Rating this book is strange because in part, nearly all the essays are public domain (especially in the US and UK) and there aren’t even translation copyright issues because they were written in English. It’s also hard to figure out how to rate their content because many of them are seminal political texts. Instead, it has to fall to the whole of the book, the impetus behind the book, and the editing of the book. I have to admit to error I made in buying the book (perhaps separate from buying the book at all). I mistook David Bromwich for David Remnick. I like David Remnick and his work, and I don’t like David Bromwich, and think his “work” ie blog posts for various outlets tends to run from obvious to bad and is rarely insightful. That continues in this book here, where the selection process seems arbitrary and often confusing. Arbitrary because the over all process seems to be guided by “rhetorical” concerns in political writing, especially speaking back to power, and that’s fine. And confusing because while a few of these essays are new to me and energizing to read, some of them show up in every single book like this. Does a non-textbook collection of political essays really need to anthologize “A Modest Proposal” or “Civil Disobedience” or even “Letter from Birmingham Jail”? Not to say these aren’t worthy, but instead that they’re almost eternal at this point. And in the case of MLK’s text, maybe through some money to his estate by buying one of his books that contains it. So this leads back to main problem, which is that there’s a coded ideology floating through this book that looks indirectly at American politics in 2020ish, and while I agree with Bromwich’s politics in general, my question remains then, who is this book for?