Fire and Fury, Media Matters, and Secret Empires: A Reading List to the Trump White House
The behind-the-scenes book exploded into the national conversation at the beginning of the year, prompting demand and in-store lines possibly not seen since the publishing of the last Harry Potter book.
While the White House did try to focus its wrath on Wolff and publisher Henry Holt and Company—attempting to impose a cease-and-desist order, only prompting an earlier release of the book—there are more in-depth reports already headed for the printing presses of which the administration should be wary.
If you’re looking for more reading material about the Trump White House and its rotating cast of characters, here’s a quick guide to some books already published and yet to come in 2018—some of which might seem like beach or airport reads until you remember the reports are rooted in real life.
Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
Consider this a prologue, or prequel even, of sorts to the events of today’s administration. Written by broadcast journalist Katy Tur, the New York Times-bestseller is part-memoir, part-recap of her life on the road as the NBC News pool reporter for the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential race.
This is not your average, All-American family road trip. You’ll get an introduction to some familiar faces and names, such as Trump and his family, the musical chairs game of campaign managers, and Hope Hicks, the campaign’s first hire who has been along for the entire wild ride and has since risen to White House communications director.
Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
Where Unbelievable ends, Fire and Fury picks up on that fateful Election Night on November 8, 2016. Penned by journalist Michael Wolff, also famous for writing a scathing biography about media baron Rupert Murdoch several years ago, Fire and Fury took off like, well, wildfire as soon as word of its imminent publishing broke just a few weeks ago. Excerpts from the book published in The Guardian, New York magazine, and The Hollywood Reporter certainly whetted the appetite of readers nationwide with anecdotes such as the President eating cheeseburgers in bed while watching cable news to vignettes of secretive discussions at Mar-a-Lago and Air Force One about the Russia investigation and the firing of FBI director James Comey.
Given his history with the Murdoch book and some obvious glaring errors, the accuracy of the book has been called into question. Media critics have openly wondered how Wolff could have possibly gained such access at all. (Wolff was helped with plenty of on-the-record commentary from former Trump strategist and kingmaker Steve Bannon.) A spokesperson for First Lady Melania Trump lambasted the book, deriding it as something that would end up in a bargain book section. That probably won’t happen anytime soon, however, as the book skyrocketed right out of the gates, sold out in print immediately, a boon for Amazon on digital sales while publisher Henry Holt scrambled to order a second printing.
Media Madness: Donald Trump, the Press, and the War Over the Truth
Published just this week, Media Matters seemingly confirms some of the stunning claims (or at least themes) in Fire and Fury while trying to give President Trump some more benefit of the doubt in his ongoing war with the press. Fox News host and former Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz has already received some better reviews (or at least less doubt in his reporting from critics) for trying to balance gossipy details about the usual suspects (Bannon, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, etc.). Kurtz also pushes back against the media with some harsh analysis, arguing many mainstream outlets and their journalists have thrown objectivity out the window.
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Secret Empires: How Our Politicians Hide Corruption and Enrich Their Families and Friends
As I mentioned before, most of the books on this list are easy reads. (Fire and Fury might just take a bit of extra time just because it’s very long compared to the others.) But if you happen to have blasted through all of those and are looking for something more (or another juicy account in time for a spring break vacation), HarperCollins will have a new book waiting for you this March.
Written by Peter Schweizer, a regular Fox News guest and author of controversial bestseller Clinton Cash, the book will reportedly “expose vast corruption by top Washington figures who leverage their political power to enrich their family members and friends, often by helping grease deals with foreign entities,” according to Axios. With a title like Secret Empires: How Our Politicians Hide Corruption and Enrich Their Families and Friends, it’s clear Schweizer won’t be mincing words.
Maggie Haberman’s Untitled Book for Random House
Maggie Haberman, the White House correspondent for the New York Times, has become somewhat of a fixture herself in the White House circus in relatively short time. Although the President has openly criticized and mocked her on Twitter and in live interviews, Haberman is still one of Trump’s go-to reporters for on-the-record interviews, producing one of the most unexpected and unusual relationships between presidents and the journalists who cover them. Thus, it’s no surprise Haberman inked a book deal before Trump’s first year was even up.
However, Haberman signed the book deal with fellow NYT White House reporter Glenn Thrush, who was suspended less than two months later following a report by Vox, detailing sexual misconduct allegations against him by several women, including by the article’s author. By December, the paper said Thrush would change beats and undergo “counseling and substance abuse rehabilitation on his own and that he would receive training ‘to improve his workplace conduct.”
Random House told the New York Times in December that it was planning to move forward with the book, “but it will not be with Glenn Thrush attached.” Regardless, given Haberman’s countless scoops in the last year alone, it will surely become a must-read following some of her revelations about hour-by-hour palace intrigue and Trump’s life in the White House.
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