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I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year

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The definitive behind-the-scenes story of Trump’s final year in office, by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the Pulitzer-Prize winning reporters and authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller, A Very Stable Genius The true story of what took place in Donald Trump’s White House during a disastrous 2020 has never before been told in full. What was really going on around the The definitive behind-the-scenes story of Trump’s final year in office, by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the Pulitzer-Prize winning reporters and authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller, A Very Stable Genius The true story of what took place in Donald Trump’s White House during a disastrous 2020 has never before been told in full. What was really going on around the president, as the government failed to contain the coronavirus and over half a million Americans perished? Who was influencing Trump after he refused to concede an election he had clearly lost and spread lies about election fraud? To answer these questions, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig reveal a dysfunctional and bumbling presidency’s inner workings in unprecedented, stunning detail. Focused on Trump and the key players around him—the doctors, generals, senior advisers, and Trump family members— Rucker and Leonnig provide a forensic account of the most devastating year in a presidency like no other. Their sources were in the room as time and time again Trump put his personal gain ahead of the good of the country. These witnesses to history tell the story of him longing to deploy the military to the streets of American cities to crush the protest movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, all to bolster his image of strength ahead of the election. These sources saw firsthand his refusal to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously—even to the point of allowing himself and those around him to be infected. This is a story of a nation sabotaged—economically, medically, and politically—by its own leader, culminating with a groundbreaking, minute-by-minute account of exactly what went on in the Capitol building on January 6, as Trump’s supporters so easily breached the most sacred halls of American democracy, and how the president reacted. With unparalleled access, Rucker and Leonnig explain and expose exactly who enabled—and who foiled—Trump as he sought desperately to cling to power. A classic and heart-racing work of investigative reporting, this book is destined to be read and studied by citizens and historians alike for decades to come.


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The definitive behind-the-scenes story of Trump’s final year in office, by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the Pulitzer-Prize winning reporters and authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller, A Very Stable Genius The true story of what took place in Donald Trump’s White House during a disastrous 2020 has never before been told in full. What was really going on around the The definitive behind-the-scenes story of Trump’s final year in office, by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the Pulitzer-Prize winning reporters and authors of the #1 New York Times bestseller, A Very Stable Genius The true story of what took place in Donald Trump’s White House during a disastrous 2020 has never before been told in full. What was really going on around the president, as the government failed to contain the coronavirus and over half a million Americans perished? Who was influencing Trump after he refused to concede an election he had clearly lost and spread lies about election fraud? To answer these questions, Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig reveal a dysfunctional and bumbling presidency’s inner workings in unprecedented, stunning detail. Focused on Trump and the key players around him—the doctors, generals, senior advisers, and Trump family members— Rucker and Leonnig provide a forensic account of the most devastating year in a presidency like no other. Their sources were in the room as time and time again Trump put his personal gain ahead of the good of the country. These witnesses to history tell the story of him longing to deploy the military to the streets of American cities to crush the protest movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, all to bolster his image of strength ahead of the election. These sources saw firsthand his refusal to take the threat of the coronavirus seriously—even to the point of allowing himself and those around him to be infected. This is a story of a nation sabotaged—economically, medically, and politically—by its own leader, culminating with a groundbreaking, minute-by-minute account of exactly what went on in the Capitol building on January 6, as Trump’s supporters so easily breached the most sacred halls of American democracy, and how the president reacted. With unparalleled access, Rucker and Leonnig explain and expose exactly who enabled—and who foiled—Trump as he sought desperately to cling to power. A classic and heart-racing work of investigative reporting, this book is destined to be read and studied by citizens and historians alike for decades to come.

30 review for I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    Okay, so, it’s a Tuesday in summer 2021 and the latest book about Donald Trump and his presidency has been published. I’ve read most of them so far. I’m not going to write about my feelings - personal and political - about Donald Trump, but rather if Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker’s new book, “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” is worth reading. This is, after all, a BOOk review, and my feelings about Trump really shouldn’t matter. Leonnig and Rucker are reporters for t Okay, so, it’s a Tuesday in summer 2021 and the latest book about Donald Trump and his presidency has been published. I’ve read most of them so far. I’m not going to write about my feelings - personal and political - about Donald Trump, but rather if Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker’s new book, “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” is worth reading. This is, after all, a BOOk review, and my feelings about Trump really shouldn’t matter. Leonnig and Rucker are reporters for the Washington Post. As reporters, they know how to write; they know what should be included and what to leave out. Their book is masterly written because both authors are long time reporters assigned the Donald Trump beat. Curiously, Trump gave them interviews - including one after the January 6th insurrection - knowing they were writing an account of his presidency. He was rather indiscreet in what he said. The book is filled with interesting tidbits and Leonnig and Rucker go behind the scenes. They obviously talked to many people both within and outside the Administration. They were fairly even-handed in their reporting. And I think I’ll break my personal rule about commenting about my opinion of Trump. I will say that I’ve felt dirty after reading these books. Really dirty…

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    UPDATE, 10/09/2021: When I was reading this book this Summer, it seemed obvious that the main source of the inside workings (or mis-workings) in the Trump White House was General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I wondered at the time about the propriety of a general being so chummy with reporters while advising a president about the most sensitive military matters. Anyhow, in exchange for his info, Milley is painted in heroic hues, standing up to a demonic President. But r UPDATE, 10/09/2021: When I was reading this book this Summer, it seemed obvious that the main source of the inside workings (or mis-workings) in the Trump White House was General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I wondered at the time about the propriety of a general being so chummy with reporters while advising a president about the most sensitive military matters. Anyhow, in exchange for his info, Milley is painted in heroic hues, standing up to a demonic President. But recently Milley has gone from gossiper to having to explain himself in front of Congressional panels. I have to remind myself that journalism, even history, isn't necessarily Fact, it's just who's doing the talking. Is there a medal for Intrigue? This is not to say that a single word from Milley is inaccurate. But it's nice to know who's doing the whispering. END UPDATE ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- I've always found Donald Trump loathsome, long before he became Loathsome-in Chief. So I didn't feel the need to read any of the many tell-all books about him. I knew what he was. But his last year as president was a drama unimaginable, even for him. And that last year is what this book is about. Shocker: Trump is an abysmal human being. This is well-written, a page-turner, and important too. It will be a handy resource of what went on in that last year. Yet, people will ask: Was it fair? Fair as to Trump? Yes, very much so. He is quoted directly. Hoisted on his own verbal petard. Yet they quoted Nancy Pelosi as if she were some oracle, when all she really said was : This guy's crazy. He's dangerous. He's a maniac. We have deep concerns. And it was sufficient for them to say, "Police there shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake, a twenty-nine-year-old Black man." That's it. But it wasn't that simple. So, yes, nothing they said about Trump was skewered. But they still could not help but show their stripes. ----- ----- ----- ----- I've been thinking about this. Trump is now identified with the religious Right, the White extremists. And he should be. But, the far Right did not create Trump. The media, in particular television, did. They gave him every talk show, and his own network spectacular. Trump spoke, but had no agenda, outside himself. Virtually every issue position he had switched (see abortion, this index, generally) when he found a way to get a political purchase. WE ARE IGNORING THIS. We have been dumb-downed, laugh-tracked, heh-heh-heh-ed by morning talk shows, and gravelly-voiced by evening news. This is how Trump got there. Not by extremists. He's only one of them by convenience. He got there because of the idiots behind the screen. Pay no attention to . . . I'm sorry if this in an unpopular view. I refused to buy his ties, because I loathed the man. Did you watch his show?

  3. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    Five stars to the reporters who detailed all the craziness that the asshole Trump brought to us for four long, long years! Zero stars to those that enabled him and set there every day and did nothing! Reading this book brought home how close we came to losing our cherished Democracy and how disgusted I am with those grown-up ass supporters of his who continue to support him through all his lies & craziness - just because they hate Democrats or don't want them to win! When did we become so hateful Five stars to the reporters who detailed all the craziness that the asshole Trump brought to us for four long, long years! Zero stars to those that enabled him and set there every day and did nothing! Reading this book brought home how close we came to losing our cherished Democracy and how disgusted I am with those grown-up ass supporters of his who continue to support him through all his lies & craziness - just because they hate Democrats or don't want them to win! When did we become so hateful? When did down to earth and otherwise normal human beings stopped using their heads & ears and bought into this sicko's coolade? I wish people would wake the hell up! There has got to be better Republicans they can support then these nut jobs that are in the White House currently and this Psychopath! Come on Republicans, wake the hell up already!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Georgiana

    The excerpts are fascinating and frightening. I have a ton of respect for Leonnig and Rucker.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lorna

    I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker was a sobering account of the tumultuous and final year of his presidency that stretched this nation to the limits as our democracy and all that it stands for was tested. In the words of the authors: "The year 2020 tested the republic. Yet the insitutions designed by the Founding Fathers were still standing at the time that Trump left office. America's democracy withstood the unrelenting assault of I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker was a sobering account of the tumultuous and final year of his presidency that stretched this nation to the limits as our democracy and all that it stands for was tested. In the words of the authors: "The year 2020 tested the republic. Yet the insitutions designed by the Founding Fathers were still standing at the time that Trump left office. America's democracy withstood the unrelenting assault of its president. Trump's cries summoned tens of thousands of angry citizens to Washington to overturn the election, but Vice President Pence and scores of lawmakers followed their constitutional duties." I certainly felt that I didn't want to devote any more of my time to the debacle of the Trump presidency but his last year in office was so catastrophic as we watched the death toll rise from an uncontrolled, and largely ignored pandemic raged through this country. The people impacted rose exponentially to the number of over 500,000 people dying and hundreds of thousands of people throughout this country infected with COVID-19 as Trump left office. In a presidency facing two impeachments, there was the final assault on America by this president, and that was the drumbeat that the election would be fraudulent and the outcome should be overruled and overturned. Hence the insurrection of January 6, 2021 fueled by President Trump to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, a hallmark of our democracy, as we witnessed tens of thousands of vigilantes try to hold on to power as they invaded the Capitol. The bipartisan investigative committee is in the process of piecing together the sequence of events as we speak. Obviously there is much for us to learn. But we must remember the words of General Mark Milley: "A student of history, Milley saw Trump as the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose. He described to his aides that he kept having the stomach-churning feeling that some of the worrisome early stages of twentieth-century fascism in Germany were replaying in twenty-first century America. He saw parallels between Trump's rhetoric of election fraud and Adolf Hitler's insistence to his followers at the Nuremberg rallies that he was both a victim and their savior. 'This is a Reichstag moment,' Milley told aides. 'The gospel of the Fuhrer.'" But in America, we believe in a new day, and on January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden was inaugarated as President of the United States. And on that beautiful crisp winter day, we were all uplifted by the beautiful work of National Youth Poet Laureate of 2017, Amanda Gorman. There was a stillness as she read 'The Hill We Climb,' her paean to the the nation's triumph over a threatening four years of chaos and division: "We've seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it Would destroy our country if it meant delaying Democracy And this effort very nearly succeeded But while democracy can be periodically delayed it can never be permanently defeated."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Ms. Feisty)

    Vulva Neck is the most repulsive organism on the planet. Air should be illegal if he breathes it. I'm giving this five stars for quality and relevance, not for enjoyment. This book can be anxiety-inducing. Even if you've closely followed the news over the past year or two, you will learn here that it's all far far worse than you thought it was. That monster flatly DID NOT CARE that people were suffering and dying from the pandemic. He saw it only through the lens of "how is this going to affect Vulva Neck is the most repulsive organism on the planet. Air should be illegal if he breathes it. I'm giving this five stars for quality and relevance, not for enjoyment. This book can be anxiety-inducing. Even if you've closely followed the news over the past year or two, you will learn here that it's all far far worse than you thought it was. That monster flatly DID NOT CARE that people were suffering and dying from the pandemic. He saw it only through the lens of "how is this going to affect my chances of staying in power?" Disgusting subhuman. The authors deserve every one of the five stars, and more. They interviewed 140 people, and they maintained their professionalism and dedication to excellence in reportage. Whenever there is disagreement about events or conversations, they always say "so-and-so denied through a spokesperson that this ever happened." Of course, we know that when Rudy Giu-LIE-ani and the Tangerine Traitor and any of his other cronies deny something, they're lying, but Leonnig and Rucker remain neutral and fair throughout the book. This is a disturbing but essential read if you want to be an informed citizen and understand what is still at risk of being lost if the Fascist Death Cult formerly known as the Republican Party continues to enable the wannabe dictator.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    This attempts to be fair and balanced, for the most part it succeeds though I would agree it has a liberal slant. This was longer than it needed to be since it was focused basically on a 14-16 month period. This was detailed as fuck and boring in places. The most shocking quotes have already been released to the media. I think if you're going to read only 1 book of the recent 3 released ( Frankly, We Did Win This Election by Michael Bender & Landslide by Michael Wolff), this is the book to go with. W This attempts to be fair and balanced, for the most part it succeeds though I would agree it has a liberal slant. This was longer than it needed to be since it was focused basically on a 14-16 month period. This was detailed as fuck and boring in places. The most shocking quotes have already been released to the media. I think if you're going to read only 1 book of the recent 3 released ( Frankly, We Did Win This Election by Michael Bender & Landslide by Michael Wolff), this is the book to go with. Wolff's book moves along a bit faster but does not offer the in depth coverage this book does. I think all politicians and governments are corrupt. I still find chumps behavior shocking. I'm also disturbed at how the Jan 6th Capitol Insurrection is being reframed right now. As well as the nonsense about unfair elections. This is just being used as an excuse by conservatives to restrict POC's voting rights. Sigh As well as to restrict protest and Jan 6th wasn't a protest. The frustration

  8. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Yes, he was awful. And yes, he was even worse than you thought. A detailed recap that professes journalistic integrity and demonstrates just how awful he was and just who knew it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Catastrophic is right! This book exposes the craziness of Trump and his Fanatics. Recommended for anyone who prefers facts to lies.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    Of the 3 new releases this one impressed me the most, just unbiased facts, bone chilling facts…

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Mann

    After reading this, no matter how bad you thought Trump was, you'll realize he is worse than that. After reading this, no matter how bad you thought Trump was, you'll realize he is worse than that.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Richard Marney

    I listened to the audiobook over the last two days, mesmerized and sickened. I thought I couldn’t be more shocked by that wicked man, but I was. Democracy is truly an act and not a theory. We all must act resolutely to defend government by the people for the people.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Lyons

    I have no fucking words. Actually I have a few-SICKENING, FRIGHTENING, UN-FUCKING-BELIEVABLE! Our democracy was and is in danger because of this fucknut. I know I read mostly chick lit, romance, and mysteries so if you follow me on goodreads and you disagree or are angered by this review then unfucking follow me. This man is a sick, demented, con man piece of shit!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eric_W

    I'm sure everyone reading this lived through 2020. This book lets you relive the events in a nifty chronological package that I could not put down. It was interesting to match my recollection against the book's actual account. No one in the Trump administration connected in any way to COVID-19 fared well. Those who tried to warn the president got fired. Those, like Pence, the "oleaginous sycophant", in George Will's memorable characterization, deferentially who did their master's bidding, got bu I'm sure everyone reading this lived through 2020. This book lets you relive the events in a nifty chronological package that I could not put down. It was interesting to match my recollection against the book's actual account. No one in the Trump administration connected in any way to COVID-19 fared well. Those who tried to warn the president got fired. Those, like Pence, the "oleaginous sycophant", in George Will's memorable characterization, deferentially who did their master's bidding, got burned. The authors clearly had a lot of these folks as sources; even Trump agreed to be interviewed. But that also means the reader must be careful as many of the comments, made with full hindsight, are clearly attempts to put themselves and their own actions in the best light possible. Even where Trump's policies were popular and would have benefited the country, his administration's incompetence prevented their implementation. The Supreme Court turned away several petitions because of incompetent presentation; the proposal to reduce drug costs failed because they ignored the rules, and it was tossed in court; and we all know about the Great Wall. If there is any hero, it has to be General Mark Milley who repeatedly tried to be the adult in the room during meetings and was devoted to the concept of civilian control of the military, which he interpreted as also implying that civilians could not use the military as their own police force. Trump's recurring fantasy was that, as president, all the people and agencies owed personal loyalty to him and him alone, not the Constitution nor its principles. Trump, who had refused to be interviewed for the authors' first book, gladly agreed to two hours for this one. It's recounted in the epilogue and consisted primarily of diatribes against those he had initially lauded but now despised and how he really won the election by the greatest margin in the history of the world. The man doesn't know how to speak in anything but hyperbole and superlatives. Doesn't say much for his ability to judge people. A great read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jean-Luc

    An astonishing, disturbing and down right disgusting chronicle of the last year of the most unhinged moron to ever hold the POTUS title and a scathing look at all the dangerous and dimwitted sycophants that enabled him to blow his worthless presidency sky-high. A mind blowing read that really left me totally speechless and utterly exhausted by the end. I usually give a wide berth to that type of books but this time around I have no regrets to have spent a few hours devouring this devastating acc An astonishing, disturbing and down right disgusting chronicle of the last year of the most unhinged moron to ever hold the POTUS title and a scathing look at all the dangerous and dimwitted sycophants that enabled him to blow his worthless presidency sky-high. A mind blowing read that really left me totally speechless and utterly exhausted by the end. I usually give a wide berth to that type of books but this time around I have no regrets to have spent a few hours devouring this devastating account of US presidential ineptitude. I could spend many hours dissecting this captivating book but I unfortunately I don't think that my blood pressure would welcome it at the moment. A higly recommended publication to be enjoyed without any moderation whatsoever! Many thanks to Netgalley and Penguin for giving me the opportunity read this very disturbing ARC

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Galella

    This book is better than “A Stable Genius” for one reason - there are many more names attached to the quotes and far fewer “high ranking officials” that wouldn’t speak on the record. Sure, there are still some of them, but not 90% of the book. There’s lots of speaking in this book. Speaking, yelling, cursing, back biting, blaming…oh the spectacular BLAME GAME. That game is not just done by DJT. Leonnig and Rucker share the TMZ on Trump’s team as they scramble for purchase and cover. This is high This book is better than “A Stable Genius” for one reason - there are many more names attached to the quotes and far fewer “high ranking officials” that wouldn’t speak on the record. Sure, there are still some of them, but not 90% of the book. There’s lots of speaking in this book. Speaking, yelling, cursing, back biting, blaming…oh the spectacular BLAME GAME. That game is not just done by DJT. Leonnig and Rucker share the TMZ on Trump’s team as they scramble for purchase and cover. This is high value entertainment. For me, there wasn’t much new information between these pages. What does set this substantial volume apart from its competitors is the chronology and organization; it’s seamless and flows like an award winning thriller. Beginning with the early days of the pandemic, transitioning to Floyd, BLM & violence in our cities, on to the campaign strategy and summer of struggle with Biden in the Basement. All of this is laid out almost day by day with the ever present progress and pressure of the COVID crisis. Finally, the election and events leading up to January 6th. I watched it live on television and still while reading it, my primary emotional response is one of abject sadness, for reasons far too many, (and inappropriate), to elaborate here. The cast of this book is anything but impartial but the writers have done an excellent job of keeping their opinions out of the book proper and putting them where they belong - in the Prologue & Epilogue. I greatly appreciate authors who give readers credit for being able to think and feel for themselves. While our last president might not have been able to fulfill his “I Alone Can Fix It” promise, as Americans blessed by the freedom of living in a democracy, we each have the opportunity to Fix It every time the poll booth is open. Well written, thoroughly documented, professionally published and oddly inspiring 📚

  17. 5 out of 5

    Charlie White

    If you’re looking for the most damning, truthful and complete account of Trump’s final days in office, this is it. I’ve read almost all the Trump books, and this is by far the best one yet. There are quotes from Trump and many others I haven’t seen anywhere else, and these Pulitzer Prize-winning authors actually got to interview Trump for 2 1/2 hours. Of course, he babbles on and on like a parakeet, implicating himself in almost every one of his incoherent sentences. As I finished this book, my m If you’re looking for the most damning, truthful and complete account of Trump’s final days in office, this is it. I’ve read almost all the Trump books, and this is by far the best one yet. There are quotes from Trump and many others I haven’t seen anywhere else, and these Pulitzer Prize-winning authors actually got to interview Trump for 2 1/2 hours. Of course, he babbles on and on like a parakeet, implicating himself in almost every one of his incoherent sentences. As I finished this book, my main reaction was stunned astonishment. Trump is not only combative and perpetually ill-humored. Worse, it becomes obvious throughout this book that he knows hardly anything about anything. This has to be the most uneducated man ever to hold any office, much less the presidency of the United States. The fact that he was elected president and served a four-year term without a nuclear war happening is a miracle in itself. If he ever becomes president again, the United States will be unrecognizable when he’s finished with it. All we can do is hope that will never happen.

  18. 4 out of 5

    HR-ML

    The journalist/authors covered the last chaotic yr of Trump's Presidency. They interviewed 140 sources, some on the record like Donald Trump, & some off the record. Trump made contradictory statements, I noted just a couple. Trump refused to wear a mask during the COVID 19 pandemic, claiming it not masculine and made him seem weak. Yet he complained when he mingled with Gold Star families (whose son/ daughter died on active military duty) these folks got "too close" to him. Scientists reminded se The journalist/authors covered the last chaotic yr of Trump's Presidency. They interviewed 140 sources, some on the record like Donald Trump, & some off the record. Trump made contradictory statements, I noted just a couple. Trump refused to wear a mask during the COVID 19 pandemic, claiming it not masculine and made him seem weak. Yet he complained when he mingled with Gold Star families (whose son/ daughter died on active military duty) these folks got "too close" to him. Scientists reminded several times that masks were thought 72% effective in preventing respiratory disease. He could not recall being told this before. He accused Democrats of being 'Socialist' yet wanted FDA to give gov't programs IE Medicare, drug discounts. Donald joked about socialized medicine. Trump informed White House (WH) staff after his 2nd inauguration, he'd pull the US out of NATO & our troops out of South Korea. He was treated for COVID 19 (C-19) about a month before the 2020 Presidential election. The authors revealed Trump had hardening of the arteries of the heart (ironic) which made him more vulnerable to complications in recovery. Trump had no patience. He insisted the FDA approve in just one day the off-label use of a script for malaria to be used to treat C-19! The FDA needed to study side effects 1st. He recommended this off-label use to consumers. The FDA would or could have prosecuted someone for doing this but let in slide b/c of his POTUS status. Trump wanted C-19 vaccines up and running by 11/04, election day. He blamed HHS, FDA, CDC & Dems etc when this did not happen. He objected to a 60 day ob- servation of side effects (standard procedure) after the 2nd C-19 vac was administered to people in the vaccine study. Trump chided the virologists and other scientists for being gloomy about the C-19 outlook. He appointed radiologist Dr. Scott Atlas to his COVID-19 team! Along w/ 'happy talk,' Dr. Atlas shared misinformation IE he claimed small children could not be C-19 infected! He greatly understated the % of US citizens who received C-19 vaccines, needed to reach 'herd immunity.' The authors alleged Trump had the US C-19+ stats altered (down). I believe the authors proved Atty General Barr obstructed justice in relation to replacing the federal prosecutor US Attorney of the Southern District of New York. For a man more favorable to Trump. The US Attorney for SDNY had an investigation on Trump. The authors did a good job showing how "the adults in the room" (some in Cabinet, DOJ, military, & Congress) tried to keep Trump 'on message' & avoid him from taking adverse actions IE he wanted to call up active military to break up protests near the WH. Which would show Trump as "the law & order President." Trump was taught several times RE the conditions under which the Insurrection Act of 1807 could be invoked, but the seriousness & when to use this, did not sink in. Mark Meadows, WH Chief of Staff, Trump's 'gatekeeper' did not turn away conspiracy theorists who tended to rile up Trump and make him angrier. IE Dominion voting machines were made in Canada & had NO connection to Venezuela (as conspiracists claimed). Liked the section covering after the election + the 'stop the steal' allegation. And monitoring conservative rallies + protests leading to the insurrection. The federal gov't accepted a permit for 30 K people to rally on 01/06/21 in downtown DC. That should have been their 1st clue. FBI noted 20 K people made hotel reservations. 5 lives were lost. About 500 rioters were arrested. Several brave folks denied the 'rigged election' or criticized (or both) Trump's violent rhetoric resulting in the Capitol riot. These included: Congresswoman Liz Cheney, General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Kelly- anne Conway, Chris Christie & Senator L. Graham, Trump advisors. Senator Mitt Romney seemed the voice of reason for the GOP. Trump blamed the riot on anyone/ everyone but himself. Per the authors, Trump viewed everything through the lens of how would his political decision or action be viewed by his political base? The authors gave many examples to support this. Revised.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    140 interviews with 100 people at the highest level of the Trump administration...including the schmuck in chief himself. I can summarize it as follows: Marc Short: Schmuck Mick Mulvaney: Schmuck Jared Kushner: Schmuck and a shonda fer die goyim Ivanka Trump: see Jared Kushner Stephen Miller: Schmuck Mike Pence: Schmuck Sean Hannity: Schmuck Michael Flynn: Schmuck Peter Navarro: Schmuck on the take (gonif) Vaccine opponents: Selfish schmucks I could go on, but I don't want to spoil the book for you. Schmuc 140 interviews with 100 people at the highest level of the Trump administration...including the schmuck in chief himself. I can summarize it as follows: Marc Short: Schmuck Mick Mulvaney: Schmuck Jared Kushner: Schmuck and a shonda fer die goyim Ivanka Trump: see Jared Kushner Stephen Miller: Schmuck Mike Pence: Schmuck Sean Hannity: Schmuck Michael Flynn: Schmuck Peter Navarro: Schmuck on the take (gonif) Vaccine opponents: Selfish schmucks I could go on, but I don't want to spoil the book for you. Schmuck.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Donald Powell

    This book is for history and historians. If you watched the news regularly there is almost nothing new in here. It was important to get this all memorialized in a book. We should all be grateful this has been done in a concise and balanced presentation of the events with such an impact on our country's governance. This book is for history and historians. If you watched the news regularly there is almost nothing new in here. It was important to get this all memorialized in a book. We should all be grateful this has been done in a concise and balanced presentation of the events with such an impact on our country's governance.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sugarpuss O'Shea

    It's one thing to have lived through all of this stuff. It's another to see it all laid out in book form. How the hell did we survive? At least SEVEN DAYS IN MAY was fiction. Damn. It's one thing to have lived through all of this stuff. It's another to see it all laid out in book form. How the hell did we survive? At least SEVEN DAYS IN MAY was fiction. Damn.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    This is a superbly written book about the last year of the train wreck known as the DJT presidency. The fact that our country survived four years of this shit show is a testament to the strength of our democracy, at least for now. All DJT ever cared about was himself, never the country that he had sworn to lead. All of this was made worse by enablers, sycophants and power hungry politicians. There isn’t much new in this book, especially if you were paying attention to the news at the time. What This is a superbly written book about the last year of the train wreck known as the DJT presidency. The fact that our country survived four years of this shit show is a testament to the strength of our democracy, at least for now. All DJT ever cared about was himself, never the country that he had sworn to lead. All of this was made worse by enablers, sycophants and power hungry politicians. There isn’t much new in this book, especially if you were paying attention to the news at the time. What we probably didn’t know about at the time was DJT’s explosive, expletive laden temper and just how much he watched TV instead of governing (which may be a blessing for the country.) The chapter about the insurrection of January 6, 2021 is chilling to read, almost as bad as watching it on TV. As people feared for their lives and others were dying, all DJT did was watch it on TV. Even when he did finally make a statement, it was all about him. The book is written by two journalists and that adds to the credibility of the myriad of incidents cited in the book. The prose is dispassionate, without the snark of the recent Michael Wolff book. Snark is fun, but not when you are writing about history. A couple of quotes: “The characteristics of Trump’s leadership, blazingly evident through the first three years of his presidency, had deadly ramifications in his final year. He displayed his ignorance, his rash temper, his pettiness and pique, his malice and cruelty, his utter absence of empathy, his narcissism, his transgressive personality, his disloyalty, his sense of victimhood, his addiction to television, his suspicion of experts, and his deception and lies. Each trait thwarted the response of the world’s most powerful nation to a lethal threat.” “After his acquittal, Trump began a retribution campaign to root out the so-called deep state foes and punish his perceived enemies within his government, including anyone he believed contributed to his impeachment or had otherwise crossed him in the Ukraine saga. Escaping accountability emboldened Trump. The president told aides it was really his enemies who were responsible for him having been impeached. Their crimes were that, when subpoenaed to testify before Congress, they told the truth.” Full disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library, as I am loathe to spend money on these types of books, although this one would have been worth it. If you are a student of history, just like to read political non-fiction, or are just curious about these events, this is an absolute recommend.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David

    The view from 30,000 feet: Man-baby damages modern superpower in futile quest to soothe fragile ego. What is it? A chronicle of 2020 through March 31, 2021. Highlights? The lowlights. The right audience today: Haters in the mood for a heaping plate of schadenfreude. The right audience for the year 2031 and beyond: Readers looking for the consequential details relating to a world leader’s role in a pandemic and an insurrection. It’s impossible to know if a book like this is completely accurate but I The view from 30,000 feet: Man-baby damages modern superpower in futile quest to soothe fragile ego. What is it? A chronicle of 2020 through March 31, 2021. Highlights? The lowlights. The right audience today: Haters in the mood for a heaping plate of schadenfreude. The right audience for the year 2031 and beyond: Readers looking for the consequential details relating to a world leader’s role in a pandemic and an insurrection. It’s impossible to know if a book like this is completely accurate but I never found myself doubting any of the stories or quotes and, in fact, much of the book is in accord with what I saw, heard and read contemporaneously with the events depicted throughout. If the events are depicted accurately does that necessarily mean the book is a fair representation of the period covered? I’m not sure, and I’m also not so certain that was or should have been the authors’ goal. There were so many profoundly awful things relating to the administration that they rightfully took center stage throughout the book. They probably could have piled on more if they wanted to lengthen the book but I think they chose wisely. Most items were familiar and a few were new to me. My initial reaction to the book was to question why I was reading it in the first place. I’ve read a few books about the earlier stages of the administration and thought they were fine but unsatisfying. Nothing seemed new in these other books and I felt a certain fatigue about expending any time to read about someone I found repugnant. This book quickly became different. The stakes were higher and I knew the administration had been replaced so I had a good feeling of closure this time around. There really isn’t an analysis of what happened and that’s fine. The actions and quotes speak for themselves very well. While I thought the whole book was very good and fast paced I thought the strongest portion, by a pretty wide margin, was the epilogue. There the authors spoke about their 2.5 hour interview and used the man’s own words to stand on the own to devastating effect. The result was pure spectacle, a modern day Kurtz and his shameless toadies.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Ramirez

    All the Presidents Men for this generation. I can understand why the authors have both won Pulitzers for journalism. This book was well researched and well written. A must read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I'm glad there is a written record by the professionals who did the research and interviews to obtain a wide breadth of event memories to document Trump's final year. I believe this book will be the record used in management classes for students in the future to analyze the interplay of behaviors, decisions, and leadership styles that lead to chaos & instability, because that was what we went through. Reading this book was an emotional roller coaster. It brought back all that suppressed angst, fe I'm glad there is a written record by the professionals who did the research and interviews to obtain a wide breadth of event memories to document Trump's final year. I believe this book will be the record used in management classes for students in the future to analyze the interplay of behaviors, decisions, and leadership styles that lead to chaos & instability, because that was what we went through. Reading this book was an emotional roller coaster. It brought back all that suppressed angst, fear, and trepidation created by a narcissistic bully who was given the keys to the kingdom. The story also validated what it was like to work for Trump. He created a White House (WH) filled with backbiting & backstabbing. They were loyalists focused on not getting fired. It is no wonder the turnover in the Trump WH was so high. The book helped remind me that we were absolutely lucky to have survived the Trump years. With more luck, we won't ever have that type of experience again.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    22 chapters of Trump yelling and screaming at people, calling them "weak" and "lacking courage," while at the same time whining about how unfair everyone (and one virus) is to him. That can be numbing, but Washington Post writers Carol Lennig and Philip Rucker keeps things rolling through clear writing and sticking to the amazing and alarming (mostly) one year timeline of Trump's final year in office. We lived through this year, and yet reviewing the actual events, page by page, you can't help b 22 chapters of Trump yelling and screaming at people, calling them "weak" and "lacking courage," while at the same time whining about how unfair everyone (and one virus) is to him. That can be numbing, but Washington Post writers Carol Lennig and Philip Rucker keeps things rolling through clear writing and sticking to the amazing and alarming (mostly) one year timeline of Trump's final year in office. We lived through this year, and yet reviewing the actual events, page by page, you can't help but go WTF? Well, however sad, it's never boring. Much of this year from Hell you already know, but the writers do provide some interesting new info. For example, both Dr. Anthony Fauci and CDC Director Robert Redfield, thinking almost from the get-go, that the Chinese were lying, with Covid-19 probably originating (unintentionally) in a Chinese lab leak of a natural virus. Also interesting is guessing who were the sources for the book. Some are obvious, such as Bill Barr and Joint Chiefs of Staff head General Mark Milley. More murky are Oval Office revelations that strongly suggest Kellyanne Conway, Ivanka, and Jared Kushner, all had sit-down conversations with the authors. The revelations don't exactly clear these people (Milley excepted), but their input definitely puts some reputational distance on Crazy Town, especially those last insane weeks leading up to the January 6 insurrection. If possible, Rudy Giuliani comes across as even more unhinged than Trump. (What happened to him?) On election eve, Rudy is yelling out early on, before Arizona is even called, for Trump to just declare victory. As nutty as this is, it's a strategy that Trump embraces as the days tick by. More sinister (little s) is Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, a Yes man for the ages. No matter how outrageous or slimy the request, Meadows seeks to facilitate Lear's howlings on the Heath.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Helga Cohen

    Leonnig and Rucker, reporters from Washington Post, writes a masterly account of the final year of Donald J Trump’s presidency. They included over 140 interviews from many people within and outside the Administration including the interview with Trump after the January 6 insurrection. Trump was completely indiscreet and showed his narcissism during this interview. It is worth the read of how he responded. In this book we see some people standing up for what’s right, which meant taking on the ofte Leonnig and Rucker, reporters from Washington Post, writes a masterly account of the final year of Donald J Trump’s presidency. They included over 140 interviews from many people within and outside the Administration including the interview with Trump after the January 6 insurrection. Trump was completely indiscreet and showed his narcissism during this interview. It is worth the read of how he responded. In this book we see some people standing up for what’s right, which meant taking on the often profane and angry President. When they speak of the insurrection, we see some advisors like Barr, Pence and others stand up for the country. The author’s show us these events and recreate many conversations (including checking both sides as some included denials that they took place). Trump’s final botched year from his mismanagement of the covid crisis, racial injustice after George Floyd’s murder to the election denials and the insurrection instigated by the President of the United States makes for a great overview of everything that happened. The lengthy section on the insurrection was well worth reading. It was a pivotal moment that will define the Trump Presidency in history. I found the authors reporting was even-handed and fair. It was well written and researched. It gave an exceptional recap of the catastrophic events of Trumps final year.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steven Z.

    “Tis the season to read Trump books, fala la la lah…..” It appears this summer is the publishing season for monographs on the final year of the Trump administration. A number of important books are available, i.e., Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta’s NIGHTMARE SCENARIO, Michael Wolff’s LANDSLIDE: THE FINAL YEAR OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY; Michael C. Bender’s “FRANKLY WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION,” and Carol Leonnig and Paul Rucker’s sequel to A VERY STABLE GENIUS, I ALONE CAN FIX IT: DONALD J. TRUMP’ “Tis the season to read Trump books, fala la la lah…..” It appears this summer is the publishing season for monographs on the final year of the Trump administration. A number of important books are available, i.e., Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta’s NIGHTMARE SCENARIO, Michael Wolff’s LANDSLIDE: THE FINAL YEAR OF THE TRUMP PRESIDENCY; Michael C. Bender’s “FRANKLY WE DID WIN THIS ELECTION,” and Carol Leonnig and Paul Rucker’s sequel to A VERY STABLE GENIUS, I ALONE CAN FIX IT: DONALD J. TRUMP’S CATASTROPHIC FINAL YEAR. All zero in on Trump’s final year in office which has turned out to be one of the most consequential years in American history since the flu pandemic of 1918. Leonnig and Rucker’s latest effort continues to take readers deep inside Trump’s chaotic and impulsive presidency and Leonnig must be recognized as a few months ago she released another important work ZERO FAIL: THE RISE AND FALL OF THE SECRET SERVICE. Leonnig and Rucker are Pulitzer Prize winning reporters for the Washington Post and have had access to numerous sources inside and outside the Trump administration. They have consulted over 140 sources that include senior most Trump administration officials, career government officials, friends, Trump himself, and outside advisors. As in her previous book, Leonnig along with Rucker have produced a well sourced, crisply written monograph that is equal to her previous efforts. What separates the first three years of the Trump administration from the last is that between 2017 and 2019 Trump faced no major crises. It was a period dominated by Trump’s bluster, self-aggrandizement, scandal, and self-preservation, characteristics that were not conducive to the events of 2020. As Trump made loyalty and personal power the number one traits that dominated his management skills his immigration policy that ripped children from their parents, his denigration of the rule of law, his threats to democracy, his support for white supremacy, his contempt for allies are all important, but he faced no economic or military crises, or a public health disaster until his last year in office. The authors give Trump credit for Operation Warp Speed in helping to develop vaccines in record time, but his ineptitude, back biting, lack of empathy and cruelty in combating the virus through mask wearing and making vaccines a partisan political issues have resulted in the death of over 600,000 Americans and the infection of tens of millions of people with Covid-19. Apart from the pandemic, Trump’s White House oversaw the collapse of the economy, heightened racial tension after the George Floyd murder, conducted political rallies that became super spreader events, and the policy of “law and order” was being manipulated to the point that advisors had to talk him out of giving orders to shoot demonstrators. Trump’s refusal to accept the 2020 election result created further chaos as he resorted to misinformation and lies that the election was stolen from him. He created a “personality cult” that politicized any effort to combat the virus and introduced disastrous treatment options such as bleach and hydroxychloroquine. The result is that 50% of the American people are fully vaccinated and the country is now on the precipice of a fourth wave of the disease as cases are rising in areas that are under or not vaccinated. We have become a country that is split between those who are and those who are not vaccinated. As an aside Trump and his family are also fully vaccinated at the same time, he fueled the distrust in government that led to the January 6th insurrection to overturn the election of Joe Biden. Leonnig and Rucker correctly point out that the concept of the “common good” is alien to Trump as every issue; race, economics, health, immigration, foreign policy, and finally the pandemic is seen through the lens of what he believed to be in his best personal and political interests. Trump’s toolbox of bluster, bullying, and manipulation would not work during a pandemic. Muzzling experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci, picking feuds with public health officials, holding super spreader events, and refusing to be a correct role model during the pandemic helped to spread the virus further. Leonnig and Rucker provide a detailed narrative outlining the cause of the virus, the role of China, and how it spread to Europe and the United States. They relate the efforts of Dr. Robert Ray Redfield Jr., Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the chief medical advisor to the president, Matt Pottinger, former Deputy National Security Advisor of the United States, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House Coronavirus Coordinator, Stephan Hahn, head of the Food and Drug Administration, Francis Collins, head of the National Institute of Health, and others who worked to control the virus but who also were targets of President Trump as he railed against Public Health professionals. The dysfunction inside the Trump administration as it sought to deal with the pandemic are numerous and the authors present a series of them to support their points. Jared Kushner was brought in to deal with the lack of PPE and ventilators. He in turn brought in a bunch of his friends and associates, called “financial whiz kids,” who knew nothing about government procurement or how international markets functioned. One person described them as “the whiz bang crew of numb nuts” as Kushner’s “sourcing team” were in way over their heads and chaos reigned. The turf battles, messaging, fealty to Trump, and inability of advisors to get along dominate the narrative as the White House tried to speak with one voice, but the leaks proliferated. Leonnig and Rucker’s recreation of dialogue between HHS Head Alex Azar, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Trump advisor Michael Caputo, White House Director of Strategic Communications Alyssa Farah, and White House Spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany places the reader inside the room where the dysfunction takes place. If there is a hero in Leonnig and Rucker’s account it is Joint Chiefs of Staff Head Mark Milley. A good example of the role he played is depicted in his comments toward Stephen Miller, Trump’s sycophant and immigration guru. After listening to Miller spout his hatred, Milley told him to “shut the fuck up,” and that US troops could not be used against peaceful demonstrators. The conversations that led up to the clearing of Lafayette Square of demonstrators by Park Police, National Guard and others so Trump could have a photo op in front of St. John’s church fit Leonnig and Rucker’s ability to explain why and how things evolved and their implications. Once Defense Secretary Mark Esper spoke out against what occurred the tongue lashing he experienced by Trump is available for all to read. Milley and Esper were in a constant battle with Trump over the politicization of the military as the former president became laser focused on demonstrations in Seattle and Portland and having a large military parade on July 4th. For Milley and Esper it was all about preserving democracy and preserving the constitution. The misinformation seems to appear on every other page as the Trump administration tried to develop a narrative that the president was doing all he could to stave off the virus. At one point Kushner’s “whiz kids” and others were asked to develop new models to offset public health predictions of the number of Covid-19 cases for the future if something was not done. They were to do so by prioritizing economic recovery over public health. This goes along with Trump’s attitude that things were doing well no matter what the evidence reflected. Trump was obsessed with the number of covid-19 victims as it reflected negatively on this reelection. The stock market was another Trump obsession and when it did not cooperate he would blame others and accuse them of “killing him!” Of course, it was all the fault of the “deep state.” Once the senate voted 52-48 not to impeach him, Trump received the memo that no accountability for his actions existed, and he went on his revenge crusade getting rid of the likes of Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and Olivia Troye once an advisor to Vice President Pence who publicized the illegalities in dealing with Ukraine. Leonnig and Rucker do not miss a trick even including Melania Trump’s attempts to speak some sense with her husband in February 2020 to no avail. They recount advice particularly by former New Jersey governor Chris Christie among others on how Trump could win reelection but as in the case of his spouse, the former president felt he knew what was best by going after “Sleepy Joe” and discarding a series of sounds suggestions. According to the authors the turning point in fighting the virus came with the arrival of Scott Atlas. For Trump, the virus stood in the way of his continuation in office and finally in July 2020 he found a public health official who would parrot his medical beliefs, Dr. Scott Atlas. Atlas was a neuroradiologist at the conservative Hoover Institution who knew nothing about contagious pathogens, but he wanted to open up the economy, refused to endorse the wearing of masks, and was an advocate that the US was approaching herd immunity. Atlas’ views were used to undercut public health officials and he went after Anthony Fauci with abandon. As Leonnig and Rucker shift to discuss the election about halfway through the book they bring the same talent and relentless reporting as Trump ratcheted up misinformation about the virus and every other issue as he tried to ignore the virus, but events would not let him, i.e.; the disastrous super spreader rally in Tulsa in June. By the end of July Trump began his campaign that would result with the accusation that the election was stolen. He suggested on July 30 that the election should be postponed, and fraud dominated mail in voting. Further on September 23, 2020, Trump stated for the first time he might not honor the results of the election if he lost. Tweets concerning the election such as “the most INACCURATE AND FRAUDULENT election in history” still reverberates today as the House began its hearing concerning the January 6th insurrection. The William Barr-Trump relationship receives a great deal of coverage apart from the Attorney-General’s role at the Justice Department. Leonnig and Rucker recount Barr’s repeated attempts to prevent the former president from self-sabotage. Barr, known more for his role in defining the Mueller Report for Trump’s benefit and interfering with the sentencing of Michael Flynn and Roger Stone, offered Trump advice about his campaigns shortcomings and what he needed to do to win reelection. Barr’s political advice was mostly ignored and the author’s recount the numerous examples of how Trump was his own worst enemy in trying to improve his position in the polls visa vie Biden, i.e., allowing Mark Meadows to cut federal funding for the CDC while Redfield was trying to get the billions needed for vaccine distribution once it was available. Rudy Giuliani emerges as a comical figure with his conspiracy theories, distorted advice to Trump over election fraud, and trying to get Trump to just declare victory despite the evidence that he had lost the election to Biden. Leonnig and Rucker’s daily account from January 2020 to January 2021 doesn’t leave out much that occurred or important conversations that took place. They culminate their story of administration incompetence and back biting with the run up to January 6th by explaining why it occurred and who in their view is to blame. The book offers a strong narrative, but is a bit light on analysis and interpretation, but if you are looking for an engrossing recapitulation of the last year you cannot go wrong consulting I ALONE CAN FIX IT.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    Fast paced, clearly written, not shocking if you were Paying attention, but still surprising. Most of the players are as you expected, toadies, sycophants, grifters, and crooks. However a few had more layers than I expected and tried to keep the 45th POTUS in line with reality. They took the heat, said no when necessary, and tried to make sure adults kept things under control. Mark Milley is the hero here, along with Defense Secretary Esper. Bill Barr was ant as loathsome as I expected and even M Fast paced, clearly written, not shocking if you were Paying attention, but still surprising. Most of the players are as you expected, toadies, sycophants, grifters, and crooks. However a few had more layers than I expected and tried to keep the 45th POTUS in line with reality. They took the heat, said no when necessary, and tried to make sure adults kept things under control. Mark Milley is the hero here, along with Defense Secretary Esper. Bill Barr was ant as loathsome as I expected and even Mike Pompeo wasn’t completely morally bankrupt, which was the biggest shocker of all for me. A really good recap of that last chaotic, frightening, painful year. His fans Won’t read This book, of course, his detractors will Have all their judgements confirmed. For myself, I hope the subject Fades into well deserved Obscurity and his criminal minions get what’s coming to them.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Katz

    What can I say? The book covers the last calamitous year of the Trump administration. It’s as horrifying as the authors’ last book. To say anything more would be superfluous. The thought that he might have won reelection had it not been for Covid-19 is... fill in your own word/s. (Yes, this is the world's most depressing example of Mad-Libs.) What can I say? The book covers the last calamitous year of the Trump administration. It’s as horrifying as the authors’ last book. To say anything more would be superfluous. The thought that he might have won reelection had it not been for Covid-19 is... fill in your own word/s. (Yes, this is the world's most depressing example of Mad-Libs.)

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