PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... a haunting tapestry of interwoven stories that inform us not just about our past but about the resentment-bred demons that are all too present in our society today ... Because he has few documents, Ball indulges in a lot of surmises and speculations, perhaps a bit too many for my taste ... Lecorgne was a minor player in this movement. But for that reason his tale is valuable, both for understanding his times and for understanding our own; he allows us a glimpse of who becomes one of the mass of followers of racist movements, and why ... The interconnected strands of race and history give Ball’s entrancing stories a Faulknerian resonance. In Ball’s retelling of his family saga, the sins and stains of the past are still very much with us, not something we can dismiss by blaming them on misguided ancestors who died long ago.
Edward J. Larson
PositiveThe Washington PostLarson laudably tries to counter the tendency of historians, especially biographers, to focus on individuals rather than teams ... Larson has produced a book that is not as much a tale of teamwork and friendship but instead two well-written and interesting biographical narratives that occasionally intertwine ... [Washington and Franklin\'s] greatest difference was on slavery, and Larson confronts that issue with unflinching directness
RaveThe New York Times Book Review\"I doubt that any novel, not even one co-written by Graham Greene and F. Scott Fitzgerald, could have captured Holbrooke fully, and I certainly thought that no biography ever would. But now one has. George Packer’s Our Man portrays Holbrooke in all of his endearing and exasperating self-willed glory: relentless, ambitious, voracious, brilliant, idealistic, noble, needy and containing multitudes. It’s both a sweeping diplomatic history and a Shakespearean tragicomedy, with Holbrooke strutting and fretting his hour on the stage ... the book overflows with the trait that was Holbrooke’s saving grace: an in-your-face intellectual honesty that is not tainted, as Holbrooke’s was, by his manipulativeness. The result is so bracing that Our Man not only revitalizes but in some ways reinvents the art of journalistic biography.\
PositiveNew York Magazine... does for New York’s Revolutionary hero what David McCullough did recently for John Adams ... Chernow has a feel for both finance and New Yorkers ... Look at what America became: a powerhouse of commerce and finance built by a diverse mix of striving urban cultures. That required an atmosphere of tolerance so that different ethnic groups could coexist, and a set of marketplace mechanisms that would reward enterprise. Chernow’s rich story of Hamilton’s influence, like Shorto’s history of early Manhattan, helps us see how these attributes arose out of the pluralistic cauldron of Van der Donck’s village.
MixedThe Washington PostDonald Rumsfeld, who served as Ford’s chief of staff and then defense secretary, has now written a slight but worthy book praising him and his short tenure ...The 128 weeks of Ford’s presidency served up less excitement than a 128-minute tweetstorm by Trump. Though this was a virtue of the Ford presidency, it is a downside for a book about it ... Rumsfeld exacerbates this problem by seeming content to plumb the shallows of Ford’s policies rather than trying to go deep ... Nevertheless, Ford’s basic goodness sweetly suffuses this book and makes it a welcome tale and worthy parable.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe Space Barons, by Christian Davenport, a Washington Post reporter, is an exciting narrative filled with colorful reporting and sharp insights. The book sparkles because of Davenport’s access to the main players and his talent for crisp storytelling.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review...a crisp and lively look at both the good and bad aspects of the rise of Uber and its C.E.O., Kalanick ... what [this] book show[s] is that societies must find ways to absorb these economic transformations, because it is futile to resist them. Peer-to-peer technology may be disruptive, and its effects can be messy. But it has an inexorable tendency to empower people to find — and produce — new offerings that improve our lives by reinforcing the most basic rule of entrepreneurship, which is to make something that people really want.
John le Carre
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThe result is not so much a memoir as a collection of memories, many of them containing tantalizing intimations of a powerful autobiography that still yearns to be written ... Le Carré still writes his books with a pen, and they read that way; there were times I wished he had better tools to cut, paste and delete ... These minor lapses are redeemed when we get to the long and poignant chapter in which le Carré wrestles with the memory of his father...Le Carré’s colorful depictions of his father not only make this book a delight, they reveal how the author became such a master of deception tales.