cover image Understanding Trump

Understanding Trump

Newt Gingrich. Center Street, $27 (369p) ISBN 978-1-4789-2308-4

Former House speaker Gingrich (A Nation like No Other) promises an insider’s look at what makes Donald J. Trump tick, but instead, he delivers an implausible portrait of the 45th president as a straight-talking guy from Queens who, unlike the “intellectual yet idiot” elite, can connect naturally with working people. Gingrich’s Trump is an entrepreneur, pragmatist, and family man, a uniquely promising leader capable of achieving what others say is impossible. He “flaunts his wealth both as a measure of personal achievement and as a celebration of the greatness of America.” Those interested in understanding Trump or principled conservative policy reform will not find answers here. Gingrich instead reviews the perils of inflexible bureaucracies, his own health-care reform proposals, and the merits of tax reduction. Gingrich warns that identity politics, media bias, and a permanent opposition threaten to destroy Trump’s presidency, and Trump so threatens the liberal establishment that a coup d’état is a danger. He finishes his hastily assembled profile with an incoherent mix of lists, projects, a diatribe by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, and transcriptions of Trump’s speeches, giving the impression that Gingrich has little new to offer readers. [em](June) [/em]