Macintyre writes with the diligence and insight of a journalist, and the panache of a born storyteller, concentrating on Philby's friendship with and betrayal of Elliott and of Angleton, his pathetically dedicated admirer at the top of the CIA.
Macy interviews the Bassett family, laid-off and retired workers, executives in Asia, and many others, providing vivid reporting and lucid explanations of the trade laws and agreements that caused a way of life to disappear.
What the book lacks is objectivity. Not only does the author note that she never asked questions she felt would be unwelcome, she is awestruck to the point of obsequiousness. It is to the book’s and the readers’ detriment that her hero worship of her often grumpy subject is so glaring.
Plowing her way through 460,000 items of Clare’s restricted papers at the Library of Congress, a collection bigger than that of most presidents, Ms. Morris was the only author given complete access. She has also uncovered rich sources elsewhere...
One can see why the CIA – which, according to the authors of this book, is now admitting involvement for the first time, and gave them generous research access – might feel inclined to boast a little. As cold war operations go, this was one of the good ones
The most important part of Birmingham’s book may not be the part dealing specifically with Ulysses, but rather the author’s explaining the historical context of the battle...Although Birmingham’s account is thorough and at times brilliant in its rendering of the issues and personalities involved, the overall effect is dispiriting.
But to call the book a "biography" is overgenerous. Mr. Murphy never manages to piece these discrete snippets into anything resembling a historically informed portrait of the justice's life...This is not a good book. And that's a shame, because his legacy deserves serious analysis. Rarely has a legal career been so transformative.
Over the course of her year at the Agency, Joanna—who is now a poet, journalist, critic, and prize-winning novelist—“finds her own voice by acting as Salinger’s.”...You’ll have to read her beautifully crafted memoir...
Carsick isn’t a straightforward On the Road clone, however. Waters impishly provides us with not only a day-by-day description of his actual hitchhike, but two novellas...
That Clinton keeps her cards close to her chest can be read as proof positive of a presidential run in her future. Maybe after that, she can finally give us the goods.
...he is forced to speak about himself. And he does so the same way he spoke of Sissy Hankshaw, Wiggs Dannyboy, the Woodpecker and Plucky Purcell. This works well for tales of deformed hitchhikers and outlaw bombers, but it can become grating, navel-gaze-y and not-so-humble-brag-ish when it's Tom Robbins writing about Tom Robbins
“The Good Spy” provides a fresh and grainy view of the rise of organizations like Hezbollah, and of figures like Osama bin Laden. It allows us to meet in Ames a quiet but strong personality, a man whose fundamental decency allowed him to see both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict clearly.
A nascent Dylanologist himself, Kinney writes with a certain authority about these “pilgrims” who wander happily “down the rabbit hole” in search of...
He says that the financial rescue programs enacted in the crisis years were a success because the alternative—which no one can ever know—would have been far worse. What we do know is that, six years later, the economy is suffering through a historically weak recovery and the emergency programs haven't ended.
Fluently translated by Shirley Lee, this is a major contribution to understanding what appears to be a nation impossible to understand...If the six-nation talks on Pyongyang's nuclear programme resume, Jang Jin-sung's book should be in every delegate's briefing bag.
As Mr Prochnik elegantly shows, Zweig’s exile was technically an exile from Europe, but his “impossible exile” was an exile from himself.
A memoir of decrepitude – specifically, the decrepitude of her batty parents – her brilliant new book is honest, plangent and thoroughly ghoulish. But it's also hystericall...Truly, this is the best, most singular work Chast has ever done, and you should rush out and buy it, for yourself and for everyone you know. We're all headed here in the end.
This is the James Madison we always should have known about. Thanks to Lynne Cheney’s well-researched book, it’s the James Madison we will now always know.
The real pleasures of “The Noble Hustle” come in the throwaway observations. ...Mr Whitehead may not have gone home in the money, but he has a way with upstanding sentences.
Hoare's writing awakens the senses with visions, sounds, and smells of the ocean; his delight and interest in nature will encourage readers to look around with new eyes.