Fire and Fury: A Book Review

Hottest book in America. But, is it true or lies? The media is reeling, as are pundits and reviewers across the country. So, I read it and here’s what I think.

I’ve been following the Trump administration closely for over a year, written articles and done a lot of research, so I think I’m qualified to launch an opinion here. Michael Wolff was a Trump-approved journalistic fly on the wall in the White House and overheard a lot of conversations, and was privy and part to more of them, from dinner parties to cocktails to just sitting around the place while things went down. He says he’s got tapes of most of it, and I don’t doubt that he has, he’s sneaky that way, and also smart enough to know he might need them. For some of the comments, situations, depictions, speculation and gossip, however, he likely doesn’t. Which doesn’t make his words untrue, but does give rise to how much speculation there is. There’s goofs, too, like Mike/Mark Berman and others. A good editing would have picked up on this, but they were clearly in a hurry.  Unfortunate, because that always gives people pause…as in, well, he was wrong about this so maybe he’s wrong about that.

All that said, it’s a hell of a read. It paints a picture of an administration in utter chaos, staffed with people including the president, who truly don’t know what the hell they’re doing but trying hard to pull it off, whether for their own egos or bank accounts or the good of the country. From election night, which was met with incredulousness from Trump and tears from Melania and shock from the entire campaign, until now, it’s been a classic Keystone Kops routine, between lies, gaffes, tweets and Trump hasn’t managed being president any better than he’s managed his many bankrupt businesses. This isn’t stuff Wolff made up, it’s based upon the observations and witness of many people who were and are there, including general public knowledge. A lot of it is very entertaining.

On a more somber note, however, here’s where the book hits home and is selling so briskly. Trump, for all his bravado, doesn’t seen to have the knowledge or temperament to be president (and doesn’t want anyone telling him so) and his “advisors”, especially his daughter Ivanka and husband Jared, the “Jarvanka” faction, don’t either. They’re kids, for Christ’s sake, with no experience in government, world affairs, politics, finance or finesse. And along with Daddy, 20-something Hope Hicks and 32 year old “former” Nazi Steve Miller, that’s who’s running your government: people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing. This is what “Fire and Fury” really tells us in those pages, and this not only rings true, but is very frightening. Almost to the point where the evil political master Steve Bannon would be a welcome return to the madness. Also, he’s pretty entertaining, especially in these pages.

In a nutshell, Fire and Fury is a pretty good read, no matter what your political affiliation may be, and one that will make you think there must be a better way to elect a government, from senators to representatives to a president. Or at least a vetting process.

Raven