As is the pattern in these books, Harris braids together the personal and the political — readers might find themselves tempted to skim through what feels like a campaign speech to return to a life story that genuinely entrances. But that would be a mistake; Harris provides a very clear picture of the kind of leader she hopes to be, as well as the way her mind works when she confronts various issues, including crime, healthcare and foreign policy ... Throughout, there are unmistakable echoes of the kind of inclusive tone often struck by former President Obama.
As with many campaign books, The Truths We Hold reads as a memoir-but-not-really. Harris does tell her life story, but she uses it as a vehicle for telling us what she really wants us to know about her ... It's not quite that the bar is lowered with the campaign book. It's perhaps more accurate to say that the bar is replaced with a series of hoops. In her opening argument for 2020, Harris jumps through them.
Reads exactly like the kind of campaign memoir that you expect it to be ... These books are never great literature. Harris moves through the steps of her own life at a dizzying pace, like a harried screenwriter trying to cram a 1,000-page novel into an hour and a half movie. But if books like this aren’t great for readers, they are helpful for voters, who can gain some insight through seeing which issues and personal stories their authors deems important enough to highlight.