The authors’ sources lean toward partisans and Kennedy family retainers whose reflections are entirely predictable ... Ted Kennedy deserves better. Mr. Gabler, in particular, sets a disconcerting tone with his introductory note that 'we live now within an immense and profound cruelty, in a resurgence of white supremacy and the vile hatreds of racism and nativism and misogyny and homophobia and Islamophobia, in an anti-intellectual farrago in which large portions of the public display an aversion to indisputable facts and regard hard science as subversive.' Some readers will thrill to Mr. Gabler’s Manichaean rhetoric, and will enjoy the book’s compulsively mawkish prose...If you profit from that sort of writing, the 1,227 pages of Against the Wind await you.
Gabler’s taste for the epic mode makes for some beautifully rendered chapters, such as his patient illustration, through the accretion of nifty anecdotes, of how Kennedy came to master the Senate’s byways. But his prose often turns verbose and bombastic. He pastes in simplistic political analyses from undiscerning historians and reprints swaths of perishable punditry from journalists of yore ... Gabler repeats words, phrases and ideas excessively, as if continual reiteration will invest them with profundity and grandiosity ... Gabler comprehensively reviews Ted Kennedy’s Senate accomplishments, in minute detail.