Tuesday 16 October 2018

Fire and Fury - a review

Fire and FuryI just finished reading Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the White House which covers the first 9 months of Donald Trump’s presidency. When the book was first released it was panned by the President as “the Fake Book of a mentally deranged author” which, predictably, sent sales soaring.  And there are legitimate concerns about Wolff’s widespread use of unattributed quotes and anonymous sources.

But the aspect of the book that I found most interesting, and about which there is little dispute, is the infighting that took place (and continues to take place) between the various factions who inhabit the White House halls. With Jarvanka (reportedly Steve Bannon’s pet name for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump) on one side with decidedly progressive leanings, Bannon at the extreme opposite espousing alt-right policies, and centrists and professional politicians in the middle just trying to keep the President from self-destructing, the palace intrigues are worthy of Shakespearean treatment – or at least a Netflix mini-series.

It is easy to see why avid Trump supporters may not like the book as it doesn’t paint a very attractive portrait of the President; only insiders will ever know the truth about some of the claims made by Wolff. But still, I found the book to be a fascinating read. Even when I suspected certain claims might be exaggerated the narrative around the mistrust and outright antagonism between members of the President’s inner circle made for interesting, if disconcerting, reading.

If you are interested in politics in general, or US politics in particular, you should read this book. Just do so with a pinch of salt.


  1. I enjoyed James Comey's "A Higher Loyalty" recently. Again quite eye-opening. I think we may need to wait 10 or 20 years to get any dispassionate opinions on the Trump presidency.

    1. Pat,

      I have that on the hold list at our library. Along with Fear. You’re right though, it always takes years before any leader’s legacy can be reasonably assessed.

  2. Thanks for that David, must get hold of a copy. I'm not sure just how long it will take for a leader's legacy to be assessed but I'm waiting to see Trump's stance with respect to the Saudi dissident's apparent murder in Turkey. If silence is the price for on-going two way arms and oil sales, then the USA has seriously lost moral leadership.

    1. Geoff,

      The next few days will be interesting indeed.


Please feel free to comment, but any comments with commercial links will be deleted. You have been warned.