Fear: Trump in the White House

Fear: Trump in the White House

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal...

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Title:Fear: Trump in the White House
Author:Bob Woodward
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Fear: Trump in the White House Reviews

  • Katie

    It’s Bob Woodward. How do you think Trumpworld will react? Woodward is methodical, precise, and willing to hold anyone to account, regardless of political stripe.

  • Betsy Robinson

    About a quarter of the way through this comprehensive history of everything leading up to the election of Trump and all the current events, Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs who is the president’s top economic advisor, attempts to explain our economy to Trump. He brings him copious research and data and finally makes it as simple as possible by asking: which would you choose—to go into a mine and get black lung or to make the same salary doing something else? He is attempting to i

    About a quarter of the way through this comprehensive history of everything leading up to the election of Trump and all the current events, Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs who is the president’s top economic advisor, attempts to explain our economy to Trump. He brings him copious research and data and finally makes it as simple as possible by asking: which would you choose—to go into a mine and get black lung or to make the same salary doing something else? He is attempting to intrude into Trump’s belief that our trade agreements are disgraceful because we’re losing manufacturing jobs—despite the data that more than 80 percent of our jobs are

    in manufacturing and that a trade deficit is not a bad thing since it allows people to spend more money on what they’re spending it on anyway—services. Nothing seems to penetrate.

    Multiply this thousands of times and apply it to all government issues (foreign policy, trade, immigration, etc.) and you begin to understand the problem of a person who never tells the truth because he lacks a basic understanding of what truth is and how one discerns it. Nor can he learn. No amount of correction penetrates: he is told repeatedly that Iran is in compliance with its nuclear weapons agreement, yet he insists on his belief about cheating; he’s given the world history that makes South Korea’s partnership crucial to world peace, yet he wants to disrupt the relationship; he’s presented with statistics proving that steel tariffs will weaken our economy, but he wants what he wants, etc. Nor can he understand the intricate symbiotic relationships between national security, foreign policy, and immigration. In other words, we have elected a man who lives in a fantasy and who therefore bollixes the efforts of anybody who operates according to facts, and when those facts are inconvenient, he dismisses them as “fake” and the people who spew them as “stupid.” He places no value in experience and expertise, ignoring advice derived from those things as he inexplicably disseminates information that is Russian-derived propaganda. And naturally this constant whirlwind of ignorance as a management style has created a whirlwind of people spinning out of control while they simultaneously try to control or please him.

    There is little new news in this book (except for a harrowing account of how close Trump came to declaring war with North Korea, with no understanding of the ramifications of doing so!), but Woodward is every much the historian that Doris Kearns Goodwin is writing about past presidents, and this book is an alive blow-by-blow meticulous record that will be studied by students who have not yet been born—if we live to see that future. (I am not usually a history buff, so sometimes the details become overwhelming; but I made the choice to be a student when I read both Doris Kearns Goodwin and this book, and that choice has me applauding the value of the detail for posterity.)

    There is nothing mean-spirited about this book. Everybody is presented at times sympathetically—even Trump in his albeit fleeting upset about the chemical-weapons-killed babies in Syria; Jared and Ivanka (who have a miniscule role in this book) come across on the side of DACA kids and the Paris Climate Accord; advisor Rob Porter is heroic in slow-walking terrible orders from Trump; Lindsay Graham is a great deal-maker willing to find ways to make sane things happen; General McMaster tries so hard to do a good job. And this even-handedness highlights the horror of the chaos—everybody is working against each other, undercutting somebody else, running around secretly to “save the world” or “fight for the president.” The horror of this book is that our president has no understanding of truth and has evoked absolute pandemonium in the White House and subsequently all over the world, creating problems where none existed—in trade, in immigration, etc.

    For me the value of this book is to better see the whole story, which for some reason makes it both more and less horrifying. It is an alarming story that will result in either the destruction of the world (via WWIII) by a child president who is incapable of learning or understanding the consequences of his hyperbole, or the activation of all of us who love the planet and want peace.

    However, in my opinion, Trump and his minions are not the threat to our lives. It is the great apathetic public who refuse to vote let alone know the story that is so well written here. Those who most threaten our security are the people with fixed beliefs like Trump, who shrug and are bored by talk about the relationship between their ability to walk down the street and troops stationed in South Korea, and although I think this is a wonderful and necessary book, I know that it will never be read by those who most need to recognize their peril.

    ***

    Because it has come up in my review thread comments that probably will not be read by many people, I would like to reiterate and elaborate on my sense of the tone of this book: It is not only even-handed and steady, but there is a compassionate undertone. Woodward is not out to get anybody. In the acknowledgements and the front-of-book personal note, he shares about his researcher and collaborator, Evelyn M. Duffy, and his wife, Elsa Walsh, "known widely as the Kindness Lady." He attributes to Evelyn a noble work ethic and a reverence for authenticated fact-based journalism, which is palpable in this book. And to Elsa he acknowledges "not just an unselfish appreciation for each person but a reverence for each." This best describes the compassion I sense in Woodward's writing and his approach to even those people with whom he disagrees. All this adds to the reader's sense that he is telling truth.

  • Michael Ferro

    Unlike FIRE AND FURY, Bob Woodward's work is backed by the validity of two Pulitzer prizes and numerous accolades for his inscrutable reporting. One of the key men responsible for helping to shed a light on (and bring down) Nixon and his atrocities, I can think of few other journalists who are needed more in our modern political realm than Woodward.

    That said, FEAR scared the shit out of me. Move over, Stephen King, Bob Woodward has written the most terrifying book in years. Never has it been so

    Unlike FIRE AND FURY, Bob Woodward's work is backed by the validity of two Pulitzer prizes and numerous accolades for his inscrutable reporting. One of the key men responsible for helping to shed a light on (and bring down) Nixon and his atrocities, I can think of few other journalists who are needed more in our modern political realm than Woodward.

    That said, FEAR scared the shit out of me. Move over, Stephen King, Bob Woodward has written the most terrifying book in years. Never has it been so crystal clear as it is within these pages just how unfit and batshit insane our president is. From his rambling tirades, to his painful ignorance, to his absolute steadfast intentions to push for his own interests and casting aside the greater needs of our country, Woodward paints an revoltingly intimate portrait of a man who conned an entire country and seems determined to watch it all burn in his wake.

    Let me make this clear: I don't want things to be like this; I don't live to read about the salacious and cringeworthy acts of our president—I take no joy in this. I just want a competent, compassionate president who has the greater interests of our country in their heart. Woodward's intricate and detailed reporting gives us incredibly specific examples of our president's malfeasance and the shock and awe not only among our allies, but within his own White House. The bottom line: none of this is normal. We, as Chief of Staff General Kelly himself said, have gone off the rails—this is Crazytown. There is no way that this is sustainable. Either we will tear ourselves apart as a nation, or one of the president's nonsensical actions will do the job for us.

    One of the most important books of the year. Woodward gives us the facts—the rest is up to us.

  • Mackey

    If Bob Woodward's latest book doesn't put a little fear in your heart, then you're not paying attention.

    I'm a Watergate kid. I grew up with the Watergate hearings on our television - along with Vietnam, of course - every single day. We knew who John and Mo were and Senator Sam and the entire mesmerizing, horrifying bunch. But the pair we knew best were Woodward and Bernstein. To me, they were heroes who met in dark alleys to get the scoop and had the power to bring down the president! Of course

    If Bob Woodward's latest book doesn't put a little fear in your heart, then you're not paying attention.

    I'm a Watergate kid. I grew up with the Watergate hearings on our television - along with Vietnam, of course - every single day. We knew who John and Mo were and Senator Sam and the entire mesmerizing, horrifying bunch. But the pair we knew best were Woodward and Bernstein. To me, they were heroes who met in dark alleys to get the scoop and had the power to bring down the president! Of course, that was a different era when high crimes and federal laws actually were important and breaking those laws meant you would indicted and incarcerated or, in the case of Nixon, forced to resign. Thankfully. And sadly. We no longer live by the same standards today. :(

    If you're looking for commentary on the meat of this book, there are plenty of other reviews out there to read. You already know what it is about. I'm not going to discuss politics or who is right and who is wrong. Everyone who reads this review already will have their mind made up - and that is sad. Just as Woodward listened to Deep Throat and wrote about that informant's information and kept that source a secret for decades, he again has listened to informants and recorded the despicable acts committed by an entire group of people but namely, Donald Trump. There is enough information in the book, credible information, to impeach Trump. However, it is doubtful in this age that it will be done. No one cares. Americans don't care. Americans can get riled up until hell freezes over regarding political parties but that is not what this is about. It is about an incompetent man in the white house; a man who broke laws to get there, one who is putting this nation in jeopardy with his tantrums, insidious postings to twitter and inability to lead a nation that once was the greatest in the world.

    For the record, I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat. This country doesn't have a party for me and my political ideology. Again, that is not what this is about. The book - the one being read and reviewed - was written by a capable journalist whose facts are very succinctly laid out. Yes, his sources are protected - AS THEY SHOULD BE. Journalists have gone to prison for keeping a source's identity unknown. That does not negate their information and the information presented here, in the book, is spot on. I wouldn't expect anything less from Bob Woodward!

  • Peter

    Donald Trump is probably the most divisive President in US history and has created a polarised nation between those believing he is honestly and strategically playing a role to achieve gains for the US, and those who think he’s destructive, stumbling from one, sometimes self-imposed, incident to a

    Donald Trump is probably the most divisive President in US history and has created a polarised nation between those believing he is honestly and strategically playing a role to achieve gains for the US, and those who think he’s destructive, stumbling from one, sometimes self-imposed, incident to another.

    The world that shaped Trump is one of privilege and wealth. His business style is one of brash authority where he doesn’t need to placate others, and if he makes a mistake, it costs money but is not life and death. As US President, one of the most powerful men in the world, he is responsible for global politics, economics and national security, and IT IS a matter of life and death. The big issue I wanted answering is, whether Trump is equipped with the capability, integrity and selfless ambition to form a Government and serve his nation. He is required to shoulder the expectations of ALL citizens to deliver prosperity and security to his country and play his role on a more and more inclusive world stage. Is he doing this?

    Bob Woodward sets out a journalistic-style, piece-by-piece book, that draws a picture of a leader that is erratic, unpredictable and will say and do anything to remain a popular public figure. The image of Trump is of a president that lacks knowledge about his area of responsibility, someone who lacks integrity, someone who cannot analyse a situation in depth and bring comprehensive diverse advice to inform a coherent defendable but definite decision. He will make irrational decisions with little appreciation of political structures, legislature or legal agreements.

    Trump is presented through the various incidents covered in the book to show a lack of understanding on economic strategies and how they affect domestic and global markets, and how little candour and loyalty he has when it comes to building a team that can cohesively deliver the Government’s plans. His turnaround in staff is deeply concerning and his history of turning apparently close friends into enemies is shocking. In particular the Clintons, Steve Bannon (Trump’s Chief Strategist) and Gary Cohn (Director of National Economic Council).

    With Trump’s impulsive and unpredictable approach, this can be advantageous in certain instances and can achieve results. For example, the NATO agreements on moving each member country to honour it’s committed financial contribution, or the rapid consolidation of the Gulf Cooperation Council, showing unity against Iran. It would be a great tool to have at your disposal when diplomacy drags in the quagmire of debate and negotiation. However, if it becomes the norm, it becomes predictable and playable. Woodward describes a White House environment where advisors, aides, appointed officials, and Government staff are constantly berated while they protect the President/Country by hiding executive order documents to prevent serious international consequences. Rex Tillerson (Secretary of State), after one of the senior staff meetings, says to Reince

    Chapter by chapter, the narrative covers the period from pre-Republican nomination to recent times, through issues involving, immigration, racial divisions, tax reforms, North Korea, South Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, NATO, and the numerous trade deals. Unfortunately, there are no real revelations that we may have hoped for. The sad result is that our greatest fears about Trump, his bullish, disrespectful and offensive character, and his inability to constructively contribute to a domestic and international political and economic agenda have a solid foundation, and are not just a front. The pace of these events and the dialogue are a little slow but there are moments of interest that are engrossing, and then it’s gone again.

    It’s almost impossible to be unbiased in considering Trump and his position as President of the USA. I haven’t read other books on Trump but when this account became available from Bob Woodward, my perception was that if there is an opportunity of reading a considered account of Donald Trump as US President, where the veracity of the background research and sources are validated, this would be it. There are obvious debates over those sources being played out in the news and Woodward’s own agenda, but I feel it slightly irrelevant, as there were no surprises or startling insights that would cause me to change my perception of Donald Trump. Whether open-minded pro-Trump supporters will see their President in a different light, is an interesting question.

    I would recommend reading this book as it does provoke interest and debate but don’t expect any great revelations. I may just be cynical, but I’m still not convinced I’ve heard the whole truth and I’m just wondering what hidden agendas are at play by sources providing material for this book.

  • Will Byrnes

    FDR was correct. The fear that gripped the nation in the Great Depression may have had a basis in reality, but acceding to that fear could have hindered any attempts to make the dire economic situation better. Would Roosevelt f

    FDR was correct. The fear that gripped the nation in the Great Depression may have had a basis in reality, but acceding to that fear could have hindered any attempts to make the dire economic situation better. Would Roosevelt feel the same way today? Do we have nothing to fear but fear itself? Well, we do have a very concrete problem that generates a fair bit of concern, anxiety, nervousness, and yes, fear. The guy in the White House. The fear that Roosevelt addressed was a concern that the nation, under the weight of the latest in a series of economic collapses, might not be able to recover from it soon enough to matter, leaving the nation impoverished, riven with internal strife, and in danger from external enemies. The fears we contend with today include a widespread concern about a declining standard of living, a whipped-up concern about minorities, both foreign and domestic, distrust of those who worship differently, or not at all, confusion about increasing gender fluidity, and diversity. But there are specific fears that center on the guy in the Oval Office, both of the incoming and outgoing sorts.

    - image from the Washington Post

    As illustrated in the opening quote above, (which is the opening of the book as well, the Trump quote, that is) Donald Trump believes the application of fear in dealing with people and nations is the proper course. Threats, bullying, and intimidation are the favorite irons in his bag. In the application of this approach, it is distinctly possible that he might miscalculate to the point of sparking economic mayhem, or even war. But the other element of fear that should terrify us all is his fear

    himself.

    Donald Trump has paid vast sums of money to see that his under-the-covers philanderings remain under cover. (

    ) He is terrified that the world might see what an empty vessel he truly is. You may recall his conversation with the Mexican president in which Trump pleaded with

    to give him some political cover so he would not have to face his supporters with the news that building the wall was really only a campaign scam. He is afraid that he will be shown to be a mobbed-up front-man, a tool for the Russian mafia, living large by laundering their ill-gotten rubles. He is terrified that he will be exposed as an asset of the Russian government, impacting American foreign and domestic policy in ways that advantage his Russian handler. Where those fears become kinetic is in how he attempts to protect himself. He has done his best to shred the two American institutions that might hold him accountable, the justice system and the fourth estate, waging war on truth itself.

    Trump has been griping about the media, well the media that is not Fox, Infowars, Clear Channel, Rush Limbaugh, or any of the far right-wing outlets that serve as a public relations propaganda support system for him, at least since his campaign. It has always seemed clear that the intent here is to erode the standing of news organizations that were likely to expose his many misdeeds. His attacks on judges handling suits against him, on the FBI, which was investigating his campaign’s potential ties to Russia, and on the Justice Department, which controls the FBI, and under which the Special Counsel was appointed, are all attempts to undermine the authority of agencies that are likely to bring his crimes to light and him to justice. If he can persuade the American people that the cops and judges are all corrupt he might get away with his particular responsibility for decades of money-laundering, at the very least, and quite likely a traitorous alliance with Putin, whether entered into willingly or via blackmail. Fending off investigators, public and journalistic, is an existential challenge for him, driven by his fear of exposure.

    The focus of Woodward’s book is on one particular form of fear, the concern the people who work for Donald Trump have that he might do serious damage to the United States, and even to the world, either in his handling of potentially fraught negotiations, domestic or international, (there is particular attention paid to dealings with South and North Korea that illustrates this very well) or in his need to preserve his freedom, and privilege, by destroying respected norms and institutions. He is Godzilla, and we are all Tokyo.

    Another substantial element is the chaos that is the White House, where established lines of communication and authority are regularly crossed, where the staff are constantly on the edge, wondering when the next absurd and/or dangerous presidential action may require their intervention, to try talking him out of it, slow him down, or make the requisite paperwork vanish.

    A third theme that permeates is Trump’s flaws as a leader, his lack of intellectual curiosity, his adherence to preconceived notions regardless of research and advice that would lead a flexible human to a more informed opinion, (for example, accusing Iran of violating the treaty despite his own people telling him that they had not) his inability or unwillingness to take in more than a minimum amount of information on pretty much any subject, suggesting an attention deficit disorder.

    You have probably heard quite a few quotes from this book, as coverage of its contents has been widespread. Perhaps the most significant are in the prologue

    As with Michael Wolff’s

    , Steve Bannon has clearly offered the author considerable information on the goings on inside the White House. It is also clear that there are many other insiders who have talked to Woodward. One must always wonder, of course, where reporting events accurately leaves off for these sources, and where reputation embellishment begins. Thankfully, Woodward has gone to great lengths to corroborate diverse accounts to arrive at an accurate picture. I would be inclined to take what is reported in this book as

    .

    -----Reince Preibus, as head of the GOP, had invested heavily in analytics and big data, over $175 million, and was very effective in using the drill-down intel to target neighborhoods with battalions of volunteers in the 2016 election. The intel even allowed targeting of individuals.

    -----It was in 2015 that the NSA first found that Russia was looking at US voter rolls.

    -----After pussygate, while almost all of his advisors urged Trump to drop out of the presidential race, there were two who urged him to stay in, Bannon, which is no shock, and Melania, which is, given the general view that she wanted no part of a presidential run.

    -----Woodward also reports that, while Trump and Melania operate in pretty much separate spheres, there is genuine affection between the two. Color me skeptical.

    ----- It was interesting to learn how much influence and access Lindsay Graham had at the White House, which goes a long way to explaining how Graham could have pulled such a 180 on Trump. Graham had called Trump a “race-bating xenophobic bigot” in 2015, but in 2018, Graham said “He’s not, in my view, a racist by any stretch of the imagination.” It’s enough to give a guy whiplash.

    -----Fascinating to read about Trump’s lawyer John Dowd and his dealings with Trump and Robert Mueller.

    -----It was somewhat alarming learning of the sundry notions that were floated by presidential advisors re how to deal with North Korea’s acquisition of ICBM capability.

    -----And also alarming, although not at all surprising, to read of John Kelly’s avid hostility toward Dreamers.

    ----- His people manage Trump’s time so he gets home after the weekend news on CNN and MSNBC goes into softer mode at 9pm.

    Much of the book goes into specifics on the hirings and firings that keep the doors of the White House in need of constant oiling. Sometimes the idiocy is mind-boggling. Trump, early on, passed over John Bolton for a significant position because he did not like his moustache. Not that I have any particular fondness for Bolton, myself, but you do not base such decisions on the quality of someone’s facial hair. I mean he hired Ty Cobb, for god’s sake, or had him kidnapped from another century.

    Gripes – Woodward sticks by his public position that the Steele dossier was a “garbage document” and that Comey should not have presented any of it to the president. It is unclear on what Woodward bases this position, given the solidity of the investigator, and the ongoing verification of information reported in that document.

    , but here are some of the lovely things said about Trump by his own appointees

    -----Cohn had witnessed this for over a year—denial when needed or useful or more convenient. He’s a “professional liar,” Cohn told an associate.

    -----He’s a fucking moron,” Tillerson said so everyone heard.

    ----- Trump had failed the President Lincoln test. He had not put a team of political rivals or competitors at the table, Priebus concluded. “He puts natural predators at the table,” Priebus said later. “Not just rivals—predators.

    -----The president’s unhinged,” Kelly said

    -----Trump normally wouldn’t listen long or very carefully to his national security adviser but it had gotten much worse, McMaster told Porter. “It’s like I can’t even get his attention.”

    -----Cohn realized that Trump had gone bankrupt six times and seemed not to mind. Bankruptcy was just another business strategy. Walk away, threaten to blow up the deal. Real power is fear… Applying this mind-set from his real estate days to governing and deciding to risk bankrupting the United States would be a different matter entirely.

    ----- In a small group meeting in his office one day, Kelly said of the president, “He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazytown.

    “I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had.

    -----McMaster said that he believed Mattis and Tillerson had concluded that the president and the White House were crazy. As a result, they sought to implement and even formulate policy on their own without interference or involvement from McMaster, let alone the president.

    ----- In the political back-and-forth, the evasions, the denials, the tweeting, the obscuring, crying “Fake News,” the indignation, Trump had one overriding problem that Dowd knew but could not bring himself to say to the president: “You’re a fucking liar.”

    The man really commands loyalty in his people. And then there are the insults, the abuse to which he subjected that staff, regardless of their level of loyalty to him. It is amazing anyone will even speak to the man. I will spare you those.

    It is obvious that there is a clear and present danger to all Americans from the man currently resident in the White House, a man who is not only unfit to hold this highest position in the nation, but a man whose dull intellect, exuberant venality, core-deep corruption, contempt for American values and laws, authoritarian inclinations, and unsurpassed greed have made him the worst president in the history of the nation. His rigidity and ignorance have caused even people who share the political values he espouses to engage in activities that are probably criminal in order to spare the nation the downsides of his ill-informed, and often darkly-intentioned decisions. Fear is not the only thing we have to fear. We have just cause to fear what Donald Trump might do with the gigantic instrument he has been charged with operating. While busying himself looting the national treasure for himself and his pals, while paring back sane restrictions on polluting industries, while dismantling much of the mechanism of government that produces and distributes factual information for the nation, while engaging in border practices that make us remember the 1930s and 1940s, he is also busy tearing down respected institutions, shredding political and moral norms, and making the USA the laughingstock of the world.

    So, President Roosevelt, it is most certainly NOT THE CASE that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. There are plenty of fear-generating people, nations and events on our planet that can justify our fears. But the one that supersedes all, for the moment, is Donald J. Trump. He is a danger to us all, and, as the investigations into his dark deeds progresses, he is only getting more paranoid and desperate. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    Review posted – 9/21/18

    Publication date – 9/11/18

    =============================

    Links to the author’s

    ,

    and

    pages

    September 5, 2018 -

    - by Anonymous

    -----September 15, 2018 - New York Magazine -

    - by Olivia Nuzzi

    -----September 5, 2018 – CNN -

    - by Chris Cillizza. – a fun piece

    ----- September 14, 2018 - The Guardian -

    - by David Smith

    ----- September 14, 2018 - KQED.org – Washington Week

    - with Robert Costa – Woodward’s final line in the interview -

    -----October 15, 2018 - A nice short video that puts the current danger into historical context -

  • Bill  Kerwin

    The thing you should know about Woodward and Bernstein is that Woodward was never much of a writer. No, Bernstein,

    was the writer. Choosing the right word, arranging the facts in a persuasive array, concluding with a rhetorical flourish: these are contributions Bernstein made that gave the work of Bernward and Woodstein its sophistication, its polish.

    Of course, Bernstein was a heck of a reporter too, but the two of them were different. Bernstein was mercurial and intuitive; Woodward was indef

    The thing you should know about Woodward and Bernstein is that Woodward was never much of a writer. No, Bernstein,

    was the writer. Choosing the right word, arranging the facts in a persuasive array, concluding with a rhetorical flourish: these are contributions Bernstein made that gave the work of Bernward and Woodstein its sophistication, its polish.

    Of course, Bernstein was a heck of a reporter too, but the two of them were different. Bernstein was mercurial and intuitive; Woodward was indefatigable and relentless. Bernstein knew instinctively what would move the reader; Woodward was the boy who got things done. (Speaking of getting things done: in addition to their collaborations, Woodward has to date completed seventeen books. Bernstein has completed three.)

    Still, for all his strengths, Bob Woodward has always been a plodder. For example, he introduces his “characters” with predictable adjectives: Bannon is “aggressive, certain, and loud,” Kellyanne Conway is “feisty,” Mitch McConnell is “wily.” He does not paint a scene well, and he seldom tries. Instead, he lets his dialogue do it for him.

    It is the dialogue that gives his books their strength. Woodward is known to make audio recordings when he can, and stenographically record everything else. His dialogue has the ring of authenticity. If not completely accurate, each scene undoubtedly reflects the memory—however self-serving—of his principal source for the particular event. And, given Woodward’s methods, you can be sure each source is backed up by one or two others.

    In

    , it is not difficult to see who these sources are. Predictably, they seem to be big-time players already ejected from the administration: Bannon, Priebus, Cohn, Porter, McMaster, Tillerson, and Dowd, with an occasional scene contributed by a peripheral player, such as Lyndsey Graham or Chris Christie.

    The sad fact, though, is that little is to be learned from

    , in spite of all the hype. The value of the usual Woodward book is that Bob—because of his sterling reputation—has a knack for getting on record sources other people can’t get. But this is an unnecessary virtue when you are writing about a White House where

    .

    I’m not saying you don’t learn things from the book. You learn, for example, how Mattis (in conjunction with McMaster and Tillerson) saved us from WW III by saying “no” to Trump, how Gary Cohn and Rob Porter forestalled economic meltdown by stealing papers from Trump’s desk, and how Dowd (unsuccessfully) tried to rescue Trump from Trump. And of course you learn how stupid and erratic and childlike everybody thinks Trump is. But if you’ve read

    , if you’ve been following the

    and the

    , then you know most of this stuff anyway.

    I’d like to end with a brief passage. It is not central to the book, not even germane to the coprological cataclysm that is the Trump White House, but I liked it because it told me something I did not know: why Kim Jung Un is a more effective leader of his nation than his father Kim Jung Il.

  • HFK

    Okay, you motherfuckers and fatherfuckers - who of you has enough hairy balls and hairy pussies to buddy or group read

    with me, starting 11 of September? According to my friend-list, there is 331 potentials to be brave enough to accept the challenge.

    As many know, I am pretty neutral when comes to Trump. I just do not posses strong feelings towards him, and it does not cause much discomfort for me when discussing of him (even sometimes I def want to run into my safe space when the hysterics

    Okay, you motherfuckers and fatherfuckers - who of you has enough hairy balls and hairy pussies to buddy or group read

    with me, starting 11 of September? According to my friend-list, there is 331 potentials to be brave enough to accept the challenge.

    As many know, I am pretty neutral when comes to Trump. I just do not posses strong feelings towards him, and it does not cause much discomfort for me when discussing of him (even sometimes I def want to run into my safe space when the hysterics gets too much for my taste). This definitely is not the case when comes to politicians like Putin (every time I need to correct some false information about him, it takes around half of my soul away - but the truth and nothing but the truth is my motto) who I despise with the fullest.

    I am reading this for fun, and for taking an eye towards journalism, hoping it is not complete lost art. I am sure this will be rather scandalous so I will have tons of candy and good food to accompany me.

    I am not gonna engage in heated political discussions - I do it enough outside GR - but I am interested on reading this with neutral-Trumps, anti-Trumps and pro-Trumps as I am interested on seeing your views and reactions to this book - not as an outsider but in a spirit of insider experiment.

    So, do you have got what I need, punk?

    Here is the link for the group, ladies and gentlemen:

    I am a n00b with groups, so if there is a problem, message me here in this comment section.

  • Heather

    i am going to read the hell out of this book (as soon as it is beamed to my kindle).

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