'Adam Gopnik has taken a coincidence and turned it into a theory of everything, or at least of everything important ... Outstanding'
'Vivid and charming ... Gopnik moves from the personal to the political with ease, and his writing hums with authenticity'
'Gopnik knows well enough that Darwin and Lincoln's shared birth date is a mere accident of history, but he comes as close as anyone can in convincing you otherwise'
'Adam Gopnik is a great essayist, with a precise, fastidious, if occasionally mannered style.... His insights are good and the book is informed by the author's profound liberalism'
'This is the essay every essayist would like to have written...he teases, returns again, holds back punchlines and concludes dense paragraphs with intense little summary bombs... The core of the book, the chemical conversion of coincidence to idea, is the proposition that Darwin and Lincoln both entered a world in which people understood themselves vertically - God above, Hell below...outstanding essay'