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Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

January 14, 2018

 

“With the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, 2017, the United States entered the eye of the most extraordinary political storm since at least Watergate.”
― Michael Wolff, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

 

3***

 

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff reads a bit like a gossipy celebrity memoir, except instead of feeling amused when I finished it, I just felt confused and disturbed. While the author is doubtlessly guiltily of some degree of exaggeration, the overall tone and report rings true. Yes there are a number of small though overt mistakes (alternative facts?), and the author's writing does not elevate him to a paragon of eloquence. Nonetheless, I cannot deny it is compulsively readable. That being said, you could easily get away with reading a few reviews of the book and get enough of what has been written. There are few surprises about Trump and his relationship (or lack thereof) with his staff, family and the press. However, I did come away from it feeling I have a stronger sense of who Steve Bannon is, and I definitely don’t feel better for it. The lack of communication, a glut of ignorance and the general sense that the president is indifferent to it all, creates a very worrying picture, though I didn't need this book to tell me that, one need only scroll through Trump's twitter feed. In the end of the day, this is a sensationalist book with a moderate degree of substance, mediocre writing and lack of editing. That being said, I hardly expected more, so I am not disappointed. The hype may not be entirely justified, but I am still glad to have read it.

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