... 500 illuminating—and often punishing—pages ... we are largely left to trust the authors to be reporting what has been shared with them, whatever the agreements regarding attribution ... This gives the Rucker-Leonnig storytelling a compelling sense of almost novelistic omniscience, as though the authors had been present and taking notes in a host of conversations they never heard. That is the style that has arisen in even the most respectable works of research in political reporting in our time, and these two Pulitzer-certified authors are among its most trustworthy practitioners. But readers should always look beyond the story itself to consider its ultimate sources and their motives. That is all the more important when the issues at hand are as portentous as they are here.
... earnest and diligent, to a fault ... alas, reads like 300 daily newspaper articles taped together so that they resemble an inky Kerouacian scroll ... Perhaps it’s not the authors’ fault that I Alone Can Fix It is grueling. It may be that a reader, having survived Covid-19, 'stop the steal' and the bear-spray wielders, and feeling a certain amount of relief...is uneager to rummage so soon through a dense, just-the-facts scrapbook of a dismal year ... A primary and not insignificant achievement in I Alone Can Fix It, however, is its bravura introduction of a new American hero, a man who has heretofore not received a great deal of attention: Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. A better title for this book might have been Mr. Milley Goes to Washington.
The authors infer that Trump cared more about himself than the country. Their meticulous history of his last year in office certainly supports that view. Their book may be somewhat hefty for the casual reader, but it is an essential read for anyone seriously concerned with the fate of democracy in the United States. The book belongs in every library seeking to record the major forces and personalities shaping the 21st century.