Before we get into the book reviews, have you noticed how much weight Trump has put on? You can see it in his cheeks and his waistline. Stress can make you eat more of that KFC, burgers and fries. No doubt he has plenty to be stressed about, eh? Manafort, Cohen, the Kavanaugh appointment and when will the indictments drop. Not to mention what 2019 will be like with the Democrats in charge of the House and now maybe the Senate too–especially with the way the Republicans are now and will be treating Christine Blasey Ford.
An amazing book that reads very quickly and easily as a novel does. Except, there is little fiction here–except perhaps in the beliefs of Donald Trump and people like John Dowd. As I finished, I found photos, footnotes, source material by chapter and an index that added another 25% or so to the page count. So, no fiction on Woodward’s part.
As for Trump, consider the old adage, “Don’t confuse me with the facts, I already have my mind made up.” In Trump’s case, he is never confused with facts–he has his own and rejects all others. Here’s a shortened quote from page 138.
“Mr. President, can I show this to you?” Cohn fanned out the pages of data in front of the president. “See, the biggest leavers of jobs—people leaving voluntarily—was from manufacturing.”
. . . .
Trump wasn’t buying it.
. . . .
Several times Cohn just asked the president, “Why do you have these views?”
“I just do,” Trump replied. “I’ve had these views for 30 years.”
Of course, the problem of opinions no based on fact is well known about Trump and illustrated often within the book. I won’t spoil the fun of reading more of them.
You’ve undoubtedly seen many interviews or excerpts about the book. You’ve also read or heard about the many faults of Trump and the way his White House operates. Woodward offers chapter and verse on most of them, such as these (and many more):
—The chaos and the predatory relationship among staffers
—Trump’s short attention span, unwillingness to read more than a few paragraphs
—His laziness, coming to work at 10:30 or 11:00 and not knowing what’s on his agenda for the day despite a briefing book provided the night before.
The book also details all the legal battles, the effect of the Mueller investigation on Trump and much more.
Like information that hasn’t been detailed in the news.
For example, the alliances of some staff members with others. Woodward also confirms stories like those in that anonymous Op Ed, about how some people kept stuff from Trump to protect the country.
My only disappointment is that the book had, by the necessities of editing and printing, stopped in March. But then the news has covered so much more that’s happened since. While Woodward has has provided details confirming many things already knew, he goes further in fleshing them out and giving us new stuff. Fear is a good title in many ways.
By the time I finished reading this, I already knew virtually everything that the book contained. That said, the work that went into this is impressing. Not only that, but it came out before all the content was widely known. It remains a great resource for those doing their own research and potentially using the information for blog posts and the like.