... kudos to Harvard professor Lizabeth Cohen for exhuming the cantankerous, ambitious and idealistic Logue in her charming and successful biography-cum-urban affairs history ... Ms. Cohen ennobles his life story, telling it as an impassioned crusade for things that sound old-fashioned now but were and are worth caring about: racial and socioeconomic integration of neighborhoods; respectable public housing for lower-income Americans; and social services and decent schooling for all ... Ms. Cohen is respectful but not worshipful toward the 'complicated character' who is her protagonist...But she mentions these shortcomings only when they contribute to her story.
[Cohen] has not only taken the measure of a complicated man, but also provided an incisive treatment of the entire urban-planning world in America in the last half of the 20th century ... a more enlightening book than has appeared on this topic in quite some time.
Cohen, through meticulous research, paints an intricate, sympathetic portrait of Logue. Unlike the approach taken in her previous work, she summons little of her formidable talent as a cultural historian, instead prioritizing bureaucratic struggles over big ideas. Nevertheless, Cohen has given readers a book as substantial and complex as the man and controversial movement it explains.