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Claire BerlinskiChristopher Caldwell…makes arguments that have been made elsewhere…But Caldwell makes these arguments unusually well, in a book notable for its range, synthesis of the literature, analytical rigor and elegant tone…The strength of this book is not in its original reporting, of which there is little, or the solutions it offers, because there are none. What it offers instead is unusual lucidity and comprehensiveness; a reader unfamiliar with the debate would be, upon finishing it, well-informed. One familiar with the debate will be even more depressed.
—The Washington Post