The definitive behind-the-scenes story of Trump's final year in office, by Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the Pulitzer-Prize winning reporters and authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller, A Very Stable Genius
The true story of what took place in Donald Trump’s White House during a disastrous 2020 has never before been told in full. What was really going on around the president, as the government failed to contain the coronavirus and over half a million Americans perished? Who was influencing Trump after he refused to concede an election he had clearly lost and spread lies about election fraud? To answer these questions, Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig reveal a dysfunctional and bumbling presidency’s inner workings in unprecedented, stunning detail.
Focused on Trump and the key players around him—the doctors, generals, senior advisers, and Trump family members— Rucker and Leonnig provide a forensic account of the most devastating year in a presidency like no other. Their sources were in the room as time and time again Trump put his personal gain ahead of the good of the country. These witnesses to history tell the story of him longing to deploy the military to the streets of American cities to crush the protest movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, all to bolster his image of strength ahead of the election. These sources saw firsthand his refusal to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously—even to the point of allowing himself and those around him to be infected. This is a story of a nation sabotaged—economically, medically, and politically—by its own leader, culminating with a groundbreaking, minute-by-minute account of exactly what went on in the Capitol building on January 6, as Trump’s supporters so easily breached the most sacred halls of American democracy, and how the president reacted. With unparalleled access, Rucker and Leonnig explain and expose exactly who enabled—and who foiled—Trump as he sought desperately to cling to power.
A classic and heart-racing work of investigative reporting, this book is destined to be read and studied by citizens and historians alike for decades to come.
This one is as impossible to put down as Game of Thrones. Probably the best-written and definitely the best-narrated book of its type. However ... the problem with this type of access journalism is that to get a detailed view of Trump, Rudy, Meadows, Pompeo, Patel et al, they had to whitewash four of the most evil figures of the century: William Barr, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Pence. It's a Faustian bargain to give those sources an image rehabilitation in exchange for their first-hand observations of Trump. The only positive portrayals of Executive Branch insiders that pass the smell test are Fauci, and especially General Milley--both genuine American heroes of the highest order. The authors bend over backwards to paint a fair-and-compassionate portrait of Trump but it's physically impossible for even the most diehard MAGA fan to come away from this with even a molecule of respect for the guy in spite of the authors' ardent attempts to humanize him. But a 5-star review should end positively, so I'll go back to the narrator, January LaVoy. She's absolutely brilliant and the way she does Trump is absolutely uncanny. Not dramatized, not over-the-top, but she gets deep into his head. It's a female voice with no attempt to caricature him, but the personality and emotion she puts across ring utterly true and real. She puts you right in the Oval Office and right in his head, and once you start listening, there's no stopping.