Rucker And Leonnig Have Deep And Unmatched Sources Throughout Washington, DC And For The Past Three Years Have Chronicled In Depth The Ways President Donald Trump Has Reinvented The Presidency In His Own Image, Shaken Foreign Alliances And Tested American Institutions It Would Be All Too Easy To Mistake Trump S First Term For Pure Chaos But Leonnig And Rucker Show That In Fact There Is A Pattern And Meaning To The Daily Disorder Relying On Scores Of Exclusive New Interviews With First Hand Witnesses And Rigorous Original Reporting, The Authors Reveal The Th President Up Close As He Stares Down Impeachment They Take Readers Inside Robert Mueller S Russia Investigation And The Trump Legal Team S Scramble For Survival, Behind The Curtains As The West Wing Scurries To Clean Up The President S Mistakes And Into The Room To Witness Trump S Interactions With Foreign Leaders And Members Of His Cabinet, And Assess The Consequences A VERY STABLE GENIUS DONALD J TRUMP S TESTING OF AMERICA is a very difficult book to review with any objectivity Emotions predominate and defensive walls go up automatically During his Inaugural Address, President Trump stated, The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans Yet, although it seems impossible to believe, the United States is divided today than it was when those words were spoken The book gives an insider s look at the Trump presidency from the election returns to the Ukraine telephone call that spearheaded impeachment proceedings The focus is on events and their timelines For the most part, the writers opinions about President Trump are omitted until the Epilogue Instead, opinions are spoken by sources involved in the events, and there is a generous listing of end notes citing references The result is what I like to term a fly on the wall book It relates its perspective as if the Reader was present and watching what was happening This makes A VERY STABLE GENIUS a real page turner, delving deeper into reports that were made public including in other books As much as I was a fan of Bob Woodward s, FEAR TRUMP IN THE WHITE HOUSE, I must say that I found this one to be the better book The style of writing was clear with fewer Now, who is that again moments Every reading session was longer than I d intended because I wanted to read just one chapter before stopping As most people understand who work in the corporate world, the CEO is never expected to be the expert on everything that happens in the company The CEO doesn t know the daily ins and outs of each job Even if the job had been held by the CEO at some career point, it has certainly changed significantly through the years in how it is performed Technically, the same should be said for the office of President of the United States The President is not expected to have intimate knowledge of the daily functions of each department Instead, expert advisors are put in place to provide information that will bring the President up to speed and ready to make reasoned decisions In A VERY STABLE GENIUS, the writers provide an in depth overview of events and come to an alarming conclusion The experts who have the knowledge and experience to guide presidential decisions are gone either forcibly dismissed or voluntarily leaving The result is that instead of offering a perspective that should be considered based on the Law or world events, they are replaced by Enablers who give no voice to possible difficulties Consequently, following the findings of the Mueller Report which analyzed Russian interference in America s election process and obstruction of the investigation that followed, the Ukraine telephone call followed without any considerations of possible repercussions Meanwhile, replacements were consider acting replacements instead of officially receiving the title, which eliminates the vetting process One of my favorite movies is THE RULING CLASS from the play of the same name The premise is that an Earl who is to be seated in Parliament receives psychological treatment because he thinks he is J.C., the God of Love When he s cured, he thinks he s Jack the Ripper and delivers a scathing speech in Parliament The strong must manipulate the weak That is the first Law of the universe At the end of his speech, he is welcomed by the members of Parliament as being one of them A VERY STABLE GENIUS shows a Commander in Chief who is certain he knows what needs to be done in every instance, and who is drawn to demonstrations of power He s not the central character of THE RULING CLASS, but there are definitely shared beliefs Opinions aside, the public should be able to judge by the actions they see A VERY STABLE GENIUS catalogues those actions for review If it was a work of fiction, people would be so intrigued that everybody would be reading it I highly recommend the book. One pass at understanding the deep disfunction of the current diseased occupant of the White House Perhaps the authors do detect an underlying coherent philosophy of government, that philosophy is both oozing at the core and frequently criminal Just as we can t dismiss out of hand people who believe that commercial jets are dumping toxic chemicals on us, we have to accept that the dancing monkeys defending DumtyTrumpty really believe the silliness they dump on us That hundreds of people in government swallow that silliness astounds us, even as we struggle to think they actually believe what they are saying unless, of course, they don t, and are just collecting a paycheck, a footnote in history, and a shot at a big consulting job later on.The authors lay out the continuing sequence of events where DumtyTrumpty shits, and they pull out their plastic bags and try to clean up the mess This version of the events is measured than most of the others I ve read, and thus even less likely to change the minds of any new readers, because one must read carefully and follow sequences of events Democrats may need to stop thinking logically and legalistically, as Mueller did The DNC is on the way to putting up Joe Hillary Biden as the next clueless candidate Individual progressives need to begin mounting serious challenges to that individual and the frightened bunnies in Congress If the impeachment fails, as it appears likely to, progressives need actions on local and national stages, as well as reinforced legal scrutiny of Republican perfidy How fucked up does the idiot need to be to have Repugs recognize that fact Let s keep pushing him so the deviance becomes even clear.This book may help a little, by demonstrating the development of the madness Let s hope so. Yet another behind the scenes if there s a such thing as a scene peak into the Trumpian whitehouse, written to be the historical account the first two ish years of DJT s clown car of cast members While it might lack the specificity Woodward s Fear or Michael Wolf s uncanny ability to articulate, contextualize and wax philosophical on Trump, the WaPo double duty of A Very Stable genius is written to be the account of accounts, referencing other Trumplandia titles like Fear , James Comey s A Higher Loyalty and Andrew G McCabe s The Threat It s written to be the the definitive retelling of the barrage of instability, the scholastic paramount to date for anyone wanting to get a handle on DJT.Trump s constant misapprehension like commenting to India s Prime Minister at least you don t share a border with China Or what s this all about when visiting Pearl Harbor make him a likely loser to Are you smarter than a 4th Grader While it does slip into a bit of character analysis which makes it interesting than Fear it still mostly goes for a let the facts speak for themselves Almost without question the people who should hear the facts are probably the least likely to read such things, especially the commander in chief It seems the safest place to hide explosive reveals is in print as Trump by most accounts doesn t read, beyond headlines.A starry eyed Trump asking When do I get to meet Putin Aptly summarizes Trump s agenda The real question is how such a cheap, unsophisticated, low acuity, easily spotted confidence man managed to dupe masses to vote for him This book doesn t touch on it but we get to see the total chaos and aftermath of what happens when we have one as president. The recipe for a lot of Trump books is fairly well established gin up interest in the weeks leading up to the publication date with some salacious tidbits, appear on Maddow the night before release or ensure she quotes from the book , do the press junkets and then hope it sells like hotcakes Meanwhile, rehash the same points over and over which point to the obvious that the US is being led by the equivalent of your boorish Fox news watching cousin, only an even dumber version of that mentally challenged clod Is anyone at this point surprised that Trump doesn t know that India shares a border with China, knows nothing about the events of WWII or Pearl Harbor in particular, that Trump liked Bolton because he made him look sane in comparison, that no one in his administration knew what to do with the child separation policy, thinks Erdogan sounds like Satan , or thought he could win the Nobel because Obama got one These are not spoilers because these are all either already known or not revelatory Some move the needle a bit in sharpening the picture of what a disaster this presidency is, but ultimately very few people are going to have their view changed by reading this or will walk away with a better understanding of what real damage is being done This is contrasted with the same day release of Unmaking the Presidency Susan Hennessey Benjamin Wittes which does give a lot insight and analysis into the damage being done to the executive branch This is not a bad book or a worthless exercise in reading per se, but it is becoming tedious to read the same tidbits over and over again. The latest Donald Trump expose published today is A Very Stable Genius , by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig They re part of a political reporting team at the Post that has won a Pulitzer Prize and Leonnig has won two Pulitzer prizes on her own Both appear frequently on MSNBC and are acknowledged as excellent reporters I m putting in the authors bona fides to establish their credentials in writing a tell all book on Trump and his administration.The title A Very Stable Genius comes from a Trump tweet in January, 2018, issued when another author was disparaging about Trump s mental stability and acumen He s used it often in tweets and speeches since and doesn t seem to recognize the illogical claim a person shouldn t make about himself The authors have looked at Donald Trump s almost constant daily lies and braggadocio about himself They present his deeds and his words but are somewhat sparing about drawing the conclusions of Trump s actions, figuring that their readers can do so for themselves I think the part I was and still am shocked about was that President Donald Trump did not know exactly what happened at Pearl Harbor and the importance of the USS Arizona.Again, Rucker and Leonnig s book is but the latest tell all but I think it s one of the best written. This is a pretty rote history of the Trump presidency It s broad in scope and not very deep Aside from a few details about specific meetings, and some revelatory info about the Muller report spoiler Barr comes off as WAY less of an asshole and Robert Mueller looks aloof and impotent or hopelessly naive He released the report, basically telling the relevant parties, I ve done my job, now read the report and do YOUR job This is a country where a majority of people base their guiding principals upon doctrine laid out in a book they ve never read People who wont read the bible are going to read Mueller s 400 page report on collusion and obstruction of justice No So Trump can state that the report exonerates him, when it explicitly says otherwise It also took them a hell of a long time to get this book to press It seems like they stopped writing around May of 2019 Turning in a manuscript in May, and publishing the following January What could go wrong There s a perfunctory epilogue that talks about Trump s talk with the Ukraine prime minister They do a nice summary, but it s pretty thin Greg Miller s book, The Apprentice, is still the best reporting I ve read on the Trump presidency Read that, then skip to the final chapter of this book for the Mueller report stuff. I am a sucker for falling for the bombshell excerpts printed prior to the release of this book And I am glutton of punishment for having to re live scandal after scandal of this administration But, on the upside, I am happy to support journalists Based upon the bombshell excerpts, I expected there would be new information and details from this book Nope The only significant new information was released before the book was available So, do not bother with this book if you wanted to learn anything new about the chaos of the administration The book also was organized oddly It is in chronological order, in that it is organized 2017, 2018 and 2019, but within each year, the chapters bounce around You might be reading about something in the Mueller investigation in October, and then the next chapter might be about the immigration crisis at the border, and then back to the Mueller investigation in November It made no sense I will say, that after reading this book, it is clear that that with the departure of the Kelly, Tillerson and Mattis, it is not surprising what happened with Ukraine The book was a reminder of how those three would refuse to act when Trump told them to do something that broke the law. An in depth and, quite frankly, frightening portrait of President Donald Trump and those in his wider orbit Hard, at times, to not shake my head inwell, something This book asserts, in frightening detail as many have before that, Trump, a man who doesn t read briefing notes, cozies up to dictators and thugs whilst trashing America s allies, and seems interested in his own profile than anything else, is thoroughly and completely unfit for the role he currently holds I mean, that stands true even if only 1 3 of what is written is true Tremendous reporting.I guess the fact that the President has spent a lot of Twitter time trashing the authors Pulitzer Prize winners, by the way as third rate and whatever else suggests that there s a lot truth to their work than he d like to be the case.Fascinating, if worrying Highly recommended. Riveting and HorrifyingThe writing is good It is backed up by an extensive bibliography The Kindle edition allows for easy use of the index that follows the narrative And, it s very easy to read I was unable to put this book down, despite a roiling stomach and not a few panic attacks Over the course of two days, in spurts and starts, I read about a President who has pushed the norms further and further from once accepted and honored American values and character His followers and enablers are like frogs in a pot of water that has been gradually raised to a boiling point when will they figure out they re in hot water Let s hope and pray that these heads of state the ones who can halt his power grab will wake up and respond appropriately God help us all. Some of this is well known information, some is not, but the complicating story is told in an engaging style This book is destined to become a standard reference work for later detailed histories of this period of American history The authors point out the book s one flaw in the beginning the cascading events never seems to end, which gives the book a one damned thing after another feel The reality, of course, is that it reads just as daily life unfolds in this era there is hardly time to understand one crisis before the next occurs The authors have done yeoman s work in researching this story and have provided material for journalists, authors, and historians for decades to come Journalists have been much maligned in recent years, but I applaud their dogged efforts to publish this story I look forward to reading the continuing saga but not to living through it.