Book Review Archives

1998 Book Review Archives

1999 Book Review Archives

2000 Book Review Listings


The Courtier's Art ~ David Ignatius
David Ignatius reviews Richard Stengel's "You're too kind: a brief history of flattery"

Class Action ~ Richard Kahlenberg
Richard Kahlenberg reviews Ward Connerly's "Creating Equal: My Fight against race preferences"

Up in Arms ~ Mark Strauss
Mark Strauss reviews Richard Butler's "The Greatest Threat"

Starr Lite ~ Stephen Pomper
Stephen Pomper reviews Susan Schmidt and Michael Weisskopf's"Truth at any costs"

Tear Down this Wall ~ Christopher Buckley
Christopher Buckley reviews Peter Robinson's "It's My Party"

A Survivor's Story ~ James Fallows
James Fallows reviews Hamilton Jordan's "No Such Thing as a Bad Day"

Table for One, Please ~ Curtis Gans
Curtis Gans reviews Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone

The Truman Show ~ Paul Duke
Paul Duke revisits Harry Truman's last campaign in Zachary Karabell's "The Last Campaign"

Table for One, Please ~ Myra MacPherson
Myra MacPherson looks as Tom Brazaitis and Eleanor Clift's Madam President to see when we'll have one

Empty Education ~ Thomas Toch
Thomas Toch revisits his mentor, Diane Ravitch and her book Left Behind


Private Matters ~ Paul M. Barrett
Paul M Barrett looks at privacy through the lens of technology in Jeffrey Rosen's The Unwanted Gaze: The Destruction of Privacy in America

Hillary Wars I ~ Mary McGrory
Mary McGrory vs. Laura Ingraham's The Hillary Trap: Looking for Power in All the Wrong Places Winner moves on to round two:

Hillary Wars II ~ David Brock
David Brock vs. Peggy Noonan's The Case Against Hillary Clinton Winner gets to run for Senate!!

Playing Pandora ~ Bill McKibben
"Something slouches towards Bethlehem waiting to be born..." Bill McKibben reviews Wendell Berry's Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition

Fast Faith ~ Walter Shapiro
Walter Shapiro looks at Bush Guru Marvin Olasky's manifesto Compassionate Conservatism: What It Is, What It Does, and How It Can Save America

Missile Millionaires ~ Andrew Cockburn
Frances FitzGerald's Way Out There In The Blue: Reagan, Star Wars, and the End of the Cold War details the origins of and who was reallybehind the Gippers ABM system. Reviewed by Andrew Cockburn.


Stars In His Eyes ~ Chalmers Roberts
Chalmers Roberts looks at the life and politics of Henry Wallace in John C. Culver and John Hyde's American Dreamer: A Life of Henry Wallace

Chicago's Cubs ~ Jonathan Alter
Scott Simon bittersweetly reminices about Chicago's eternal underdogs in his Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan. Review by Jonathan Alter.

Chicago's Boss ~ Martin F. Nolan
An irascible mayor and his city are chronicled in American Pharaoh: Richard J. Daley: His Battle for Chicago and the Nation by Adam Cohen and Elizabeth Taylor. Review by Martin F. Nolan.

Frappacino Generation ~ Scott Shuger
Scott Shuger explores the bourgeois-bohemian ("Bobo") world in David Brooks' new book Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There.

The Presidency By Parts ~ Allan J. Lichtman
Allan J. Lichtman on Fred I Greenstein's The Presidential Difference: Leadership Style from Roosevelt to Clinton

Down in Africa ~ Joshua Hammer
Scott Peterson's book about the tragedies of the continent in his book Me Against My Brother: At War in Somalia, Sudan and Rwanda. Review by Joshua Hammer.

How To Grow ~ Kenneth Arrow
Power and Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist and Capitalist Dictatorships by Mancur Olson. Reviewed by Kenneth Arrow.

Spies With Poems ~ Robert de Neufville
Robert de Neufville looks at literary cloaks-and-daggers in Frances Stonor Saunder's The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters.

Lame Propositions ~ William Speed Weed
David Broder's Democracy Derailed: The Initiative Movement and the Power of Money is reviewed by William Speed Weed.


Cynicism Without Solutions ~ James Bennett
A thoughtful author's pessimisim about special interests. James Bennett reviews Jonathan Rauch's Government's End: Why Washington Stopped Working.

Bush Lite ~Myra Macpherson
Blueprint to a candidate I. Myra MacPherson on Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose's new book Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush.

Double Legacy ~Jacob Heilbrunn
Blueprint to a candidate II. Jacob Heilbrunn reviews Bill Turque's Inventing Al Gore: A Biography.

Avoiding the Triangulation Trap ~Stephen Pomper
The Monthly's editor looks at Kenneth Baer's Reinventing Democrats: The Politics of Liberalism from Reagan to Clinton.

Street Life ~ Amy Waldman
Amy Waldman on the ground beneath our feet -- Mitchell Duneier's Sidewalk.

The New Iran ~ Andrew Cockburn
Has Iran come fin-de-seicle? Andrew Cockburn looks at Robin Wright's The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran.

The Wright Stuff ~ John B. Judis
John B. Judis looks at Robert Wright's answers to the big questions in Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny.

Funding Freedom ~ Aryeh Neier
How to make the world a better, safer place. Aryeh Neier on Thomas Carothers' Aiding Democracy Abroad: The Learning Curve.

Market Failure ~Theodore Marmor
Will we ever have universal care? Ted Marmor reviews Richard Epstein's Mortal Peril: Our Inalienable Right to Health Care.

Owning Nothing ~ Joshua Rosenblum
What would Marx think? Joshua Rosenblum knows what Jeremy Rifkin believes in his book Age of Access: How the Shift from Ownership to Access is Transforming Capitalism.


Russia's Tumultous Decade. ~ Jeffrey Sachs.
An insider looks back. A review of Days of Defeat and Victory by Yegor Gaidar

Did the Seventies Make Modern America? ~ James Fallows
This book-length op-ed isn't convincing. A review of How We Got Here---The 70s: The Decade That Brought You Modern Life (For Better or Worse) by David Frum.

Small Things Make a Big Difference ~ Timothy Noah
An unintended primer for political activists. A review of The Tipping Point: How LIttle Things Can Make A Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.

Trade-Offs in a Political Career?
Phil Keisling

The costs and compromises of public life. A review of In Praise of Public Life by Joseph Lieberman
Paul Taylor

A review of Vote.Com by Dick Morris.

The Frog Factor
Bill McKibben

A review of A Plague of Frogs: The Horrifying True Story by William Sounder.


Robert Kennedy, good and bad
Taylor Branch

The scum and glory of later Camelot. A review of In Love With Night by Ronald Steel

Getting the Scoop
Mark Feldstein

Memories of Jack Anderson and journalism's golden age. A Review of Peace, War, And Politics by Jack Anderson

The Great War
Andrew Cockburn

A review of The Pity of War by Niall Ferguson

1999 Book Review Listings


A Real Senate Man ~ Martin Nolan
He might not be son-in-law material, but he's been an exemplary public servant. A new biography highlights Ted Kennedy's strengths. A review ofEDWARD M. KENNEDY: A Biography by Adam Clymer.

Forgettable ~ Jonathan Alter
Edmund Morris has written an entirely dispensable book about Ronald Reagan. A review of Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan by Edmund Morris.

The Legacy Thing ~ Davids Broder
Everything George Bush got, he got from his family and friends. A review of First Son: George W. Bush and the Bush Family Dynastyby Bill Minutaglio.


LEWIS ON CLARK ~ Elise Ackerman
Jim Clark has created billion dollar company after billion dollar company . Michael Lewis follows him around while taking us through the high-flying Internet economy. A review of The New New Thing by Michael Lewis

Was it Worth It? ~ Gregg Easterbrook
In his new book, Michael Lind writes that the United States was right to be in Vietnam, though the war wasn't fought in the right way. Gregg Easterbrook writes that Lind is missing the point. A review ofVIETNAM: The Necessary War by Michael Lind

Free Love vs. Just Say No ~ James Fallows
Did the rise of television cause the decline of the left? The question is worth asking. But according to James Fallows the answer is: Probably not. A review ofTHE SOUND BITE SOCIETY: Television and the American Mindby Jeffrey Scheuer


Blaming The Media~ Gregg Easterbrook
Two new books hark back to a media golden age that never existed . A review of REPUBLIC OF DENIAL: Press, Politics, and Public Life andRICH MEDIA, POOR DEMOCRACY: Communications Politics in Dubious Timesby Michael Janeway and Robert W. McChesney

The Final Days Of The Third Reich~ Art Levine
The Final Days Of The Third Reichas told to Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

Washington's Confessor~ Art Levine
In Shadow, presidential aides and lawyers look out for themselves, not the president. A review of SHADOW by Bob Woodward

Way Before Gingrich~ Nicholas Lemann
A review of A NECESSARY EVIL: A History of American Distrust of Government by Gary Wills


Blanche Cooks "Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 2" is a rich tapestry that shows how one of the most important women of our century let go of her personal pursuit of happiness as she surged into her work serving the country politically. A review of Eleanor Roosevelt: Vol. 2 by Blanche Wiesen Cook.

Charlotte Curtis was one of the first women to attain the highest echelons of American journalism. She was well-known in her day, yet only 12 years after her death she is almost forgotten. Marilyn Greenwald's new biography probes Curtis' struggles, and though it tells us a great deal about her, writes Yoffe, the book fails to bring this fascinating and driven woman fully to life. A review of A Woman of the Times by Marilyn Greenwald.

Financial crises often appear to be a quintessential late-20th century phenomenon. Yet these crises have been occuring for centuries, as Morris makes clear in his well-written history. And they're likely to continue, adds reviewer Joseph Nocera, pointing out one potential area for such crises in the future: Internet startups. A review of Money, Greed, and Risk by Charles R. Morris.


THE FIRST LADY ~ Marjorie Williams
Another new biography is another example of how lucky the Clintons are in their enemies. A review of The First Partner: Hillary Rodham Clinton by Joyce Milton.

A FATHER AND A SPY ~ David Ignatius
A son's memoirs and Soviet cable decrypts provide different perspectives on Alger Hiss. A review of A View from Alger's Window: A Son's Memoirs by Tony Hiss, and Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America by John Earl Hatnes and Harvey Klehr.


HISTORY vs. LOYALTY ~ James Fallows
Stephanopoulos' important but untimely memoir. A review of All Too Human by George Stephanopoulos.

How Madeleine Albright's past shapes American foreign policy. A review of Madeleine Albright: A 20th Century Odyssey by Michael Dobbs.

A review of The Lexus and the Olive Tree by Thomas Friedman.


Why Dr. K's Star Has Fallen - A review of YEARS OF RENEWAL, by Dr. Henry Kissinger.

BAD APPLE ~ Steve Lohr
A review of INFINITE LOOP: How Apple, the World's Most Insanely Great Computer Company, Went Insane by Michael S. Malone.  


THE CHOCOLATE WARS ~ James Surowiecki.
A review of THE EMPERORS OF CHOCOLATE: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars by James Glenn Brenner.

GIVING AWAY THE FARM ~ Jonathan Chait.
Why Privatization won't solve Social Security's problems. A review of COUNTDOWN TO REFORM: The Great Social Security Debate by Henry J. Aaron and Robert D. Reischauer.

THE NEXT WAR ~ Ernest Blazar.
A review of FIGHTING FOR THE FUTURE by Ralph Peters.


DOWN! SET! TUT! TUT! ~ Christopher Buckley.
Hiking Toward Bethlehem. A review of Monday Morning Quarterback by Jonathan Yardley

THE EPIC YEARS ~ John Kenneth Galbraith
A magisterial history of the centuryıs defining decades. A review of FREEDOM FROM FEAR: The American People in Depression and War 1923-1945 by David Kennedy.

The story of a black lawyer who tried and failed to ignore his race. A review of THE GOOD BLACK: A Story of Race in America by Paul M. Barrett.


THE OUTCAST ~ Nicholas Lemann.
Norman Podhoretz never forgave the New York intellectuals for rejecting him. A review of EX-FRIENDS: Falling Out With Allen Ginsberg, Lionel and Diana Trilling,Lillian Helman, Hannah Arendt, and Norman Mailer by Norman Podhoretz.

NEW WORLDS ~ Suzannah Lessard.
A review of AN EMPIRE WILDERNESS: Travels Into America's Future by Robert D. Kaplan.

1998 Book Review Listings


Yitzhak Rabin's murder revealed a lethal rift in Israeli society. A review of MURDER IN THE NAME OF GOD: The Plot to Kill Yitzhak Rabin by Michael Karpin and Ina Friedman.

VOX POPULI ~ Gregg Easterbrook.
A review of WHO SPEAKS FOR AMERICA? Why Democracy Matters in Foreign Policy by Eric Alterman.


Children learn a lot from their peers - but not everything. A look at THE NURTURE ASSUMPTION: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do - Parents Matter Less Than You Think and Peers Matter More by Judith Rich Harris.

Thurgood Marshall was a great litigator, but not a great justice. A review of THURGOOD MARSHALL: American Revolutionary by Juan Williams.

An overview of WE WISH TO INFORM YOU THAT TOMORROW WE WILL BE KILLED WITH OUR FAMILIES: Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch.


THE GOOD CITIZEN ~Nicholas Lemann
How our ideals of citizenship are changing. A review of THE GOOD CITIZEN: A History of American Civic Life by Michael Schudson

WORLDS APART ~Robert Worth.
At the heart of America's racial problems is the failure of integration. A review of SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE: America's Unfinished Struggle for Integration by Tamar Jacoby

RED ARMY BLUES ~Ralph Peters.
The untold story of the Russian Army's disintegration. A review of THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET MILITARY by William E. Odom


D.C.'s DEMAGOGUE-IN-CHIEF ~ Michael Powell
How a Potentially great black leader betrayed his promise, his city, and his people. A look at THE LAST OF THE BLACK EMPERORS: The Hollow Comeback of Marion Barry in a New Age of Black Leaders by Jonetta Rose Barras.

PARTY'S OVER ~Michael J. Ybarra
A review of THE SOVIET WORLD OF AMERICAN COMMUNISM by Harvey Klebr, John Haynes, and Kyrill M. Anderson

A review of SECRECY: The American Experience by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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