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The Bridge Street Press

In Michael Wolff’s telling, the final stretch of Rupert Murdoch’s seventy-year media career plays out like a ghost story. When, in 2016, Rupert’s sons, Lachlan and James, vanquished Roger Ailes – disgraced architect of Fox News – in a rare moment of fraternal unity, the money-printing reactionary machine Ailes had built for their father kept on mutating and metastasising, in ways that would haunt the company and the Murdoch family. Fresh from writing a blockbuster trilogy documenting the Trump presidency, in The Fall Wolff braves the ‘nest of vipers’ that is the late-stage Fox News empire with a deep contact list and a strong stomach. Gone is the rare access to Rupert himself that informed The Man Who Owns The News (2008), but, fortunately for Wolff and his readers, the largely unnamed vipers of The Fall are a chatty bunch.

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Landslide by Michael Wolff & Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

January–February 2022, no. 439

The Trump presidency (2017–21) has generated more books across its four years than most presidencies have across eight. It is ironic that an avowedly anti-intellectual president, who advertises his dislike of reading, has had such a profound impact on political literature. These two books – Landslide and Peril – will likely remain the most read of that growing collection. As their titles suggest, each is a chronicle of the chaos that consumed the United States during and after the 2020 election campaign.

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