Review published on February 27, 2018.
We all knew what to expect from this book – the story of how a man, completely unfit for the office, unprepared for the role, and temperamentally unsuited to it, became the American President.
Donald Trump saw running for President as a way of promoting his own brand, of becoming more than a slightly faded reality television star, a dinosaur close to extinction. What he and his party of advisers didn’t expect was that he would be the President. His team was loyal to the Trump brand, and obviously included three of his children, Donald Jnr, Eric, Ivanka, and her husband Jared Kushner, as well as a few trusted aides, such as Steve Bannon, or the number of ill-fated press secretaries, who changed as the always contradictory Trump changed his mind, but none of them were prepared for politics, or had the patience to see it through to the end.
Trump is a President for the age though. His tweets, his junk-food diet, his toxic masculinity all play into a world-view that is more about publicity than it is about workable policy. Trump was a business man, with deep-pockets, very thin skin, and out-dated views of the world. He was used to getting his own way, never hearing no for an answer, so when the media started writing less than flattering information about him, it became Fake News. When someone made a point he disagreed with, he simply raised his own voice, like a petulant child.
What is obvious in this book is the level of toxicity within the Trump White House. The high turnover of staff, and how more thought seemingly goes into making Trump happy moment to moment than it does into having a long-term plan for American prosperity, growth and development.
If this was a work of fiction, there would be complaints about the lack of believable, likeable characters, but this is real life, in one of the most important offices in the world. The book was well researched and written by Michael Wolff, who had clear, unfettered access to many of Trump’s closest allies, but none of whom were that close or loyal to the President. Although, surprisingly, this book was close to never being published, it is but the tip of the ice-berg in what will doubtless be published and become public knowledge in one of the most controversial Presidency of all time.
Ben Macnair 3/3
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff
Little, Brown 9781408711408 hbk Jan 2018