Press for An American Summer

The Axe Files — Interview

Fresh Air — Interview

The Chicago Tribune — a profile

Pacific Standard — q and a

The New York Times Book Review Podcast — Interview

Chicago Magazine — q and a

CBS Sunday Morning

New York Times Book Review (cover)

“Unforgettable . . . Like Kotlowitz’s now classic ‘There Are No Children Here,’ An American Summer probes the human damage that stems from exposure to violence . . . a powerful indictment of a city and a nation that have failed to protect their most vulnerable residents, or to register their pain.”

The Daily Beast

“An American Summer is so compelling it’s almost impossible to put down.”

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Writers trade off as they compose, between enchanting readers and specifying complexity. Alex Kotlowitz has written daringly, accomplishing both, and readers who join his harrowing journey surely will emerge with deeper and kinder understandings, and perhaps feel morally implicated by their understanding of the grim realities his summer tour shows us.  Kotlowitz is a brilliant reporter who covers one of America’s most heartbreaking beats. Readers know this author walks the walk. Kotlowitz’s accounts of love, friendship, parenting, rivalry, humiliation and the pressure to maintain respect are fascinatingly real.”


“A reporting mosaic…a painful chronicle about an extremely violent city based on the narratives of those who managed to survive its streets.  With this book, Kotlowitz amplifies the words of those who have witnessed [violence] and makes their experience available to readers. The experience is tremendously necessary.”

Booklist (Starred Review)

“Kotlowitz’s hard-hitting and powerfully clarifying dispatches brings into the light people who love their families and friends and who work hard to take care of others, yet who undermined and betrayed by violence, racism (and) poverty … “

The Christian Science Monitor

"Alex Kotlowitz doesn’t provide solutions to the violence that plagues Chicago. Instead, he eloquently bears witness to a single summer on its streets, chronicling a community’s ongoing struggle with murder, misery, and rage. This deeply empathetic and perceptive book isn’t easy to read. But we can only see into the neglected corners of America when someone shines a light."

The Chicago Reader

"[A] heartfelt and, at times, surprisingly hopeful portrait of a city battling intractable ills. By giving each and every person he talks to the time and respect to tell his or her story, Kotlowitz evokes fully dimensional human beings rather than the statistics or caricatures most of us are used to in reports on "bad" neighborhoods."

Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Kotlowitz has a ruminative, almost poetic sensisibility … (his) approach is empathetic in this a bold, unflnching depiction of an ever-lengthening crisis.”

Kirkus (Starred Review) 

“Kotlowitz offers a narrative that is as messy and complicated and heart-wrenching as life itself … A fiercely uncompromising – and unforgettable – portrait.”

Publishers Weekly feature

“The 14 stories in An American Summer…upend what we think we know….”