PositiveThe Los Angeles Review of BooksIt\'s often said that journalism is the first draft of history, but it may be the final one as well. After the historians have sifted through the data and details, dissected the forces at play, and uncovered the patterns and structures beneath the surface of events, it’s time for a clear and straightforward rendition of who did what and why. That’s very much what Douglas Smith is about in The Russian Job: The Forgotten Story of How America Saved the Soviet Union from Ruin, writing for what he calls \'a general audience\' and, for that reason, even dispensing with footnotes. Annals, not analysis ... Despite the epic sweep, the horror and moral splendor of this story, it is essentially unknown to both Russians and Americans ... This book, Smith says at the outset, \'seeks to right this wrong.\' It succeeds. Clear, forceful, and compelling, The Russian Job tells us what happened and who made it happen.
PositiveLos Angeles Review of Books\"Beginning with its very title, Tony Wood’s Russia Without Putin: Money, Power and the Myths of the New Cold War is a maverick book ... For the most part Wood writes a clear and sturdy prose ... He does, however, sometimes descend into that sludgy concoction of statistics and abstractions that passes for a style in some sociological and political circles ... That means at some points the readers will have to do a little work themselves. Let them. This indispensable book about post-Soviet Russia will more than repay any such effort.\
PositiveThe Washington PostThe scope of the tale is vast, and there is a largesse in the telling, the sheer happiness of art. But In America is also an intimate portrait of a willful woman who, like the liner which brings her to America, trails a great wake behind her … The book's form and theme are elegantly joined. Of all the many American dreams – land, space, streets paved with gold – the one that lures Sontag's characters is liberation from the past, especially tragic and demanding in Poland's case, and the creation of a new self … Sontag uses the full arsenal of narrative devices – standard third-person omniscience, diaries, letters, snatches of dialogue, monologues both interior and spoken aloud – to reconstruct Modjeska as Maryna Zalenska, the heroine.