Trump in the White House

by Bob Woodward

Number of pages: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

BBB Library: Politics and Public Affairs

ISBN: 978-1501175510

About the Author

Bob Woodward is an American investigative journalist. He has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter and is now an associate editor there. Woodward continued to work for The Washington Post after his reporting on Watergate. He has since written 18 books on American politics, 13 of which topped best-seller lists. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for the Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein, and second in 2003 as the lead reporter for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


Editorial Review

Bob Woodward reveals in this book the details of the political life of President Donald Trump in the White House and shows precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward was able to give a full image on that by conducting interviews with important sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files, and documents. The focus was on the major debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.

Book Reviews

“Fear is an important book, not only because it raises serious questions about the president’s basic fitness for the office but also because of who the author is. Woodward’s doggedinvestigative reportingled to Nixon’s resignation."

"Fear is a typical Woodward book in that named sources for scenes, thoughts and quotations appear only sometimes. Woodward has never been a graceful writer, but the prose here is unusually wooden. It’s as if he wants to make a statement that, at this historical juncture, simple factual pine-board competence should suffice."

“Woodward’s book actually suggests that for Trump, power is not fear but obscenity. The discussions that Woodward’s sources have helped him to reconstruct are filthily cloacal or grossly sexual. Debates about policy are conducted in expletives. The nuclear deal with Iran, Trump declares, is “shitty”. Other problems are categorised as “bullshit” or “horseshit”, while arguments are “ripshit”.”

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Wisdom to Share

Trump was engaged and quick. He was in great physical shape. His presence was bigger than the man was and took over the room, a command presence. He had something. He was also like a person in a bar talking to TV Street-Smart, from Queens.

Populism was for the common man, knowing the system is rigged. It was against crony capitalism and insider deals which were bleeding the workers, and that is where Trump is a unique asset came in.

Trump had another advantage. He spoke in a voice that did not sound political; this was what Barrack Obama had in 2008 in the primary contest against Clinton, who spoke like a trained politician. Her tempo was overly practiced. Even when telling the truth, she sounded like she was lying to you.

Now it is time for Americans to bind the wounds of division.

I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.

There was no suggestion that Trump or his associates had colluded or coordinated with the Russian effort.

The military had the capability to launch a covert top-secret leadership air strike in Syria. Trump sounded personally attacked. Syria had promised not to use chemical weapons.

There are some things where he has already reached the conclusion and it does not matter what you say. It does not matter what arguments you offer. He is not listening.

All presidencies are audience driven, but Trump’s central audience was often himself. He kept giving himself reviews. Most were passionately positive. Much of his brain was in the press box.

Trump liked to do things spur of the moment, Porter concluded, to fly by the seat of his pants. He acted like doing too much advance preparation would diminish his skills in improvising.

The operations of the Oval Office and White House were less the Art of the Deal and more often the Unraveling of the Deal.