cover image Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why: Essays

Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why: Essays

Alexandra Petri. Norton, $25.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-324006-45-9

Washington Post columnist Petri (A Field Guide to Awkward Silences) takes on the Trump presidency and related issues with this superb and stinging collection of new and previously published pieces. She skewers triumphal accounts of Trump’s inauguration (sarcastically writing that “Bono, and Bruce Springsteen, and Elton John, and the Rolling Stones, and Beyoncé, and all the top artists were there”), mocks conspiracy theories by recasting the “deep state” as a regional college (“Does Deep State have a football team? No, but it controls the outcomes of all football games”), and analyzes the Mueller Report with a pitch-perfect parody of a middle-school book report (“One way in which this book did not succeed was its lack of female characters”). Also included is Petri’s Post column “Trump’s Budget Makes Perfect Sense and Will Fix America, and I Will Tell You Why,” which the White House, mistaking it for sincere praise, publicized in its “1600 Daily” e-newsletter in 2017. But the best essays are those in which she is dead serious, including 2018 pieces on families separated at the Mexican border and Christine Blasey Ford’s decision to reveal her past with now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Acidic and spot-on, Petri’s work captures the surreal quality of Trump’s tenure as perhaps no other book has. (June)