PositiveThe Philadelphia InquirerOne of the most memorable jokes of the 2015 White House Correspondents Dinner was President Obama's crack that 'I think Dick Cheney was the worst president of all time.' It might have brought down the house, but Jean Edward Smith thinks Obama had it wrong ...the author says, George W. Bush was very much his own man, on a mission from God to bring democracy to the Mideast at almost any cost ...says some of Bush's failures as president were, ironically, rooted in his success as a two-term governor of Texas ... Smith sees Bush as an essentially decent man ... But the dominant theme of his presidency, in Smith's view, was a toxic blend of arrogance and incuriosity.
RaveThe Philadelphia Inquirer...[a] magisterial work ... The book is a treasure trove of anecdotes, including comic misadventures, epic fights within intelligence communities, and staggering blunders, much of it presented with Hastings' droll British understatement.
PositiveThe Philadelphia InquirerThe author of six other books, a multiple Pulitzer-winner, and perhaps best known as a columnist for the New York Times, Egan is a masterly storyteller...The writing gets a bit purple at times...But in the end, it's a wee price to pay for a book like this.
MixedThe Philadelphia InquirerTraub has produced a solid, workmanlike account, nuanced but not spellbinding. Like his subject. He's probably at his authorial best when Adams is at his aging-lion best, returning to the public arena as a Massachusetts congressman and spending most of his remaining 17 years supporting the abolitionist cause ... Traub is also skillful at unraveling - as much as possible - the prickly and often cold personality that made it tough for others to live with Adams and for Adams to live with himself.