“Fear” by Bob Woodward a Book Review

Fear: Trump in the White HouseFear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Bob Woodward has done an amazing job of filling in the blanks of the news stories we have all heard in the past 18 months. As a book of new revelations, it falls short of its hype and all the reactions that have come out regarding it being a pack of revealing truths or just a bunch of lies. Well researched, the book is a monument to further understanding the characteristics of a President who apparently bathes himself in the aura of yes-men and stomps on those who dare to cross him or seem to want to control his erratic impulses with concrete researched arguments for numerous causes. The characteristics of President Trump that stand out and seem to govern both what he can accomplish and why his major accomplishment list is so low, despite having complete political party control of Congress. These traits include hyper-attention to worthless minutia, high distractibility, a flash-point temper when confronted with opposition, and a penchant for micromanagement, all of which contribute to his inability to focus and make major grand scale decisions that can then be worked on by his more specialized and experienced cadre of secretaries and generals. Time and again as the books cycles through the topics of nuclear disarmament of Korea and Iran, our troop involvement in Afganistan, solving key points on immigration, building a sustainable economy, or dealing with international diplomacy through current treaties and accords, the reader will see how the discussions go off topic, spark Presidential outbursts of anger and acrimony against experts in military, economic, legal and diplomatic fields, leading to humiliation and the resignations of key persons dedicated to “making it work” for America. Any reader who has raised teenagers will empathize with the men and women who stick it out and try to bring order out of the constant chaos created by a President who would rather shout diatribes against the latest commentator blips coming out of FOX or CNN News. Those readers who are upholders of ‘Due Process’ will be aghast at the trivial manner in which our President tweets messages to cast off and take on high level appointed employees of our government. Here is the profile a man who will use his kowtowing aides for his own purposes until he deems them worthless and then capriciously cast them off with no more than a shrug of his shoulders, the way a snake slides out of an old skin and slithers on its one-track mind way. Does the book engender its title, “FEAR”? Yes. If you are a loyal American citizen you will wonder at the men and women in high places, including the hundreds of Congressional leaders who make up a third of our governmental process, who have smiled and kowtowed while viewing the Presidency’s new clothes, but remain sitting on their thumbs for eighteen months while nothing gets done and our country lives in an era of trying to erase the past and never focusing on a clear mission for our future. I didn’t enjoy the book, but I am extremely glad I read it.

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