Bob Woodward

Rage by Bob Woodward

November 2020, no. 426

Tom Lehrer famously believed that Henry Kissinger’s Nobel Prize for Peace rendered satire impossible. Has Donald Trump’s presidency made the same true of political journalism? This may sound counterintuitive. After all, Trump has been a boon for news outlets and book publishing, as well as for social media. Bob Woodward’s Rage sold 600,000 copies in its first week. And that the dean of White House scribes herein abandons his trademark disinterest and pronounces authoritatively that ‘Trump is the wrong man for the job’ has been treated as news in itself. Yet so what?

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Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward opens with an astonishing incident. In September 2017, Gary Cohn, President Trump’s top economic adviser, removed a letter from the president’s desk. The letter purported to terminate America’s free trade agreement with South Korea ...

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