My Copy: 9781984877499 (image from bn.com)
This one was a tough read. Not that it was overly complicated or anything, but it was like reading Fear all over again, but with a broader view. Sifting through the catastrophuck that is the Trump Administration a second time around (and I haven’t even gotten to Rage yet)… let’s just say there’s a lot in here.
Published after Fear by other Washington Post reporters, the book covers beyond Trump and his immediate inner circle. It’s as if Woodward was tackling deep inside for some of the events and then these two went with the rest of it. I can’t really review this book without the more famous predecessor of the year before. Let’s just say between the two of them, you’ve got a pretty good idea what was going on in those crazy days up to this year.
A Very Stable Genius is an apropos title if I ever saw one, lifted from Trump’s own mouth in one of his many ramblings. Of course, the many interviews and events that have come around to make the backbone of this book have told a very different story to the one Trump tells himself every day. Many qualified and not-terribly qualified folks alike have gone to work for Trump in the White House, whether they believed in him as a leader or they wanted to help ease him into the job. And as firings and resignations have gone on over the years, it’s pretty clear that most of them regret it.
A Very Stable Genius is an interesting read for broader strokes, and also for far more on the Mueller investigation and how that ended, since it was still ongoing as Woodward wrapped up Fear. This comes toward the end of the book, but how it is interpreted and the way the story is lain out shows very well how Trump is: he sees what he wants to see while the documents lay out reality as thoroughly as they can.
I haven’t read the Mueller report myself yet. Heard it was a dry one, but I may just have to pick it up anyway. Though funny enough, when I went to pick up books from the store yesterday, I found a book about Mueller and the report from Weissman… and picked THAT one up. (sigh). So, that review will show at some point.
Anyway, even if you’ve read Woodward’s amazing work Fear, I’d give this one a go, too. There’s a lot of anonymity going on, but it doesn’t interfere with the understanding. And with this administration, one has to remember who they’re dealing with up at the top and the poisonous atmosphere he generates. When all under him fear retribution, disgrace, shaming, whatever… it’s no wonder every book about the administration so far has a ton of anonymous sources.
Worth a look.