the genuine moral dilemmas it poses—not the low-stakes bait that he trots out as an MBA case study in War—is subordinated to fluffy bullshit and biographical color ... omission is par for the course in The Bomber Mafia. While Gladwell constantly reminds the reader that the air force leadership was trying to wage more effective wars so as to end all wars, he cannot help but shove under the rug that which is inconvenient.
RaveThe BafflerHelpfully, Mike Isaac...has assembled an expansive and lucid new chronicle. His book, Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, will likely go down as the definitive Uber book ... Isaac peels back the layers of Uber, making it plain how Kalanick was able to break laws with impunity and charm investors into signing term sheets that gave him near-unbreakable control over the company ... After reading Super Pumped, which details all the awful things that Kalanick and his cronies have done to flesh-and-blood humans, it’s hard to feel anything other than wistful for a world in which individuals are punished for doing wrong by the workers and customers their business ostensibly serves.
PositiveBookforum...a capable and thorough examination of the kinds of Brazilians who profited from the Games ... Brazillionaires offers a comprehensive portrait of Brazilian society, including the favelas.