Book Review: Fear – Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward

Taken from – Fear : Trump in the White House 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 makes 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 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 office.



Firstly, I would like to start by stating that unlike other reviews, this one may be coloured by my own views on Trump, so lets start by saying that this book is focused on THE WORST ever US administration – the Trump Administration.

There have been several books that have been written about the Trump presidency and I am sure that there will be many, many more, but I decided to start with this one due to the highly respected author – the Pulitzer prize winning, Bob Woodward. Woodward is a long standing journalist at the Washington Post and is renowned for covering the Watergate scandal. This book has been made from hundreds of hours of interviews drawn from people with first hand experience of Donald Trump; personal observations; phone calls and of course… Trumps’s infamous twitter feed.

The book begins with a prologue set 8 months into Trump’s presidency with a letter regarding South Korea; A letter, that if signed, would have killed the South Korean trade agreement and reduced spending in that area. The letter is sat on Trump’s  desk and it is seen by Trump’s aides who believe the move is a bad idea and subsequently take the letter and put it in a folder so that it could not be seen.

” In addition to co-ordinating policy decisions and schedules and running 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 and give him some reason to believe that maybe they weren’t such good ideas”

This prepares us for what is to come…

The book then moves to the beginning of Trump’s presidency bid where ideas were initially forming. A discussion takes place about the likelihood of Trump becoming president with a ‘ Zero Chance’ and we are then swiftly transported six years later and Trump has won the Republican nomination!

Woodward’s depiction of the timeline of events is largely guided by reconstructed dialogue and this conversational style of narrative felt like I was having a cup of tea with an American friend and having a personal conversation about their politics. Me laughing and replying “No way… A president wouldn’t do that!” with Woodward then laying out various documents on the coffee table and leaving my smile to slowly ebb away from my face. This narrative, I believe, helps take the dryness out of politics and away from what people usually read about it.. and for that I applaud Woodward.

Now with all of Trump’s outrageous actions being highlighted in the media and with the help of Trump’s twitter soapbox, none of the information in the book really surprised me. Yet, what does emerge is the confirmation that the self-titled “stable genius” who is “very, highly intelligent” seems to see someone else in his magic mirror on the wall (the same person – who believes he has set an inauguration crowd record!) and not the congenial liar and idiot that the people most close to him see.

A real page turner that was entertaining and a story that any novelist would be proud of… BUT… this is not a story, this was a book picked off the non-fiction shelf and then all of a sudden I realise… this book is not tragically funny but horrifyingly real!


Five out of five stars.

five out of five stars


Link to More Book Reviews: Hitler’s Last Day – Minute by Minute by Jonathan Mayo and Emma Craigie

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xx Family Of The Day xx

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