Fear : Trump in the White House
by Woodward, Bob

Draws on interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, and other documents to depict life in the Trump White House, focusing on Trump's decision-making process for foreign and domestic policies.

Michael Wolff told us about it, Omarosa flaunted it, and now veteran White House watcher Woodward pounds it home. The wheels have come off the White House bus. Of course, anyone with access to a TV set or a news feed is already aware of the book's juiciest bits: General John Kelly calling President Trump an idiot, or Trump lawyer John Dowd telling his client that a sit-down with Robert Mueller would lead to an orange jumpsuit. It requires the book as a whole, however, to really convey what a dysfunctional environment the Trump landscape has become. Woodward's writing, as in previous books, leans toward the leaden. The way he uses/ignores quotation marks and his tendency to pop into the narrative are particularly annoying. Yet, when he describes the key players together in a room in full cry, fighting, for example, about the response to Charlottesville, the book is riveting. Trump's temper, his obsession with image, his incapacity to do his job or to even understand some of the most basic responsibilities of the presidency-these are the things that take readers, along with many of the president's staffers, through the looking glass darkly. But what is equally disconcerting, displayed here again and again, is Trump's inability to take advice, along with his unwavering faith in his gut. Still, at times, Woodward is able to make Trump relatable as an Everyman infuriated by government; after all, who hasn't wondered about the point of staying in Afghanistan after 17 years? Although there's no sourcing, it's not difficult to figure out who spoke to Woodward. The perspectives of Dowd and economic advisor Gary Cohn are apparent, and Steve Bannon's presence is obvious whenever an interviewee describes something brilliant being said or done by . . . Steve Bannon. The title of the book comes from an interview in which the president states that true power comes through fear. Well, this look inside the Trump White House is pretty scary. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

A dish-filled tiptoe through the current White House in the company of an all-knowing tour guide, legendary Washington Post investigative reporter and definitive insider Woodward (The Last of the President's Men, 2015, etc.)."He's always looking for adult supervision." So says big-money donor Rebekah Mercer to alt-right mastermind Steve Bannon of Donald Trump early on in Woodward's book, setting a theme that will be sounded throughout the narrative. By the author's account, Trump, sensitive and insensitive, out of his element and constantly enraged, cannot be trusted to act on his own instincts while anywhere near the Oval Office. Indeed, the earliest and instantly newsworthy moment of the book comes when economic adviser Gary Cohn spirits away a letter from Trump's desk that would have broken the U.S. alliance with South Korea. Trump demanded the letter but then, it seems, forgot about it in its absence. "It was no less than an administrative coup d'état," writes Woodwa rd, "an undermining of the will of the president of the United States and its constitutional authority." It's not the sole instance, either, as the author steadily recounts. Drawing on deep background, meaning that sources cannot be identified—the reasons are immediately evident—Woodward ticks down a long list of insiders and their various ways of adapting to the mercurial president, sometimes successfully but more often not. One figure who can be seen constantly walking that line is South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, whom former staffer Reince Priebus sold on Trump by saying, "you're a lot of fun. He needs fun people around him." Trump emerges as anything but fun—but also rather easily managed by those around him, so long as he is able to sign documents ("Trump liked signing. It meant he was doing things, and he had an up-and-down penmanship that looked authoritative in black Magic Marker") and otherwise look presidential. Woodward's book will shock only t hose who haven't been paying attention. For those who have, it reinforces a strongly emerging narrative that there's a serious need for grown-ups on Pennsylvania Avenue—grown-ups who have read the Constitution. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2019 Follett School Solutions