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The decision making in the Oval Office the Situation Room Air Force One and the White House residence Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in offic I don’t read Sam the Plumber residence Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in offic I don’t Naughty Bedtime Stories (Naughty Bedtime Series Book 2) read

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Fear by Bob Woodward

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he m It’s Bob Woo The Book of Revelation reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama author Bob Woodward Classics Devotional Bible reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he m It’s Bob Woo

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Akes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources meeting notes personal diaries files and documents The focus is on the explosive debates and Revelation?

10 thoughts on “Fear by Bob Woodward

  1. says:

    About a uarter of the way through this comprehensive history of everything leading up to the election of Trump and all the current events Gary Cohn the former president of Goldman Sachs who is the president’s top economic advisor attempts to explain our economy to Trump He brings him copious research and data and finally makes it as simple as possible by asking which would you choose—to go into a mine and get black lung or to make the same salary doing something else? He is attempting to intrude into Trump’s belief that our trade agreements are disgraceful because we’re losing manufacturing jobs—despite the data that than 80 percent of our jobs are not in manufacturing and that a trade deficit is not a bad thing since it allows people to spend money on what they’re spending it on anyway—services Nothing seems to penetrateSeveral times Cohn just asked the president “Why do you have these views?”“I just do” Trump replied “I’ve had these views for 30 years”“That doesn’t mean they’re right” Cohn said “I had the view for 15 years I could play professional football It doesn’t mean I was right” 138Multiply this thousands of times and apply it to all government issues foreign policy trade immigration etc and you begin to understand the problem of a person who never tells the truth because he lacks a basic understanding of what truth is and how one discerns it Nor can he learn No amount of correction penetrates he is told repeatedly that Iran is in compliance with its nuclear weapons agreement yet he insists on his belief about cheating; he’s given the world history that makes South Korea’s partnership crucial to world peace yet he wants to disrupt the relationship; he’s presented with statistics proving that steel tariffs will weaken our economy but he wants what he wants etc Nor can he understand the intricate symbiotic relationships between national security foreign policy and immigration In other words we have elected a man who lives in a fantasy and who therefore bollixes the efforts of anybody who operates according to facts and when those facts are inconvenient he dismisses them as “fake” and the people who spew them as “stupid” He places no value in experience and expertise ignoring advice derived from those things as he inexplicably disseminates information that is Russian derived propaganda And naturally this constant whirlwind of ignorance as a management style has created a whirlwind of people spinning out of control while they simultaneously try to control or please himThere is little new news in this book except for a harrowing account of how close Trump came to declaring war with North Korea with no understanding of the ramifications of doing so but Woodward is every much the historian that Doris Kearns Goodwin is writing about past presidents and this book is an alive blow by blow meticulous record that will be studied by students who have not yet been born—if we live to see that future I am not usually a history buff so sometimes the details become overwhelming; but I made the choice to be a student when I read both Doris Kearns Goodwin and this book and that choice has me applauding the value of the detail for posterityThere is nothing mean spirited about this book Everybody is presented at times sympathetically—even Trump in his albeit fleeting upset about the chemical weapons killed babies in Syria; Jared and Ivanka who have a miniscule role in this book come across on the side of DACA kids and the Paris Climate Accord; advisor Rob Porter is heroic in slow walking terrible orders from Trump; Lindsay Graham is a great deal maker willing to find ways to make sane things happen; General McMaster tries so hard to do a good job And this even handedness highlights the horror of the chaos—everybody is working against each other undercutting somebody else running around secretly to “save the world” or “fight for the president” The horror of this book is that our president has no understanding of truth and has evoked absolute pandemonium in the White House and subseuently all over the world creating problems where none existed—in trade in immigration etcFor me the value of this book is to better see the whole story which for some reason makes it both and less horrifying It is an alarming story that will result in either the destruction of the world via WWIII by a child president who is incapable of learning or understanding the conseuences of his hyperbole or the activation of all of us who love the planet and want peaceHowever in my opinion Trump and his minions are not the threat to our lives It is the great apathetic public who refuse to vote let alone know the story that is so well written here Those who most threaten our security are the people with fixed beliefs like Trump who shrug and are bored by talk about the relationship between their ability to walk down the street and troops stationed in South Korea and although I think this is a wonderful and necessary book I know that it will never be read by those who most need to recognize their peril 42019 Addendum The publication of the redacted Mueller Report has validated much of this book the out of control ignorance of our president his disinterest in and blatant flaunting of the law as well as how he seems to slip away from so much legal culpability because his staff simply refused to carry out criminal orders And as the news breaks so too is my dismay validated by the complete disinterest of those with fixed beliefs and no interest in facts who dismiss the report without even reading it PostscriptBecause it has come up in my review thread comments that probably will not be read by many people I would like to reiterate and elaborate on my sense of the tone of this book It is not only even handed and steady but there is a compassionate undertone Woodward is not out to get anybody In the acknowledgements and the front of book personal note he shares about his researcher and collaborator Evelyn M Duffy and his wife Elsa Walsh known widely as the Kindness Lady He attributes to Evelyn a noble work ethic and a reverence for authenticated fact based journalism which is palpable in this book And to Elsa he acknowledges not just an unselfish appreciation for each person but a reverence for each This best describes the compassion I sense in Woodward's writing and his approach to even those people with whom he disagrees All this adds to the reader's sense that he is telling truth

  2. says:

    the only thing we have to fear is fear itself Franklin Delano Roosevelt Inaugural address – March 4 1933 Real power is—I don’t even want to use the word—fear Presidential candidate Donald J Trump in an interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa on March 31 2016FDR was correct The fear that gripped the nation in the Great Depression may have had a basis in reality but acceding to that fear could have hindered any attempts to make the dire economic situation better Would Roosevelt feel the same way today? Do we have nothing to fear but fear itself? Well we do have a very concrete problem that generates a fair bit of concern anxiety nervousness and yes fear The guy in the White House The fear that Roosevelt addressed was a concern that the nation under the weight of the latest in a series of economic collapses might not be able to recover from it soon enough to matter leaving the nation impoverished riven with internal strife and in danger from external enemies The fears we contend with today include a widespread concern about a declining standard of living a whipped up concern about minorities both foreign and domestic distrust of those who worship differently or not at all confusion about increasing gender fluidity and diversity But there are specific fears that center on the guy in the Oval Office both of the incoming and outgoing sorts Bob Woodward image from the Washington PostAs illustrated in the opening uote above which is the opening of the book as well the Trump uote that is Donald Trump believes the application of fear in dealing with people and nations is the proper course Threats bullying and intimidation are the favorite irons in his bag In the application of this approach it is distinctly possible that he might miscalculate to the point of sparking economic mayhem or even war But the other element of fear that should terrify us all is his fear for himself Donald Trump has paid vast sums of money to see that his under the covers philanderings remain under cover “You’ve got to deny deny deny and push back on these women” he said “If you admit to anything and any culpability then you’re dead” He is terrified that the world might see what an empty vessel he truly is You may recall his conversation with the Mexican president in which Trump pleaded with El Presidente to give him some political cover so he would not have to face his supporters with the news that building the wall was really only a campaign scam He is afraid that he will be shown to be a mobbed up front man a tool for the Russian mafia living large by laundering their ill gotten rubles He is terrified that he will be exposed as an asset of the Russian government impacting American foreign and domestic policy in ways that advantage his Russian handler Where those fears become kinetic is in how he attempts to protect himself He has done his best to shred the two American institutions that might hold him accountable the justice system and the fourth estate waging war on truth itself Trump has been griping about the media well the media that is not Fox Infowars Clear Channel Rush Limbaugh or any of the far right wing outlets that serve as a public relations propaganda support system for him at least since his campaign It has always seemed clear that the intent here is to erode the standing of news organizations that were likely to expose his many misdeeds His attacks on judges handling suits against him on the FBI which was investigating his campaign’s potential ties to Russia and on the Justice Department which controls the FBI and under which the Special Counsel was appointed are all attempts to undermine the authority of agencies that are likely to bring his crimes to light and him to justice If he can persuade the American people that the cops and judges are all corrupt he might get away with his particular responsibility for decades of money laundering at the very least and uite likely a traitorous alliance with Putin whether entered into willingly or via blackmail Fending off investigators public and journalistic is an existential challenge for him driven by his fear of exposure The focus of Woodward’s book is on one particular form of fear the concern the people who work for Donald Trump have that he might do serious damage to the United States and even to the world either in his handling of potentially fraught negotiations domestic or international there is particular attention paid to dealings with South and North Korea that illustrates this very well or in his need to preserve his freedom and privilege by destroying respected norms and institutions He is Godzilla and we are all Tokyo Another substantial element is the chaos that is the White House where established lines of communication and authority are regularly crossed where the staff are constantly on the edge wondering when the next absurd andor dangerous presidential action may reuire their intervention to try talking him out of it slow him down or make the reuisite paperwork vanish A third theme that permeates is Trump’s flaws as a leader his lack of intellectual curiosity his adherence to preconceived notions regardless of research and advice that would lead a flexible human to a informed opinion for example accusing Iran of violating the treaty despite his own people telling him that they had not his inability or unwillingness to take in than a minimum amount of information on pretty much any subject suggesting an attention deficit disorderYou have probably heard uite a few uotes from this book as coverage of its contents has been widespread Perhaps the most significant are in the prologue It was no less than an administrative coup d’état an undermining of the will of the president of the United States and his constitutional authority In addition to coordinating policy decisions and schedules and running the paperwork for the president Porter told an associate “A third of my job was trying to react to some of the really dangerous ideas that he had and try to give him reasons to believe that maybe they weren’t such good ideas”Another strategy was to delay procrastinate cite legal restrictions Lawyer Porter said “But slow walking things or not taking things up to him or telling him—rightly not just as an excuse—but this needs to be vetted or we need to do process on this or we don’t have legal counsel clearance—that happened 10 times freuently than taking papers from his desk It felt like we were walking along the edge of the cliff perpetually the United States in 2017 was tethered to the words and actions of an emotionally overwrought mercurial and unpredictable leader Members of his staff had joined to purposefully block some of what they believed were the president’s most dangerous impulses It was a nervous breakdown of the executive power of the most powerful country in the world As with Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury Steve Bannon has clearly offered the author considerable information on the goings on inside the White House It is also clear that there are many other insiders who have talked to Woodward One must always wonder of course where reporting events accurately leaves off for these sources and where reputation embellishment begins Thankfully Woodward has gone to great lengths to corroborate diverse accounts to arrive at an accurate picture I would be inclined to take what is reported in this book as the best obtainable version of the truthHere are some other details that are worth remembering Reince Preibus as head of the GOP had invested heavily in analytics and big data over 175 million and was very effective in using the drill down intel to target neighborhoods with battalions of volunteers in the 2016 election The intel even allowed targeting of individuals It was in 2015 that the NSA first found that Russia was looking at US voter rolls After pussygate while almost all of his advisors urged Trump to drop out of the presidential race there were two who urged him to stay in Bannon which is no shock and Melania which is given the general view that she wanted no part of a presidential run Woodward also reports that while Trump and Melania operate in pretty much separate spheres there is genuine affection between the two Color me skeptical It was interesting to learn how much influence and access Lindsay Graham had at the White House which goes a long way to explaining how Graham could have pulled such a 180 on Trump Graham had called Trump a “race bating xenophobic bigot” in 2015 but in 2018 Graham said “He’s not in my view a racist by any stretch of the imagination” It’s enough to give a guy whiplash Fascinating to read about Trump’s lawyer John Dowd and his dealings with Trump and Robert Mueller It was somewhat alarming learning of the sundry notions that were floated by presidential advisors re how to deal with North Korea’s acuisition of ICBM capability And also alarming although not at all surprising to read of John Kelly’s avid hostility toward Dreamers His people manage Trump’s time so he gets home after the weekend news on CNN and MSNBC goes into softer mode at 9pm Much of the book goes into specifics on the hirings and firings that keep the doors of the White House in need of constant oiling Sometimes the idiocy is mind boggling Trump early on passed over John Bolton for a significant position because he did not like his moustache Not that I have any particular fondness for Bolton myself but you do not base such decisions on the uality of someone’s facial hair I mean he hired Ty Cobb for god’s sake or had him kidnapped from another century Gripes – Woodward sticks by his public position that the Steele dossier was a “garbage document” and that Comey should not have presented any of it to the president It is unclear on what Woodward bases this position given the solidity of the investigator and the ongoing verification of information reported in that documentYou have probably heardread this but here are some of the lovely things said about Trump by his own appointees Cohn had witnessed this for over a year—denial when needed or useful or convenient He’s a “professional liar” Cohn told an associate He’s a fucking moron” Tillerson said so everyone heard Trump had failed the President Lincoln test He had not put a team of political rivals or competitors at the table Priebus concluded “He puts natural predators at the table” Priebus said later “Not just rivals—predators The president’s unhinged” Kelly said Trump normally wouldn’t listen long or very carefully to his national security adviser but it had gotten much worse McMaster told Porter “It’s like I can’t even get his attention” Cohn realized that Trump had gone bankrupt six times and seemed not to mind Bankruptcy was just another business strategy Walk away threaten to blow up the deal Real power is fear Applying this mind set from his real estate days to governing and deciding to risk bankrupting the United States would be a different matter entirely In a small group meeting in his office one day Kelly said of the president “He’s an idiot It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything He’s gone off the rails We’re in crazytown“I don’t even know why any of us are here This is the worst job I’ve ever had McMaster said that he believed Mattis and Tillerson had concluded that the president and the White House were crazy As a result they sought to implement and even formulate policy on their own without interference or involvement from McMaster let alone the president In the political back and forth the evasions the denials the tweeting the obscuring crying “Fake News” the indignation Trump had one overriding problem that Dowd knew but could not bring himself to say to the president “You’re a fucking liar”The man really commands loyalty in his people And then there are the insults the abuse to which he subjected that staff regardless of their level of loyalty to him It is amazing anyone will even speak to the man I will spare you those It is obvious that there is a clear and present danger to all Americans from the man currently resident in the White House a man who is not only unfit to hold this highest position in the nation but a man whose dull intellect exuberant venality core deep corruption contempt for American values and laws authoritarian inclinations and unsurpassed greed have made him the worst president in the history of the nation His rigidity and ignorance have caused even people who share the political values he espouses to engage in activities that are probably criminal in order to spare the nation the downsides of his ill informed and often darkly intentioned decisions Fear is not the only thing we have to fear We have just cause to fear what Donald Trump might do with the gigantic instrument he has been charged with operating While busying himself looting the national treasure for himself and his pals while paring back sane restrictions on polluting industries while dismantling much of the mechanism of government that produces and distributes factual information for the nation while engaging in border practices that make us remember the 1930s and 1940s he is also busy tearing down respected institutions shredding political and moral norms and making the USA the laughingstock of the world So President Roosevelt it is most certainly NOT THE CASE that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself There are plenty of fear generating people nations and events on our planet that can justify our fears But the one that supersedes all for the moment is Donald J Trump He is a danger to us all and as the investigations into his dark deeds progresses he is only getting paranoid and desperate Be afraid Be very afraid We must especially beware of that small group of selfish men who would clip the wings of the American Eagle in order to feather their own nestsFRANKLIN D ROOSEVELT State of the Union Address Jan 9 1941Review posted – 92118Publication date – 91118EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal Twitter and FB pagesSeptember 5 2018 I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration by Anonymous Interviews September 15 2018 New York Magazine Bob Woodward on the ‘Best Obtainable Version of the Truth’ About Trump by Olivia Nuzzi September 5 2018 – CNN 13 totally bananas moments from Donald Trump's phone call with Bob Woodward by Chris Cillizza – a fun piece September 14 2018 The Guardian Bob Woodward 'Too many people are emotionally unhinged about Trump' by David Smith September 14 2018 KEDorg – Washington Week Washington Week episode ‘Fear’ inside the Trump White House with Robert Costa – Woodward’s final line in the interview “He’s really disabled He can’t tell the truth”Items of Interest October 15 2018 A nice short video that puts the current danger into historical context If You’re Not Scared About Fascism in the US You Should Be February 22 2019 Atlantic Magazine The Alarming Scope of the President's Emergency Powers by Elizabeth Goitein When push comes to prosecute or impeach do you really expect Trump to accede to the rule of law? This alarming article points out the many tools available to Swamp Thing that might be misused to keep his crooked ass out of jail Be afraid Be very afraid March 7 2019 NY Times Nicholas Kristof offers an optimistic perspective on the unlikelihood of a Trump Reich We Will Survive Probably March 14 2019 NY Times Donald Trump’s Bikers Want to Kick Protester Ass building a brownshirt militia this is really bad But Lawrence O'Brien Lawrence O'Brien thinks it's just gas Sure hope he's right

  3. says:

    It’s Bob Woodward How do you think Trumpworld will react? Woodward is methodical precise and willing to hold anyone to account regardless of political stripehttpswwwpoliticoeublogson medi

  4. says:

    Unlike FIRE AND FURY Bob Woodward's work is backed by the validity of two Pulitzer prizes and numerous accolades for his inscrutable reporting One of the key men responsible for helping to shed a light on and bring down Nixon and his atrocities I can think of few other journalists who are needed in our modern political realm than Woodward That said FEAR scared the shit out of me Move over Stephen King Bob Woodward has written the most terrifying book in years Never has it been so crystal clear as it is within these pages just how unfit and batshit insane our president is From his rambling tirades to his painful ignorance to his absolute steadfast intentions to push for his own interests and casting aside the greater needs of our country Woodward paints an revoltingly intimate portrait of a man who conned an entire country and seems determined to watch it all burn in his wake Let me make this clear I don't want things to be like this; I don't live to read about the salacious and cringeworthy acts of our president—I take no joy in this I just want a competent compassionate president who has the greater interests of our country in their heart Woodward's intricate and detailed reporting gives us incredibly specific examples of our president's malfeasance and the shock and awe not only among our allies but within his own White House The bottom line none of this is normal We as Chief of Staff General Kelly himself said have gone off the rails—this is Crazytown There is no way that this is sustainable Either we will tear ourselves apart as a nation or one of the president's nonsensical actions will do the job for us One of the most important books of the year Woodward gives us the facts—the rest is up to us

  5. says:

    Revelation? “Cohn realised that Trump had gone bankrupt six times and seemed not to mind Bankruptcy was just another business strategy Walk away threaten to blow up the deal Real power is fear” Donald Trump is probably the most divisive President in US history and has created a polarised nation between those believing he is honestly and strategically playing a role to achieve gains for the US and those who think he’s destructive stumbling from one sometimes self imposed incident to another The world that shaped Trump is one of privilege and wealth His business style is one of brash authority where he doesn’t need to placate others and if he makes a mistake it costs money but is not life and death As US President one of the most powerful men in the world he is responsible for global politics economics and national security and IT IS a matter of life and death The big issue I wanted answering is whether Trump is euipped with the capability integrity and selfless ambition to form a Government and serve his nation He is reuired to shoulder the expectations of ALL citizens to deliver prosperity and security to his country and play his role on a and inclusive world stage Is he doing this?Bob Woodward sets out a journalistic style piece by piece book that draws a picture of a leader that is erratic unpredictable and will say and do anything to remain a popular public figure The image of Trump is of a president that lacks knowledge about his area of responsibility someone who lacks integrity someone who cannot analyse a situation in depth and bring comprehensive diverse advice to inform a coherent defendable but definite decision He will make irrational decisions with little appreciation of political structures legislature or legal agreements “Despite almost daily report of chaos and discord in the White House the public did not know how bad the internal situation actually was Trump was always shifting rarely fixed erratic He would get in a bad mood something large or small would infuriate him” Trump is presented through the various incidents covered in the book to show a lack of understanding on economic strategies and how they affect domestic and global markets and how little candour and loyalty he has when it comes to building a team that can cohesively deliver the Government’s plans His turnaround in staff is deeply concerning and his history of turning apparently close friends into enemies is shocking In particular the Clintons Steve Bannon Trump’s Chief Strategist and Gary Cohn Director of National Economic Council With Trump’s impulsive and unpredictable approach this can be advantageous in certain instances and can achieve results For example the NATO agreements on moving each member country to honour it’s committed financial contribution or the rapid consolidation of the Gulf Cooperation Council showing unity against Iran It would be a great tool to have at your disposal when diplomacy drags in the uagmire of debate and negotiation However if it becomes the norm it becomes predictable and playable Woodward describes a White House environment where advisors aides appointed officials and Government staff are constantly berated while they protect the PresidentCountry by hiding executive order documents to prevent serious international conseuences Rex Tillerson Secretary of State after one of the senior staff meetings says to Reince “I just don’t like the way the president talks to these generals They don’t deserve it I can’t sit around and listen to this from the president He’s just a moron” Chapter by chapter the narrative covers the period from pre Republican nomination to recent times through issues involving immigration racial divisions tax reforms North Korea South Korea Afghanistan Iran Pakistan NATO and the numerous trade deals Unfortunately there are no real revelations that we may have hoped for The sad result is that our greatest fears about Trump his bullish disrespectful and offensive character and his inability to constructively contribute to a domestic and international political and economic agenda have a solid foundation and are not just a front The pace of these events and the dialogue are a little slow but there are moments of interest that are engrossing and then it’s gone againIt’s almost impossible to be unbiased in considering Trump and his position as President of the USA I haven’t read other books on Trump but when this account became available from Bob Woodward my perception was that if there is an opportunity of reading a considered account of Donald Trump as US President where the veracity of the background research and sources are validated this would be it There are obvious debates over those sources being played out in the news and Woodward’s own agenda but I feel it slightly irrelevant as there were no surprises or startling insights that would cause me to change my perception of Donald Trump Whether open minded pro Trump supporters will see their President in a different light is an interesting uestionI would recommend reading this book as it does provoke interest and debate but don’t expect any great revelations I may just be cynical but I’m still not convinced I’ve heard the whole truth and I’m just wondering what hidden agendas are at play by sources providing material for this book

  6. says:

    The thing you should know about Woodward and Bernstein is that Woodward was never much of a writer No Bernstein he was the writer Choosing the right word arranging the facts in a persuasive array concluding with a rhetorical flourish these are contributions Bernstein made that gave the work of Bernward and Woodstein its sophistication its polishOf course Bernstein was a heck of a reporter too but the two of them were different Bernstein was mercurial and intuitive; Woodward was indefatigable and relentless Bernstein knew instinctively what would move the reader; Woodward was the boy who got things done Speaking of getting things done in addition to their collaborations Woodward has to date completed seventeen books Bernstein has completed threeStill for all his strengths Bob Woodward has always been a plodder For example he introduces his “characters” with predictable adjectives Bannon is “aggressive certain and loud” Kellyanne Conway is “feisty” Mitch McConnell is “wily” He does not paint a scene well and he seldom tries Instead he lets his dialogue do it for himIt is the dialogue that gives his books their strength Woodward is known to make audio recordings when he can and stenographically record everything else His dialogue has the ring of authenticity If not completely accurate each scene undoubtedly reflects the memory—however self serving—of his principal source for the particular event And given Woodward’s methods you can be sure each source is backed up by one or two othersIn Fear it is not difficult to see who these sources are Predictably they seem to be big time players already ejected from the administration Bannon Priebus Cohn Porter McMaster Tillerson and Dowd with an occasional scene contributed by a peripheral player such as Lyndsey Graham or Chris ChristieThe sad fact though is that little is to be learned from Fear in spite of all the hype The value of the usual Woodward book is that Bob—because of his sterling reputation—has a knack for getting on record sources other people can’t get But this is an unnecessary virtue when you are writing about a White House where everybody leaks all the timeI’m not saying you don’t learn things from the book You learn for example how Mattis in conjunction with McMaster and Tillerson saved us from WW III by saying “no” to Trump how Gary Cohn and Rob Porter forestalled economic meltdown by stealing papers from Trump’s desk and how Dowd unsuccessfully tried to rescue Trump from Trump And of course you learn how stupid and erratic and childlike everybody thinks Trump is But if you’ve read Fire and Fury if you’ve been following the Times and the Post then you know most of this stuff anywayI’d like to end with a brief passage It is not central to the book not even germane to the coprological cataclysm that is the Trump White House but I liked it because it told me something I did not know why Kim Jung Un is a effective leader of his nation than his father Kim Jung Il The elder Kim had dealt with weapons test failures by ordering the death of the responsible scientists and officials They were shot The younger Kim accepted failures in tests apparently absorbing the practical lesson Failure is inevitable on the road to success Under Kim Jung Un the scientists lived to learn from their mistakes and the weapons programs improved

  7. says:

    While the talk of the 45th President of the United States POTUS seems to be an endless cycle of conversation insults and downright headaches I approached reading this book with an open and curious mind I chose to let Bob Woodward —a highly esteemed journalist in his own right—guide me through some of his findings during the early period of the Trump presidency Woodward explores Trump’s candidacy and first year or so in the Oval Office tackling some of the controversial events and topics that came to light Woodward offers the reader some insights into this time where Trump was fuelled by a passionate hatred of President Obama and how he would do anything to derail or dismantle programs put in place making promises at rallies and seeking to enact them as soon as he had a presidential seat There was also much talk of his attempts to make his own mark in the military trade sanctions and even diplomacy all guided by his Trump centric mentality Woodward clearly points that Trump was not alone as he had a number of well meaning—as well as completely useless—advisors around him many of whom tried to guide him in a certain direction While I may not agree with their politics Woodward presents these advisors as those who sought to educate and guide Trump towards what could be done for America and how the Jenga blocks needed to be inched in a certain direction in order not to make things come cascading down thereby heralding catastrophe The few sycophants who emerge from the text are those who are useless to the larger process but entirely what Trump felt he needed on a daily basis Armed with his narrow view on the world and with his Twitter account as a billy club Trump tried to fix all things in a few characters which usually failed to bring about presidential diplomacy If Woodward offers a single theme in this book that echoes throughout the pages of well documented chapters it is that Trump wanted to do things his way and will rarely follow the narrow and calculated path asked of him A renegade to some and completely rogue to others there is reason to fear America’s enemies are ready and willing to strike which evokes added concern when the man with his finger on the button treats it like his own personal toy rather than listening to the reason of those who seek to advise Woodward should be applauded for this book as he seeks to offer insights through the eyes of others rather than rallying his own personal attacks with little substantive proof Recommend for those who want a glimpse inside the West Wing without the baseless attacks of a jilted few who feed only negative information to sell booksI have heard much about this book before I even began the opening sentence Some loved the book for its openness and exploration of a number of topics while others hated it for not revealing new smoking guns or additional finger pointing Still others criticized it for poking fun at the POTUS in any way as we should bow to him and allow him to create America in a new image I found the book to be intriguing in many ways and took much away from it While I have read a few books on the Trump presidency—is it not indicative of something that so many pieces have come out so soon after he made it to the Oval Office?—there are themes that come out in all of them These include obsession with television portrayals refusal to read background materials for essential decisions preconceived notions of effective governance and a hatred for all who oppose him What this book helped me see was that all of these and other perspectives were further solidified through the interviews Woodward undertook with those closest to Trump This was not Woodward standing atop a soap box and issuing criticism dreamed up in his own mind he used the words and sentiments of many who were ‘in the trenches’ to garner a better understanding for the reader Call me naive but I cannot see Bob Woodward as one who is all that interested in using weak information to build his arguments Woodward has shown time and again that he asks the tough uestions but seeks to be fair in his delivery First hand accounts serve as the foundation of this book’s narrative momentum which I applaud There are moments of praise for Trump and others of complete mockery but when they come from within can be really call it a smear campaign by liberal media sources? I have never hidden my sentiments on this topic and while I try to get some of my foundation through reading and trying to better understand the situation I am also an outsider I admit to being happy that I have the right to expand my horizons and to better comprehend that which I argue against from my side of the unwalled border Freedoms to express my sentiments cannot be taken nor should they so long as I am not fanning unfounded hatred for the sake of personally harming others Worry not Woodward handles this discussion in the book when he speaks of the supremacist rallies in the summer of 2017This was the first book I read on the subject where I was attacked by both pro and anti Trump folks The former group sought to criticize me for reading about the negativity of the POTUS and how it all lies while the latter bemoaned that I would waste my time reading about him at all It is this ignorance that has pushed for me to seek a better understanding of the situation I find many readers seek to ‘trump’ the ongoing discussions in hopes that people will stop talking and trying to better understand things as they evolve Should we as citizens of the world live in fear until 2020? Might the type of behaviour exemplified in this book lead to horrible things? There is that possibility but it could also be a rallying cry for American voters to turn out to cast their ballots while Intelligence agencies work to plug some of the gaping holes that permitted outsider influences in elections past I encourage Bob Woodward to return to this topic after the Trump presidency has ended however that will come about as I would read that book which can explore the entire experience in a single arc Until then I encourage all readers with an interest to give this book a try ignoring the trolls on both sides who hurl insults at your choice Kudos Mr Woodward for giving me something about which to think I feel enriched about what you have presented and look forward to where things will lead from hereLovehate the review? An ever growing collection of others appears at Book for All Seasons a different sort of Book Challenge

  8. says:

    I don’t read many non fiction books and almost never politics let alone foreign politics But than two years of slavishly horrifiedly following a spectrum of US news sites and tweeters has changed that First I read and reviewed Fire and Fury my review HERE as one of the early headline grabbing books of Trump’s regimeThen A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo my review HERE as it was refreshingly fun and with a good positive message And much later but in a slightly similar vein A Ladybird Book About Donald Trump my review HERENext up was The Faith of Donald J Trump A Spiritual Biography my review HERE as it’s at the rotten heart of what I most despise And now this Because it’s by Bob Woodward a multi award winning journalist and biographer of nine presidents red and blue There’s a detailed index notes explanations and no gossip No analysis either Just reportage “from multiple deep background interviews with firsthand sources”The most revealing so far is Mary L Trump's psychological analysis of her dysfunctional family Too Much and Never Enough my review HEREFear is a Liar“ Real power is I don’t even want to use the word fear” Candidate Trump in an interviewTrump weaponises fear deliberately“ Real power is fear It’s all about strength You’ve got to deny deny deny” Trump to a friend accused of sexual misconductImage “Fear is a Liar” graffiti SourceWhat does the fearmonger fear?He pivots and lies instinctively compulsively and maybe sometimes unconsciously Even in private on trivial matters and regardless of how easy to disprove That’s why his lawyer didn’t want him to talk to Mueller There’s plenty to fear from a fact averse White House that is as unpredictable as its nominal head one minute threatening “fire and fury” on North Korea from his bigger nuclear button and a few months later declaring he “fell in love” with Kim thanks to a “beautiful letter” Trump’s dysfunctional regime is one long nervous breakdown and with key documents being swiped from the Resolute Desk before Trump can sign them the big scoop of this book there has perhaps been an “administrative coup d’état”Cast Aside FearIs Trump a puppet whether of Putin Bannon the Mercers and other 1%ers the Saudi royals or the Faith and Freedom Coalition and other fundamentalist conservative “christians” or is he the master manipulator? I’m not sure which would be alarming let alone which is true “ All presidencies are audience driven but Trump’s central audience was often himself”Staff despair of his TV and Twitter habits but he knows their power and harnesses it“ This is my megaphone This is who I am This is how I communicate It’s the reason I got elected”Trump gets printouts of his most popular tweets to spot what works The showman knows what he’s doing in this medium and thus controls the public discourse and news cyclesFor the narrow period covered this book is thorough and it’s reasonably well written But it's old news The worrying aspects of Trump’s personality and behaviour have long been in plain sight; this book adds context and examples but nothing new It will doubtless be referred to thirty years hence and beyond but it’s not history yet There is certainly the fear of the title But somehow it's dull Maybe I have fear fatigueImage “Cecily is finished with Fear” GoodReads auto generated statusFocus on HopeDid staffers speak to Woodward to salvage some integrity especially those who left it too late to leave Trump’s regime untainted? With hundreds of pages of detailed notes plus hours of recordings I’m sure their identities will eventually be proven“ It’s not what we did for the country It’s what we saved him from doing” Gary CohnThat gives hope to those who still fear what this unpredictable and unprincipled president might doImage “Hope” by George Frederic Watts SourceI’ve seen this beautiful picture in London Hope is blinded seated on a globe and clutching a lyre with a single remaining string It is apparently a favourite of Obama’s after it was used in a sermon and the pastor said the woman in the portrait had the audacity to hope an idea Obama used as the title of his autobiography my dusty review HERE Hope isn’t about fluff and rainbows Hope is most powerful in times of need In times of fear Real power is hope It’s not all about strength You’ve got to hope hope hope And act when where and how you can Cecily

  9. says:

    If Bob Woodward's latest book doesn't put a little fear in your heart then you're not paying attention I'm a Watergate kid I grew up with the Watergate hearings on our television along with Vietnam of course every single day We knew who John and Mo were and Senator Sam and the entire mesmerizing horrifying bunch But the pair we knew best were Woodward and Bernstein To me they were heroes who met in dark alleys to get the scoop and had the power to bring down the president Of course that was a different era when high crimes and federal laws actually were important and breaking those laws meant you would indicted and incarcerated or in the case of Nixon forced to resign Thankfully And sadly We no longer live by the same standards today If you're looking for commentary on the meat of this book there are plenty of other reviews out there to read You already know what it is about I'm not going to discuss politics or who is right and who is wrong Everyone who reads this review already will have their mind made up and that is sad Just as Woodward listened to Deep Throat and wrote about that informant's information and kept that source a secret for decades he again has listened to informants and recorded the despicable acts committed by an entire group of people but namely Donald Trump There is enough information in the book credible information to impeach Trump However it is doubtful in this age that it will be done No one cares Americans don't care Americans can get riled up until hell freezes over regarding political parties but that is not what this is about It is about an incompetent man in the white house; a man who broke laws to get there one who is putting this nation in jeopardy with his tantrums insidious postings to twitter and inability to lead a nation that once was the greatest in the world For the record I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat This country doesn't have a party for me and my political ideology Again that is not what this is about The book the one being read and reviewed was written by a capable journalist whose facts are very succinctly laid out Yes his sources are protected AS THEY SHOULD BE Journalists have gone to prison for keeping a source's identity unknown That does not negate their information and the information presented here in the book is spot on I wouldn't expect anything less from Bob Woodward

  10. says:

    I have to say I'd enjoyed Michael Wolff's book much than this one Simply because it was so much easier for me to indulge in Wolff's narrative of chaos and stupidityWhat Woodward's serves up here is harder for me to accept The gist? The president gets what he wants and has plenty of enablers and supporters who will make any of his wants come true I don't know how others see it but it's clear to me the real pushback Trump ever got had to do with tariffs and South Korea Yeah his staff calls him names behind his back so what? They go along with his bullshit anyway I don't know why the White House needed to rebut anything written in this book It portrays Trump as a man who will go after his goals with relentless stubbornness No amount of information common sense expertise will distract him You and I may have an issue with his view of the world where America's only purpose should be making money and money; his inability to understand complexities of geopolitics; or his use of power as the only diplomatic tool But Trump's supporters love itWhat depressed me the most not that the book draws Trump as the small limited person that he is but that he will achieve most of what he aims to achieve because he has the likes of Lindsey Graham and Mike Pence around to help him And he will do so while tweeting disgusting garbage about women people of color asylum seekers et al There is no resistance in the White House let's not kid ourselves This is America now; and it can be changed only by people voting in the next election As far as the writing itself goes I found the book to be very messy and poorly organized I am guessing it is well sourced but the main sources work here mostly to repair their public image It's clear Cohn Porter Priebus and Bannon were the main spillers of the beans Now I am going to watch Brett Kavanaugh's hearing and get even depressed

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