A celebrated foreign policy expert and witness in former President Trump's impeachment hearings argues that declining opportunity has set America on the grim path of modern Russia, drawing on her personal journey out of poverty and unique perspective as an expert in Russian affairs.
... a valuable and riveting historic document ... Hill’s personal, professional and political lives form a coherent whole so that each part illuminates the other ... For the British reader, Hill’s memoir makes for sobering, sometimes shaming, reading. Without self-pity, she makes it very clear that her background imposed huge disadvantages on her ... The last part of her book is a passionate argument for the removal of the structural disadvantages that hold back the poor in Britain and the US. When I finished...I was left with one remaining mystery. Why did she do it? Many of Hill’s friends in Washington would have warned her against working for Trump ... On this, Hill is frustratingly taciturn ... a memoir that will give pleasure to readers today—and will be an important document for historians of the future.
There Is Nothing for You Here...weaves together...two selves, slipping back and forth between the unsentimental memoir reflected in its melancholy title and the wonkish guide promised in its inspirational subtitle. The combination, however unlikely, mostly works—though by the end, the litany of policy prescriptions comes to sound a bit too much like a paper issued by the Brookings Institution, where Hill is currently a fellow. When recounting her life, Hill is a lucid writer, delivering her reminiscences in a vivid and wry style. As much as I wanted more of Hill the memoirist and less of Hill the expert, I began to sense that giving voice to both was the only way she could feel comfortable writing a book about herself ... Hill recounts [her family hisotry] with immediacy, tenderness and a good bit of gallows humor ... she has plenty to say about Trump. Instead of making the usual insider-memoir move of fixating on all the brazenly outrageous behavior...Hill notices his insecurities, the soft spots that, she says, made him 'exquisitely vulnerable' to manipulation ... Hill the expert points to heartening examples of benevolent capitalism at work. But Hill the memoirist knows in her bones that the neoliberal approach, left to its own devices, simply won’t do.
... a mixture of icy rage and black humour ... Her description of the wrenching de-industrialisation of the Thatcher era, and the poverty and crimped horizons it engendered, is poignant, too ... when writing about her own country, Hill’s fair-mindedness slightly deserts her ... Britain’s ladder of social mobility was rickety, but—as she is at pains to acknowledge—not completely broken ... Her account of those chaotic years [with Trump] contains few revelations ... The book’s most powerful message is that the price of economic alienation is democratic decay. Her pithy recommendations about how to mitigate class disadvantage—mentoring programmes, hiring benchmarks, targeted recruitment and so on—should be required reading for decision-makers.