There is plenty in their reporting that is alternately heartbreaking and rage-inducing ... doesn’t seek clear answers so much as attempt to write the first iteration of this particular historical record ... Living in the minutiae, and maintaining that focus on narrating events rather than opining on or analyzing them, makes this book a remarkable work of slowed-down journalism ... the power in this book is the authors’ effort to use their journalistic tools to set the foundation for the reader to consider these bigger, broader questions. The authors try to wrap it up in a way that feels narrow and humble, not straying too far out of their professional lane. They are doing their jobs as journalists and writing the first draft of history. It is up to you, the book suggests, to get to work on the revision.
... the authors do in fact turn up a few new revelations about the assault accusations against Kavanaugh. But their real work is to smooth out the main story, create a fuller picture of Kavanaugh himself, place him in relation to Blasey Ford and put the minor players in motion, so that the confirmation showdown has a kind of cinematic inevitability ... The conclusion Pogrebin and Kelly come to about Kavanaugh is therefore pretty narrow ... as small and frustrating a conclusion as we expected. Now we can think it with more confidence.
... is in one way, as the past days’ events have made clear, a breaker of news. It is even more powerful, however, as a revision that adds to the existing story rather than fundamentally changing it—a deeply reported retelling of the confirmation fight that many Americans experienced as a cut whose wounds never fully healed.