[A] revealing and lively account ... The wild and woolly saga in Misfire thus serves as a grimly instructive case study in the mobilization of culture warfare for cash in the precincts of Beltway power—and LaPierre’s unlikely starring role demonstrates that the stunt can be pulled off with the absolute minimum levels of charisma ... Mak’s account of the NRA’s gothic decline and fall is both crisply narrated and deeply reported—the details of LaPierre’s tenure atop the gun lobby are all but custom-made for the show-don’t-tell school of political reporting. Still, Misfire would have benefited from some wider exploration of the descent of high-powered political networking on the right into flagrant grifting mode.
A sprawling tale ... Mak also does a good job of describing how every mass shooting has pushed the NRA ever further right, transforming it from advocacy group for gun rights into a fully fledged player in the culture war ... The passions of gun owners – and the fear they have instilled in a majority of public officials – remain dominant forces in American politics despite the greed and incompetence of their leaders chronicled so thoroughly in this important book.
Mak's Misfire: Inside the Downfall of the NRA might be the final blow in terms of exposing the organization's rotten core and showing how a boundless love for money and power — as well as nepotism, fraud, and corruption — have been eating away at the NRA's foundations for a long time ... Mak, an investigative reporter for NPR, has crafted an engaging, meticulously researched chronicle of this history that is as immersive as it is shocking ... Mak...explores each of these elements with clear prose and a blitzkrieg of damning evidence ... The NRA is still around and still powerful, which makes Misfire the equivalent of reading the autopsy of a zombie — one that reminds us the monster is falling apart but still here and still dangerous.