RavePittsburgh Post-GazetteMr. Farber...deals a potent mix of drug history, gangland lore and policy calamity that keeps you coming back for more. While he’s unsparing in describing the racism-tinged hysteria with which government responded to crack, he doesn’t sermonize, which is refreshing. And you put down Crack with a feeling that this exploration of a dark part of our history has given you an improved understanding of today, and maybe tomorrow ... Crack policy may be a downer, but the book has its guilty pleasures, especially when it takes us back to the ganglands of the 1980s and the early days of hip-hop. Like Prohibition in the 1920s, the explosive crack market, the inevitable turf wars and the government crackdown created a new breed of anti-hero, which Mr. Farber explores through ethnography and art.
Robert A. Caro
PositiveThe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette... hangs together because Caro’s casual, often self-deprecating voice remains constant, whether he’s talking directly to us or via an interviewer from The Paris Review. It’s the moments of both anxiety and discovery that make Working worth it ... Reading this, you might think Working is only for writers. It’s a worthwhile read, though, for anyone whose life’s mission could benefit from a lesson in thoroughness, patience and perseverance.
PositiveThe Pittsburgh Post-Gazette\"In between these disheartening tales are stories (some less interesting than others) of heroic bureaucrats cut adrift by the Trump administration. Mr. Lewis paints their departures from public service as a loss for America, but the greater tragedy may be the increasing irrelevance of many of the talented, mission-driven government workers who are no doubt still there.\
Yuval Noah Harari
PositivePittsburgh GaszetteI might get lucky and die before Yuval Noah Harari’s dark predictions come true. That’s what I found myself thinking while reading Mr. Harari’s 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. The Jerusalem-based historian’s third book begins with a bracing look at trends in artificial intelligence and biotechnology that — unchecked by Earth’s reeling democracies and surging autocracies — could change the nature of humanity as early as 2050 ... If you’re reasonably comfortable with a world in which people have some modicum of control over their lives, Mr. Harari’s book will scare you ... But I don’t regret taking Mr. Harari’s 21 Lessons. We need to know what we’re up against.
Seymour M. Hersh
PositiveThe Pittsburg Post-Gazette\"For me, it was worth the cover price to read his 19-page account of his efforts to find the man blamed for the massacre, Lt. William Calley, and to break the story. It’s a tale of shoe leather, chutzpah and pure luck, and I humbly suggest that every reporter — and everyone who wants to understand what a journalist can and should be — read Chapter 9 of Reporter ... You won’t find much insight here. Mr. Hersh offers dish on government officials, editors and book agents, but very little on his own interior life. Maybe it’s unfair to ask a just-the-facts guy to get personal. Surely, though, Mr. Hersh could’ve given us more of his thoughts on 50 years of changes in his industry ... Let’s hope Reporter: A Memoir is just a placeholder. Mr. Hersh digs deepest, it seems, when he’s on tougher terrain.\
RavePittsburgh Post-Gazette\"Mr. Kaplan, a Slate columnist and veteran of The Boston Globe, is deeply sourced. Luckily, he’s not slavishly loyal to his sources: He deals dispassionately with the struggle, before and after Edward Snowden, to balance anti-terror measures and personal privacy. The fun stuff? Details of meetings between top intelligence officials and hackers with nicknames like Mudge and Space Rogue. The dull stuff? Play-by-play accounts of federal task forces.\
MixedThe Pittsburgh Post-GazetteThe book’s modest problem is that it doesn’t quite connect its six dots. Exit Right stops short of proving that these six men, or the many other apostates of which they’re examples, are responsible for today’s near-catastrophic political climate. Nor does he postulate a unifying theory of radical political reconstruction, instead copping to the very different circumstances and motivations that turned the six men rightward.