A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America

Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig. Penguin Press, $30 (480p) ISBN 978-1-984877-49-9
Washington Post reporters Rucker and Leonnig deliver a granular critique of the Trump presidency, from Michael Flynn's ill-fated tenure as national security advisor to the release of the Mueller Report. Contending that "two kinds of people went to work for the administration: those who thought Trump was saving the world and those who thought the world needed to be saved from Trump," Rucker and Leonnig argue that the latter group served as "human guardrails" before they either quit in frustration or were fired. White House insiders lament everything from the preponderance of TVs ("It was like running a meeting in a Buffalo Wild Wings") to Trump's insults ("You're a bunch of dopes and babies," he once told senior military commanders) to the meddling of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. The book's brief epilogue links the departure of Trump's most experienced advisors to his pressure campaign on Ukraine and calls on Republicans to consider "the fate of history" as impeachment unfolds. Rucker and Leonnig try to account for their sources' private agendas (though Chris Christie comes off suspiciously well) and reveal new details about well-known events, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's plans to protect the Russia investigation if Trump fired Mueller. The president's critics will find their worst suspicions confirmed by this doggedly reported account. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 01/21/2020
Release date: 01/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 816 pages - 978-0-593-29496-3
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-1-9848-7751-2
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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