My review of A.O. Scott's Better Living Through Criticism at Review 31:
It is as if Scott can’t abandon the conventional journalistic imperative to ‘cover’ a subject by reporting on both sides of disputes about it, without interceding to provide some normative appraisal. But Scott seems to experience this obligation as a struggle, not between the points of view surveyed but within himself, represented most obviously in the inter-chapters included in the book, presented in the form of a dialogue between the two sides of critic AO Scott. These dialogues ultimately leave the book even more rhetorically fragmented, as even the disconnected points Scott does make in the other chapters prove debatable to his skeptical questioner, the ultimate effect of whose questions is essentially to chastise Scott for his presumptions and pretensions in making those points to begin with. . . .