cover image Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda

Hatemonger: Stephen Miller, Donald Trump, and the White Nationalist Agenda

Jean Guerrero. Morrow, $28.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-298671-9

Journalist Guerrero (Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir) underwhelms in this outraged biography of the Trump administration senior policy adviser Stephen Miller. Reconstructing Miller’s upbringing in a politically conservative Jewish family in Santa Monica, Calif., in the 1990s (when the state was riven by starkly different approaches to illegal immigration), Guerrero spotlights Miller’s early interest in right-wing radio, middle-school subscription to Guns & Ammo, and opposition to bilingual education, multiculturalism, and a gay student club at Santa Monica High School. At Duke University, Miller gained national prominence for a series of student newspaper columns about a group of white lacrosse students wrongfully accused of raping a black woman. After graduation, Miller worked on the staffs of Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and Alabama senator Jeff Sessions before joining the Trump administration, where he led the charge to ban immigration from predominantly Muslim countries and to separate migrant children from their parents at the U.S.–Mexico border. The inner workings of Trump’s anti-immigration policies have been covered in more depth elsewhere, and Guerrero’s research into Miller’s family background (his great-grandparents immigrated to America to escape Russian pogroms) reveal many ironies but few deep insights. Readers will be left in the dark about what makes Miller tick. (Aug.)