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 plenty here about the craziness of life in the Trump administration and Hill has a knack for capturing the absurdities of the court of King Donald ... While other Trump-era memoirs have focused almost solely on the carnival, Hill’s scope pans out to the wounded country that put him in office, and then wider still, across the Atlantic to Britain and then across Europe to Russia ... It is an analysis that has been laid out by others before, but what makes it particularly compelling here is that it is intertwined with a unique life story of a working-class English woman who ended up sitting across from, and cooly observing, the preening 'strongmen' of our age. Where Hill is most provocative is in her warnings that having centuries of democratic experience will not necessarily protect us from Russia’s fate.
... 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.