Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff
|Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff|
|Category: Politics and Society|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: An explosive look at the first nine months of the Trump presidency. It's a brilliant read even if you don't believe all of it.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 336/11h55m||Date: January 2018|
|Publisher: Little Brown|
|External links: Author's website|
As I began listening to Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House we were treated to the unedifying spectacle of the President of the United States taking to Twitter to establish that he was a stable genius, as opposed, we must conclude to being an unstable... Well, let's not go there. It's a little too frightening: this is the most powerful man in the world. So what made me listen to this book? Well, Donald Trump didn't want me to read it: US presidents don't often go down that road and rarely to a good destination (I'm thinking of Richard Nixon here) and that made me really want to know what was between the covers. But how did the book stack up?
Wolff says that his books is based on about 200 interviews and that in the early days of the Trump presidency he had free access to the White House and to the people who worked there. Many of his statements come from anonymous sources and it's quite possible that these have not been quite as rigorously tested as they would have been had they been printed in a newspaper. Normally this would put me off, but I'm conscious that even if only half of what is said is true, the situation is frightening and that if it is - as Trump says - full of lies and fake news there would be more people supporting the president.
I'll give just a brief taste of what the book reveals, but you really should read it for yourself.
No one was more surprised by the election win than Trump himself. It seems that the run was not made with the aim of becoming president, but for other reasons. On election night Melania Trump was in tears. Personally I'm not entirely convinced by the idea that Trump was expecting to fail: it doesn't seem to be in his nature to believe that he could be less than completely successful.
Steve Bannon is of the opinion that the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump junior and the Russians was treasonous. It puts the White House's attempts to dismiss the Robert Mueller inquiry as a partisan witch hunt in grave doubt.
Trump didn't enjoy his inauguration. Throughout the day, he wore what some around him had taken to calling his golf face: angry and pissed off, shoulders hunched, arms swinging, brow furled, lips pursed. This might explain why he was so insistent about the size of the crowd which attended the event.
Ivanka Trump has hopes of being the first woman president, but she's more than happy to mock her father's comb-over. There are even details of how it's done.
The Trump White House had no clear list of priorities. It's not unusual for a new administration to take some time to find its feet, but with Trump the problem does seem to have been more acute.
Trump holds Rupert Murdoch is high esteem. Murdoch's opinion of Trump is not repeatable in polite company.
That's just half a dozen points. I wouldn't even regard them as spoilers as there's so much more in the book. Perhaps for me the most worrying point is that the most powerful man in the world seems to act like a nine year old who won't be denied instant gratification and who lacks the ability to focus.
A lot of books are about politics are hard going: Fire and Fury is not. I found it a very easy read. Wolff's style is accessible and pulls you into the story. I have reservations about how much of it is completely true, but I'm nevertheless glad that I read it.
Actually, I didn't read the book - I listened to an audio download, which I bought myself. It's narrated by the author and Holter Graham. Graham, particularly, is very effective and easy to listen to: I'd be very happy to hear more from him.
If you'd like to listen to more about American politics, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Path to Power by Robert A Caro comes highly recommended. For more from Michael Wolff, have a look at The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch.
You could get a free audio download of Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff with a 30-day Audible free trial at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff at Amazon.com.
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