by Woodward, Bob; Costa, Robert

Authors' Personal Notexi
Chapters 1-72
Note to Readers419(2)
Source Notes427(31)
Photography Credits458(1)

"The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts-and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink. This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened"-

Bob Woodward is an associate editor at <i>The Washington Post </i>where he has worked for 50 years. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his Watergate coverage and the other for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored 20 national bestselling books, 14 of which have been #1 <i>New York Times</i> bestsellers.<br><br>Robert Costa is a national political reporter at The Washington Post, where he has worked since 2014. He previously served as moderator and managing editor of Washington Week on PBS and as a political analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. He holds a bachelor&#8217;s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master&#8217;s degree from the University of Cambridge. He is from Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

There's a line that gets kicked around a lot: shocking but not surprising. And that sums up many of the revelations that Washington Post journalists Woodward and Costa deliver in this dive into the 2020 presidential campaign, election, and aftermath. The portrait of a furious Donald Trump in denial about his election loss surprises no one. However, that General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, felt he had to reassure his counterpart in China that the U.S. was stable and convince Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (after she called Trump crazy several times in a phone call) that there would be no nuclear war does provide a certain frisson. More shocking (and, in this case, perhaps surprising, too) is the fact that one of Trump's lawyers presented a six-point plan to the former president on how to legally overthrow the election on January 6. What hasn't been touched on much in the early media coverage of this book is that it spends a fair amount of pages on Joe Biden, his campaign, and his actions after the election, a welcome, if sometimes bland, counterpoint to the postelection frenzy. Although the authors interviewed hundreds of people for the book, several voices stand out: General Milley, former attorney general Bill Barr, and Biden's White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain. Whether their testimony is designed to set the record straight or rehabilitate their reputations is up to readers to decide. In the continuing flood of books about Trump and the election, this stands out as not just another political tell-all. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

An account of the last gasps of the Trump administration, completing a trilogy begun with Fear (2018) and Rage (2020). One of Woodward and fellow Washington Post reporter Costa's most memorable revelations comes right away: Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling his counterpart in Beijing to assure him that even after Jan. 6 and what Milley saw as an unmistakable attempt at a coup d'état, he would keep Trump from picking a war with China. This depiction has earned much attention on the talking-heads news channels, but more significant is its follow-up: Milley did so because he was concerned that Trump "might still be looking for what Milley called a 'Reichstag moment.' " Milley emerges as a stalwart protector of the Constitution who constantly courted Trump's ire and yet somehow survived without being fired. No less concerned about Trump's erratic behavior was Paul Ryan, the former Speaker of the House, who studied the psychiatric literature for a big takeaway: "Do not humiliate Trump in public. Humiliating a narcissist risked real danger, a frantic lashing out if he felt threatened or criticized." Losing the 2020 election was one such humiliation, and Woodward and Costa closely track the trajectory of Trump's reaction, from depression to howling rage to the stubborn belief that the election was rigged. There are a few other modest revelations in the book, including the fact that Trump loyalist William Barr warned him that the electorate didn't like him. "They just think you're a fucking asshole," Barr told his boss. That was true enough, and the civil war that the authors recount among various offices in the White House and government reveals that Trump's people were only ever tentatively his. All the same, the authors note, having drawn on scores of "deep background" interviews, Trump still has his base, still intends vengeance by way of a comeback, and still constitutes the peril of their title. A solid work of investigation that, while treading well-covered ground, offers plenty of surprises. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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