The Pequod Review:
I have enjoyed much of Jill Lepore's work, especially her New Yorker essays, but with These Truths I think she tries to do too much. The book is intended to be a single-volume history of the United States, and while it aspires to tell a somewhat comprehensive story from Columbus through Trump, Lepore's interests lean toward epistemology, communication and technology. Her narrative is full of interesting examples and anecdotes; I especially enjoyed her sections on Jane Franklin (Ben's sister), the modern conservative movement, and UNIVAC (a computer commissioned to predict the outcome of the 1952 elections). But never at any point do the anecdotes add up to more than the sum of their parts, and the overall book doesn't really come together into a satisfying work. Nonetheless, Lepore remains a very good writer.