It was an act of transcendent masochism, but we should be grateful he did it because What Were We Thinking looks past the obvious and perverse — that is, past Trump himself — to the troublesome questions raised by the elevation of a soulless carnival barker to the nation’s highest office ... crisp, engaging and very smart. Lozada can be lacerating ... Beyond the snark, though, there is a simple, piercing clarity to many of Lozada’s observations ... More often, though, Lozada finds subtleties in areas we’ve assumed clear-cut ... Carlos Lozada is a book critic, not a policy wonk. He doesn’t propose specific solutions to our current state of disgrace, but he does offer a vision of American stability being eviscerated by the public’s need to be entertained.
... an immensely valuable book ... Lozada acknowledges that he can’t cover the entire Trump-era oeuvre, but in his selections his judgment is good and his survey illuminating. He is a thoughtful, clever and engaging tour guide. He argues persuasively that the most valuable recent books on American public life move beyond outrage to probe the reasons Trump was elected and the reasons his supporters have stuck by him ... Lozada offers a brilliant, wrenching analysis of immigration ... Lozada’s treatment of identity and gender politics is especially valuable.
... an elegant yet lacerating volume, A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era ... Lozada is capable of waspishness himself. By design, this is a brief survey; his need to use just a few lines to sink any given book comes to seem unavoidable, even perhaps unfair ... On the other hand, it’s gratifying when Lozada ensnares and punctures a writer with whom one does not see eye to eye ... In a low period for American democracy, Lozada aims high ... In doing so, he rightly considers a host of books which are very much not Chaos Chronicles – which, on the face of it, are not actually about Trump at all. Such works are examined in chapters on books about Trump voters in the heartlands; on the resistance; on immigration; on conservative thought; on the nature of truth itself ... If we cannot tear our gaze away, Lozada shows us how best to look.