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Last Updated on February 8, 2016, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 443

CRITICISM

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Auchincloss, Kenneth. “Hymn of the Republic.” Newsweek (2 March 1998): 78.

Auchincloss gives a generally positive assessment of A History of the American People, though he notes that the book falters in focus during its discussion of the late-twentieth century.

Buruma, Ian. “The Gospel According to Paul.” New Yorker (20 May 1996): 93–96.

In this following review, Buruma offers a negative assessment of The Quest for God, objecting to Johnson's views on freedom, democracy, and authority.

Clarke, David. Review of A History of the American People, by Paul Johnson. Society 36, No. 3 (March–April 1999): 94–96.

In this review of A History of the American People, Clarke commends Johnson's emphasis on factual evidence but finds shortcomings in his system of documentation and interpretations of various events and people, particularly Ronald Reagan.

Hollander, Paul. Review of Intellectuals, by Paul Johnson. Society 26, No. 6 (September–October 1989): 97–99.

Hollander offers a generally positive assessment of Intellectuals.

Maier, Pauline. “The Do-It-Yourself Society.” New York Times Book Review (1 March 1998): 12.

Maier gives a mixed assessment of A History of the American People, commenting that the book is uneven and filled with “pieces of fascinating, oddball information.”

O'Flaherty, W. D. “The Great Unwashed.” New York Times Book Review (12 March 1989): 3.

O'Flaherty offers a negative assessment of Intellectuals.

Podhoretz, Norman. “First Things and Last.” Commentary 101, No. 5 (May 1996): 62–64.

Podhoretz offers a positive assessment of The Quest for God.

Taylor, John. “The Wit & Wisdom of the Bull-Frog.” Nation (17 September 1977): 252–53.

In this excerpt, Taylor commends Johnson's polemical style and intelligence in Enemies of Society, but questions his assumptions about liberalism.

Weber, Eugen. Review of The Birth of the Modern: World Society, 1815-1830, by Paul Johnson. New York Times Book Review (23 June 91): 3.

Weber offers a positive assessment of The Birth of the Modern: World Society, 1815-1830.

Weisberg, Jacob. “The Courtly Contrarian.” New York Times Magazine (15 March 1998): 34.

Weisberg provides an overview of Johnson's life, books, and career upon the publication of A History of the American People.

Wolfe, Joel D. Review of Saving and Spending, by Paul Johnson. Labor History 28, No. 2 (Spring 1987): 256–58.

In this review of Saving and Spending, Wolfe criticizes Johnson's conclusions about working-class finances, which, according to Wolfe, ignores the significance of class conscious organizations and amounts to “a portrait of the working class as simply the poor, mimicking cousins of the better-off bourgeoisie.”

Woodward, Kenneth L. “Defender of the Faith.” New York Times Book Review (2 June 1996): 22.

Woodward offers a mixed assessment of The Quest for God, commenting that Johnson gives “a surprisingly unsophisticated account of his own religious beliefs.”

Additional coverage of Johnson's life and career is contained in the following sources published by the Gale Group: Bestsellers 89:4; Contemporary Authors, Vols. 17-20R; Contemporary Authors New Revision Series, Vols. 34, 62; and Literature Resource Center.

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Criticism