David Mytton

Book Review (3/5) – Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Michael Wolff)

Published (updated: ) in Book Reviews.

Originally published on Goodreads.

It’s quite difficult to properly get into this as a real life political thriller unless you have quite an extensive understanding of US politics, and follow it closely. There are lots of names thrown about and Wolff’s writing style is quite complex, using many clauses within fairly long sentences. However, despite that it is still a good read because it gives you a proper insight into exactly how the Trump presidency works. And it’s probably worse than you would imagine.

In summary, Trump seems completely dysfunctional with multiple warring factions in his “administration” and a complete disregard for what the respect for the office should entail. It’s lucky that the US system of government is so dysfunctional itself which acts as a handbrake on the level of damage Trump can inflect domestically. It’s unfortunate that Obama had to use executive orders to push his policy agenda because they can easily be reversed, as Trump has shown.

My real concern comes to foreign policy and in particular any involvement that Trump might have in fast moving crisis situations. Wolff paints a painful picture of someone who is only out to look good – he’s worse than a moody child. There’s really no strategy behind anything he does and the only person who has been thinking through the politics – Bannon – has now left and is seemingly setting himself up to run for president in the future.

Many of the good quotes have already appeared in the press promoting the book but it’s still worth a read to really understand the Trump disaster. I think this sums it up:

on the most basic level, Trump just did not, as Spicer later put it, give a fuck. You could tell him whatever you wanted, but he knew what he knew, and if what you said contradicted what he knew, he simply didn’t believe you.