I just finished Woodward’s Fear last night. I was lucky and was one of the first people in my library to get a copy (the Boston library had over 100 kindle licenses but there were still quite a people in the holds queue) because I really don’t want to spend any money reading about Trump at this point. Every day we’re assaulted with news stories or tweets about him and I have just about reached my limit.
The book itself is well written and researched. The only complaint I have with it, which is kind of a big complaint, is that there’s really not too much in it that’s new or shocking that hasn’t been reported during the pre-release press blitz. Everything else just felt like a retread of stuff we already had heard about in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. Trump is a spoiled, self-deluded, racist, pig-headed, misogynistic, lying narcissist who cares nothing about running the country and eschews his daily intelligence briefs to watch Fox News and the other news stations to watch what they have to say about him.
One of the parts of the book that amazed me is how compressed time seems to be around Trump. He is a singularity of stupidity and chaos that warps the space-time continuum. Almost all of the staff and cabinet members in the book are long since departed in a year’s time. Gary Cohn and Rob Porter both have fairly big sections where they come off as the reasonable people who moderated some of Trump’s worst impulses (and Porter is the one who resigned after it made the news that he had allegedly beaten two of his ex-wives!). All administrations have turnovers but Trump’s is just head-spinning. A common joke on Twitter these days is what a year last week was. And it really does feel like Trump packs enough scandals, bad decisions and tantrums in each week then most Presidents have done in their entire lifetimes. It’s exhausting.
So if you’re into self-torture, do by all means give this one a read. I would have enjoyed it more if Trump’s reign was a smoking dumpster in the rearview mirror and not our current nightmare that we haven’t woken up from yet.