Backhanded compliments: NYTRB on "Mad as Hell"

Clearly Dwight Garner is of two minds about Mad as Hell: The Crisis of the 1970s and the Rise of the Populist Right by Dominic Sandbrook.  He praises Sandbrook’s prose but is less than complimentary about his history.

But what I thought was interesting was the backhanded compliment that is his conclusion:

“Mad as Hell” is frisky and intelligent; it’s among the most readable histories of the 1970s I’ve come across. At moments, though, you worry that the talented Mr. Sandbrook was already composing his next book in his head while he typed out this one.

Somehow I think the blurb will include the first phrase but not the latter …

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).

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