The reception of presidential biographies usually centers on how to rank the chief executive in question--a perennial parlor game. Was the president overrated or underrated? Does he merit new appreciation or a thorough debunking? But these evaluative questions are the least interesting ones to ask. More meaningful are analyses that locate a politician in context--that explain how an individual, with unique character and set of ideas, fared in tackling the nation's problems at a turning point in history.
David Greenberg, The New York Times Book Review, October 11, 2020