PositiveThe Washington PostBiskupic opens a window onto the opaque, insular world of the justices to show an institution sinking gradually into crisis ... Biskupic is a longtime chronicler of the court, and Nine Black Robes puts on display her connections within its chambers. The book is packed with references to insights shared with her by unnamed justices. She reveals the deliberations and negotiations that took place behind the scenes in a number of high-profile cases.
PositiveThe Washington Post... a fast, taut read ... Cook... ably [links] 1993 to today when it comes to the rise of the far right, but I was left wishing [he] had pulled harder on some remaining threads ... Cook... [takes] care to portray Koresh’s followers with humanity and empathy while not ignoring the uglinesses of life in the community.
PositiveThe Washington PostGuinn lingers longer on the botched mechanics of the federal government’s handling of the siege, along with the origins of the Branch Davidians and their leader, David Koresh ... Guinn, whose reporting draws heavily on interviews with ATF agents present at Waco, is sympathetic to the agency’s rank-and-file.
MixedThe Washington PostHonig doesn’t hide his contempt for Barr, and he isn’t out to convince those who disagree; no one enthusiastic about Barr will come away with their view changed. Likewise, the book doesn’t attempt to uncover new information about Barr’s tenure, relying instead on the existing public record. But for readers looking for an accessible overview of Barr’s time as attorney general—or dizzied by the sheer volume of scandals that took place during the Trump presidency—Honig provides a useful rundown ... Honig’s reliance on the idea of prosecutorial virtue makes for odd reading in a political moment characterized, in part, by increased skepticism toward prosecutors and criminal justice. His paean to the \'unimaginable power\' of the prosecutor feels incomplete without any acknowledgment of how this mission can go awry or how that power is experienced by those on the receiving end ... Honig’s book raises the question of whether former prosecutors can to continue situating their professional ethic as a guiding star in the absence of Trump and Barr as foils.
MixedThe Washington PostWhat you think of the new book by Fusion GPS founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch — better known as the men behind the Steele dossier — will depend almost entirely on what view you take of the dossier itself. Is your position that the infamous document is a sham product cobbled together by Democratic operatives out to smear the president? Crime in Progress is unlikely to convince you otherwise. Are you still holding out hope for the release of a lewd video of Donald Trump in a Moscow hotel room, so tantalizingly described in the dossier? Crime in Progress won’t sate your desire for the \'pee tape,\' but it also won’t disprove the tape’s existence if you want to believe in it ... is most interesting as an addition to the burgeoning genre of journalism about journalism — media that, in a truth-starved time, seeks to explain not only the reporter’s conclusions but also how the reporter arrived at them ... whether or not one approves of Fusion as an enterprise, Simpson and Fritsch’s efforts to justify some of their less-savory work begin to drag the story down ... they are frustratingly coy about some of the dossier’s more controversial claims ... The strangeness of the Steele dossier as a political artifact is that, in the storm of the Mueller report and the ongoing Ukraine scandal, its significance has largely faded outside the circle of Trump’s most ardent supporters. In Crime in Progress, Simpson and Fritsch do their best, not always convincingly, to renew the case for its overarching importance.
PositiveThe Washington Post\"Listeners of Bharara’s podcast will be familiar with the book’s tone: thoughtful, sincere, and not above a coy jab or a showman’s wisecrack ... The book is structured as a series of meditations on the different stages of a criminal investigation: \'Inquiry,\' \'Accusation,\' \'Judgment\' and \'Punishment\'—a conceit that could easily read as affected but that Bharara manages to pull off ... Like Comey, Bharara feels compelled to defend an aspect of his record that may be less than appealing to federal law enforcement’s new fans to the left of center ... Here, perhaps unavoidably, Bharara comes off as defensive ... Doing Justice does its best to communicate what Bharara sees as the fundamental good faith of many law enforcement officials. The real interest and innovation of the book, though, is in Bharara’s effort to offer that model of engagement with the world as a political theory for his fellow citizens. In a cynical time, there’s something to be said for that kind of sincerity.\