cover image Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

Michael Wolff. Holt, $30 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-15806-2

Wolff (Television is the New Television) presents an insider's look at the extreme dysfunction of the Trump administration in this searing real-life page-turner, based on hundreds of conversations conducted over 18 months, including with most of Trump's senior staff. He starts by showing how the seeds for chaotic governance were sown in the election campaign, which almost no one close to Trump thought would succeed. (His wife, Melania, was one of the few exceptions.) Wolff then walks the reader through the tumult of the first eight months of Trump's presidency, including the rambling speech to CIA staffers in which the president said that the U.S. should have "kept" Iraq's oil; the casual approach to enacting a travel ban on immigrants from majority-Muslim countries; the firings of Michael Flynn and James Comey; and the exodus of key officials, including advisor Steve Bannon. Wolff peppers his narrative with devastating assessments of the president from those with close access to him: Former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh stated that trying to understand Trump was "like trying to figure out what a child wants." And longtime Trump political aide Sam Nunberg remarked, "Is Trump a good person, an intelligent person, a capable person? I don't even know." While Wolff's use of anonymous "deep background" sources may give readers reservations about the accuracy of every detail, this explosive account will undoubtedly remain a topic of conversation for the near future. Agent: Andrew Wylie, Wylie Agency. (Jan.)