Solid, sharp, articulate work—not just advertising for a possible 2024 presidential run.



The senior senator from Minnesota offers a thorough history of trustbusting in America and an urgent plea for stricter enforcement.

Klobuchar is on a mission to strengthen and enforce federal antitrust laws in order to halt the growing consolidation of big business, which thwarts competition and exacerbates economic inequality. This book, unlike her standard-issue political memoir, The Senator Next Door (2015), is both a diligently researched history lesson and a well thought out plan, meticulously delineated, to take on “corporate consolidation, Congressional inertia, and the conservative courts.” Showcasing her hardworking Midwestern roots, the author moves from her childhood in a Minneapolis suburb—her father wrote for the Star Tribune, and her paternal grandfather was a miner, a profession for which strong unions were crucial—to the initial growth of the Granger movement in response to grain price monopolies in the heartland. The first federal legislation was put forward by Ohio Sen. John Sherman in 1890, but it was not enforced until Theodore Roosevelt assumed the presidency and sought to dismantle the Northern Securities railroad monopoly, among many others. In 1911, Howard Taft broke up Standard Oil, thanks in large part to Ida Tarbell’s groundbreaking exposé, which set the stage for the passage of more antitrust legislation—e.g., the Clayton Antitrust Act and Federal Trade Commission Act, both passed in 1914. Yet the progressive era gave way to war-caused fatigue and the reopening of certain legal loopholes. In addition to sketching the beliefs of the Chicago versus Harvard schools of thought on monopolies, Klobuchar examines key cases in the digital age (AT&T, Microsoft), alarming mergers in high tech and health care industries, and suits brought against Google and Facebook. The author also clearly shows how the previous administration’s pro-business stance led to significant reductions in important resources like antitrust lawyers. The final section, “The Path Forward,” is a staggeringly detailed, impressively documented and presented “list of the Top 25 recommendations to improve competition in our nation.”

Solid, sharp, articulate work—not just advertising for a possible 2024 presidential run.

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-65489-6

Page Count: 624

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

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The powerful story of a father’s past and a son’s future.

Atlantic senior writer Coates (The Beautiful Struggle: A Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road to Manhood, 2008) offers this eloquent memoir as a letter to his teenage son, bearing witness to his own experiences and conveying passionate hopes for his son’s life. “I am wounded,” he writes. “I am marked by old codes, which shielded me in one world and then chained me in the next.” Coates grew up in the tough neighborhood of West Baltimore, beaten into obedience by his father. “I was a capable boy, intelligent and well-liked,” he remembers, “but powerfully afraid.” His life changed dramatically at Howard University, where his father taught and from which several siblings graduated. Howard, he writes, “had always been one of the most critical gathering posts for black people.” He calls it The Mecca, and its faculty and his fellow students expanded his horizons, helping him to understand “that the black world was its own thing, more than a photo-negative of the people who believe they are white.” Coates refers repeatedly to whites’ insistence on their exclusive racial identity; he realizes now “that nothing so essentialist as race” divides people, but rather “the actual injury done by people intent on naming us, intent on believing that what they have named matters more than anything we could ever actually do.” After he married, the author’s world widened again in New York, and later in Paris, where he finally felt extricated from white America’s exploitative, consumerist dreams. He came to understand that “race” does not fully explain “the breach between the world and me,” yet race exerts a crucial force, and young blacks like his son are vulnerable and endangered by “majoritarian bandits.” Coates desperately wants his son to be able to live “apart from fear—even apart from me.”

This moving, potent testament might have been titled “Black Lives Matter.” Or: “An American Tragedy.”

Pub Date: July 8, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8129-9354-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2015

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Smart, engaging sportswriting—good reading for organization builders as well as Pats fans.


Action-packed tale of the building of the New England Patriots over the course of seven decades.

Prolific writer Benedict has long blended two interests—sports and business—and the Patriots are emblematic of both. Founded in 1959 as the Boston Patriots, the team built a strategic home field between that city and Providence. When original owner Billy Sullivan sold the flailing team in 1988, it was $126 million in the hole, a condition so dire that “Sullivan had to beg the NFL to release emergency funds so he could pay his players.” Victor Kiam, the razor magnate, bought the long since renamed New England Patriots, but rival Robert Kraft bought first the parking lots and then the stadium—and “it rankled Kiam that he bore all the risk as the owner of the team but virtually all of the revenue that the team generated went to Kraft.” Check and mate. Kraft finally took over the team in 1994. Kraft inherited coach Bill Parcells, who in turn brought in star quarterback Drew Bledsoe, “the Patriots’ most prized player.” However, as the book’s nimbly constructed opening recounts, in 2001, Bledsoe got smeared in a hit “so violent that players along the Patriots sideline compared the sound of the collision to a car crash.” After that, it was backup Tom Brady’s team. Gridiron nerds will debate whether Brady is the greatest QB and Bill Belichick the greatest coach the game has ever known, but certainly they’ve had their share of controversy. The infamous “Deflategate” incident of 2015 takes up plenty of space in the late pages of the narrative, and depending on how you read between the lines, Brady was either an accomplice or an unwitting beneficiary. Still, as the author writes, by that point Brady “had started in 223 straight regular-season games,” an enviable record on a team that itself has racked up impressive stats.

Smart, engaging sportswriting—good reading for organization builders as well as Pats fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-982134-10-5

Page Count: 592

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020

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