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Friday, July 1, 2022

Which Trump Books Should you Read?

(Image: Goodwill)

With so many Trump books being published — 1,200 and counting — which ones should you read? There’s no disputing that Trump has been a godsend to publishing industry sales. Books such as “Rage” and “Too Much and Never Enough” have had early sales in the millions. The first printing for “Disloyal” was 600,000. Authors say their books will do well if only they’re lucky enough to hear Trump say he hates it.

It’s been my lot to end up reading a number of the more prominent books about the Trump era, so I can give some advice.

Given a personal bias for reportage and accuracy, I would have to pick Bob Woodward’s “Rage” (backed by 17 tape recordings of interviews with Trump) as the number-one enduring read. Here’s how I’d rate the other major books in descending order:

  • “The Room Where It Happened” by former National Security Adviser John Bolton gives an account of Trump’s inept foreign policy moves. While the reader must take into account Bolton’s hawkish outlook, Bolton’s story of his 2 1/2 year tenure illuminates such slap-stick encounters as Trump meetings with Kim Jong Un. He reveals that Trump once asked China’s Xi to help with his reelection.
  • “Too Much and Never Enough” by Mary L. Trump is the revealing story of how Donald J. Trump’s personality was misshaped by growing up in a household ruled by a sociopathic father who taught his sons to be killers and value money above all. Mary Trump, the president’s niece, is a clinical psychologist who writes with authority about formative events in the president’s life. Among her revelations: Trump, who had learning disabilities, paid a smart acquaintance to take his SAT tests.
  • “Disloyal: A Memoir” by Michael Cohen. The Manhattan lawyer and businessman was first dazzled by Donald Trump as a “billionaire real estate tycoon.” Cohen worked for Donald Trump” as his fixer and confidant for two decades and helped him into the Oval Office before pleading guilty to tax evasion, campaign finance violation, and false statements. 
  • “Russian Roulette” by Michael lsikoff and David Corn is the amazing story of Russian Interference in the 2016 election. While I did read “The Mueller Report” and recommend it for its historical record, Isikoff and Corn’s book is a snappier read for all but the most academic scholars.
  • “The Making of Donald Trump” by David Cay Johnston is the harvest of the journalist’s three decades of reporting and goes from the Trump family beginnings to Trump’s personal wheeling and dealings in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Johnston also authored the book about Trump’s loose financial affairs in “It’s Even Worse Than You Think.” 
Jean Godden
Jean Godden
Jean Godden wrote columns first for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and later for the Seattle Times. In 2003, she quit to run for Seattle City Council where she served 12 years. She now writes for Westside Seattle and has been a co-host on The Bridge, aired on community radio station KMGP. You can email tips and comments to Jean at jgodden@blarg.net.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for your recommendation, Jack. The Weissman book is tops of my get-around-to-it list. It would be welcome to have Trump lose and the book publishing world turn to more inspiring themes. I’d like to see a blueprint for restoring our democracy, working to strengthen voting rights and human rights. Will there be an audience?

  2. Another suggestion: Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3500 Law Suits by Jim Zirin, a former federal prosecutors. A well documented survey of Trump’s use and misuse of the legal system over the past five decades. The notoriously unscrupulous lawyer Roy Cohn was Trump’s mentor, and Trump adopted his scorched earth tactics: lie, distract, deny responsibility, always claim victory no matter how bad the defeat, attack any foe viciously, etc. A fascinating read.

  3. Well….Here are 3 more that I think are critical to understanding the Trump election and early presidency…..Fear, Bob Woodward’s first book on Trump, A higher Loyalty, Comey’s account and last but not least
    Compromised by Peter Strzok.

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