PositiveThe Chicago TribuneIn his early chapters, where Brands fills in the back story of his dual protagonists, he can feel sketchy almost to the point of seeming disengaged, and this section of the book is somewhat disappointing. But when Brands gets to the Korean War, his narrative comes into its own ... Brands deftly utilizes a wide array of sources, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of foreign correspondent Marguerite Higgins, who landed with the troops at Inchon, to the papers of both Truman and MacArthur, as well as material that was unavailable to previous scholars. He tells his story with admirable objectivity and fairness, letting the facts speak for themselves. For anyone looking to understand the Korean War, this book is an admirable place to start.
Fergus M. Bordewich
RaveThe Chicage TribuneBordewich shrewdly avoids the perils of 'presentism,' which is defined as an attitude toward the past in thrall to present-day attitudes, mores and shibboleths. He lets these men speak for themselves (one of them from his diary), and trusts his readers to make up their own minds about the wisdom or lack of same in their decisions.
E. J. Dionne Jr.
MixedThe Chicago Tribune...as the book inches closer to the present and the 2016 election (allusions to which abound in the text, seemingly tossed in at the very last minute before publication), Dionne incrementally segues from historian to journalist and becomes somewhat less effective. The reader gets lost in thickets of legislative and political detail that might profitably have been pruned.