Roberts tells the story superbly from start to finish ... With a talent for research and an eye for colorful detail, Mr. Roberts presents a lot of new and overlooked material ... Mr. Roberts’s default mode is to accept the notion that the protesters, with some exceptions, were essentially decent and right, while the administration was instinctively and invariably repressive and wrong. Because he sees the story—as he put it in a pre-publication interview—in terms of 'a government gone rogue [confronting] masses of citizens demanding change,' he never presents Nixon’s rationale for believing it was his constitutional duty to resist mob rule and keep the government open ... As a result of the Tribe’s failure to shut Washington down, Mayday has been paid less attention than other protests of the period, and its significance overlooked. Mr. Roberts’s first-rate book redresses that imbalance.
Roberts is a careful observer and he deftly organizes a complex, multifaceted series of events into a coherent, fast moving, and fascinating story ... This is a complex story with dozens of actors and events taking place simultaneously at different locations. Roberts effectively organizes the book by retelling the story through the eyes of several key participants ... Thanks to Roberts, we now have a better picture of what those long-ago protesters really accomplished.
Roberts relates the shameful story of what happened that year like a mystery writer. He even conveys firsthand experience as an arrested protester. Fortunately, Roberts is also a careful historian. He pinpoints the origins of this extraordinary drama and guides readers through the score ... Roberts begins with an introductory timeline and then weaves together the events and personalities as they unfurl prior to and after May 1st. His valuable book boasts impressive research, extensive footnotes, and a useful bibliography.