PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewUrofsky’s The Affirmative Action Puzzle is a comprehensive account of the nonwhite version of affirmative action. This is a complex and challenging historical task, given that \'no other issue divides Americans more.\' But Urofsky, by and large, has executed it well ... Urofsky explores nearly all aspects of the program...The one major missing part of the puzzle in his otherwise thorough account is the military, which is unfortunate...This deserved a long chapter ... The nation’s jurists have been just as divided in their approaches, and Urofsky deploys his legal expertise to great effect in analyzing the numerous cases that have been argued over the policy ... Urofsky’s analysis of the DeFunis, Bakke and Weber cases of the 1970s is a gem ... deserves a better closing chapter. Urofsky claims that no coherent picture emerges from his painstaking study ... The great merit of this meticulously researched, honestly crafted work is that it allows readers to draw their own conclusions about the value of this uniquely American experiment, quite independent of the author’s own conflicted views about it.
PanThe New York Times Book Review\"For Magnet, Thomas is the heroic legal champion of \'the framers’ vision of free, self-governing citizens forging their own fate.\' He is the prophetic scourge of our \'regulation-crazed Great Society\' in which deep state \'whippersnapper\' civil servants have usurped the legislative power that the Constitution gave to Congress alone. The extremism of his attacks on liberalism and his glorification of Thomas are continuously risible ... Thomas’s assertion that he should be free to think as he pleases regardless of race is \'a statement of moral and intellectual heroism on a par with Luther’s ‘Here I stand: I can do no other.’\' ... Magnet ends his book with a gratuitous, even racist assault on Barack Obama, in which the former president’s mother is trashed as a \'Kumbaya mother\' and a \'flibbertigibbet white mother.\' This language reveals both the intellectual caliber and motivation of the modern American right. Its veneration of Thomas, like Donald Trump’s, has to be seen as politically opportunistic — cover not only for attacks on Obama but also for attacks on almost all other blacks in America.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe remarkable achievement of Robin’s thoroughly researched, cogently argued work is that it makes a compelling case for what is, initially, a startling argument ... Robin, without critical commentary, displays Thomas’s many contradictions.