Mr. Lévy’s romanticism is more than justified by his almost cosmic ambition: to bring an older reality to the doorstep of a newer one, often from the front lines of the most dangerous places on earth ... what is most striking about these 250 pages of often arresting, always heartfelt prose is the doubt, even despair, that this most self-confident of men is honest enough to disclose. Sometimes the despair is overripe—you sense the author using language to evade his own emotions ... Elsewhere he is less overpolished—simple, sure and almost heartbreaking ... This is a brave book—by a writer looking from within his own constructs and admitting they may no longer be enough ... we need Mr. Lévy’s voice—clear, unconstructed, unconstrained, real—to help us.
Striking but flawed ...Surprisingly, after much buildup of the threat, the last chapter concludes that it would be difficult for any of the kingdoms to truly become an empire, and the book’s premise falls flat. Though Lévy’s analysis of the internet landscape and its impact on truth is deeply insightful, those who don’t share his belief in the West’s exceptionality and his despair at its loss of power will not connect with the analysis he constructs atop them.