PositiveFinancial Times (UK)Every page of this (slightly too long) book is suffused with the struggle to comprehend, without condescending ... She only partly succeeds ... This is a travel book, and like all the best travel books, it is about an interior journey that just happens to take place in particularly evocative scenery ... This story, in other hands, might well have bored me by the end of the prologue. But this author has the kind of deft touch with the English language that would make me read a book by her, no matter what it was about. She also has a sense of humour ... The Midwest has changed her. That, perhaps, is her greatest talent: the willingness to examine, even abandon, her own biases before she casts stones. That’s a lesson in empathy that we can all learn from, in the time of coronavirus, in the time of presidential elections—and beyond.
Eliese Colette Goldbach
PositiveFinancial Times (UK)Goldbach tells the stories that [steelworkers] had no words for. She does that brilliantly, honouring the life of honest work lived by millions of American manual workers who complain that they are treated with disdain in today’s US ... narrative gems are strewn throughout Rust, many of them painful to behold ... Her narrative of...sexual assault, and her struggles with mental illness, are movingly and candidly told. Sometimes it feels as though they are strewn haphazardly on to the narrative cloth of the book, rather than woven into its fabric. As such the tale doesn’t always hang together as a satisfying whole. Yet on the most basic level, Rust does what the post-Trump industrial memoir is supposed to do: provide an insider’s glimpse into how blue-collar America lives.
RaveThe Financial TimesIn his new book City of Devils, Paul French, author of the prizewinning true crime Midnight in Peking, does for Old Shanghai what he previously did for Old Beijing: portrays a city through its historical criminals ... Almost no one writing in English today does as much to capture the many faces of Shanghai: futuristic while crumbling, arrogant while insecure, cosmopolitan while provincial ... City of Devils markets itself as \'the story of the rise to power, their downfall, and the trail of destruction they left in their wake,\' of the bad boys of the Shanghai Badlands. But it is at least as good a read for the pen portrait it paints of Old Shanghai, as the city ran itself down into the half century of obscurity that would follow under Communism ... City of Devils is a tale for our times.
RaveThe Financial TimesAmy Goldstein’s book Janesville: An American Story humanises the suffering of the white working class in America at a time when the country critically needs to understand the angst that helped elect the president … Bridging the gap between the coasts and the middle, the elites and the working class — between the affluent classes and Rust Belt Wisconsin whites — is crucial to how America will emerge from the Trump presidency. Ms Goldstein has done her bit to close the chasm: simply by letting the people of Janesville tell their story.