RaveThe Wall Street JournalSteven Johnson argues with verve and conviction in his thoroughly engrossing Enemy of All Mankind ... Because Enemy of All Mankind offers, among its many pleasures, a solid mystery story, it would be wrong to reveal the outcome. But it’s surprising. So, too, are the many larger themes that Mr. Johnson persuasively draws from his seaborne marauders. It is possible that readers may not be eager to learn about 17th-century metallurgy, or the coalescing of nation-states, or the rise of world-wide commerce in the era; but they will be glad they did once they encounter these matters here. All the author’s more surprising suppositions are not merely stapled onto the narrative but seem to have grown there effortlessly during the course of a spirited, suspenseful, economically told tale whose significance is manifest and whose pace never flags.
PositiveThe Wall Street Journal\"[Several scenes] add sparkle and bite to Michael Beschloss’s Presidents of War, his valuable and engrossing study of how our chief executives have discharged the most significant of all their duties ... [Beschloss] weaves what are in effect a dozen excellent biographies into a fluent narrative that covers two centuries of national conflict.\