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Peril

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The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at t The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink. This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened. Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history. It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime: the continuing deadly pandemic and millions of Americans facing soul-crushing economic pain, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, a world rife with threats, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president. “We have much to do in this winter of peril,” Biden declared at his inauguration, an event marked by a nerve-wracking security alert and the threat of domestic terrorism. Peril is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another, and represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with Fear and Rage. And it is the beginning of a collaboration with fellow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that will remind readers of Woodward’s coverage, with Carl Bernstein, of President Richard M. Nixon’s final days.


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The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at t The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink. This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened. Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history. It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime: the continuing deadly pandemic and millions of Americans facing soul-crushing economic pain, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, a world rife with threats, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president. “We have much to do in this winter of peril,” Biden declared at his inauguration, an event marked by a nerve-wracking security alert and the threat of domestic terrorism. Peril is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another, and represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with Fear and Rage. And it is the beginning of a collaboration with fellow Washington Post reporter Robert Costa that will remind readers of Woodward’s coverage, with Carl Bernstein, of President Richard M. Nixon’s final days.

30 review for Peril

  1. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    The unhinged president was raging like a character from Full Metal Jacket and world leaders had to be reassured by our military leaders that the country was not imploding. That is just a little of what happened after the 2020 election and the January 6th riot by Trump supporters. This book covers the primary campaigns, the election and it’s aftermath, Trump’s response to the Black Lives Matter protests, the last days of the Trump administration, the early days of the Biden administration and Tru The unhinged president was raging like a character from Full Metal Jacket and world leaders had to be reassured by our military leaders that the country was not imploding. That is just a little of what happened after the 2020 election and the January 6th riot by Trump supporters. This book covers the primary campaigns, the election and it’s aftermath, Trump’s response to the Black Lives Matter protests, the last days of the Trump administration, the early days of the Biden administration and Trump’s continuing efforts to destroy the country as he soaks about adulation from his fawning fans. Neither Trump nor Biden granted the authors an interview for this book. Weird, since Trump seems to have talked to every other author of the many books about the 2020 election so he could continue to whine/rant about how it was stolen from him. However, those interviews don’t seem to have been needed. There was no lack of people who were willing to provide detailed accounts of events. The book didn’t have a lot that was new other than the profound concerns that our military had after the election and riot. The first book of this trilogy was titled “Fear: Trump in the White House”. The second was titled “Rage”. If Trump makes a comeback and there is need for a fourth book it will have to be called “Devastation: How a Democracy Died”.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lorna

    Peril was the last of a trilogy about the Trump administration by veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward, and this book written with Washington Post reporter Robert Costa. While I was not going to read any more books about this dangerous aberration in our history, I could not resist the temptation of Woodward's reporting on deep background of what was really happening. What can I say, what we saw from the news reports over the last year of Trump's time in office and his attempts to hold on Peril was the last of a trilogy about the Trump administration by veteran investigative reporter Bob Woodward, and this book written with Washington Post reporter Robert Costa. While I was not going to read any more books about this dangerous aberration in our history, I could not resist the temptation of Woodward's reporting on deep background of what was really happening. What can I say, what we saw from the news reports over the last year of Trump's time in office and his attempts to hold on to the office and its power, while probably knowing full well that the election results were a national repudiation of his policies and of him, was far worse when you read the accounts of people on the inside. So much of the book fills one with terror of the danger this country was in, hence the title Peril. However, there were some heroes here, namely, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley; Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper; Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi; and former Vice President Dan Quayle. These people all tried to save our democracy and ensure the peaceful transfer of power in the face of a rogue president who was working to overturn the results of a democratically held election. The depths to which Trump would descend to try to get states to overturn the election results in order that he could claim victory were jarring. But even so, he has managed to poison the well influencing many Americans to doubt our democratic process and the legitamacy of the Biden presidency. But we did make it to Inauguration Day January 20, 2021 with Biden placing his hands on a family Bible with a Celtic cross, a nod to his Irish heritage. He became the nation's second Catholic president, following in the footsteps of his boyhood hero, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. And in a nod to bipartisanship as well as democracy, some of his words: "This is democracy's day," Biden began. "A day of history and hope. Of renewal and resolve. Through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. "We will press forward with speed and urgency, for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibilities," he told the small, socially distant crowd in Washington.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    If you’re looking for the gold standard in Trump books, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s “Peril” is it. I’m not saying that because it was written by Bob Woodward (I thought his two previous books about the Trump administration were “okay, not great”). It’s good because of what Woodward and Costa cover in their book. Everything from Covid, the election, the riots of January 6, and past few months. As per usual in a Bob Woodward book, the topic - Donald Trump’s final year in office - was thoroughly If you’re looking for the gold standard in Trump books, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s “Peril” is it. I’m not saying that because it was written by Bob Woodward (I thought his two previous books about the Trump administration were “okay, not great”). It’s good because of what Woodward and Costa cover in their book. Everything from Covid, the election, the riots of January 6, and past few months. As per usual in a Bob Woodward book, the topic - Donald Trump’s final year in office - was thoroughly investigated. The authors seemed to know the right questions to ask their interviewees, and that can make all the difference in an expose. Is “Peril” an expose? Yep, and a very good one. As an addendum, I heard an interview with Robert Costa, who said, when asked about the book’s title, that he and Woodward thought Donald Trump was not through with politics and was therefore a “peril”. I agree fully with him and only wish the people who SHOULD read this book would read it…

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lois

    Bloated and unnecessarily long winded post the Jan 6th debacle. This is okay leading up to the Jan 6th insurrection. At the same time besides the bit in the beginning about Milley contacting the Chinese regarding fears of a wag the dog scenario, most of this information has been covered in some depth by previous books that have covered the end of chumps presidency and its implosion at the end. Most of the unique info this book offers has already been an expose on various news programs, newspaper & Bloated and unnecessarily long winded post the Jan 6th debacle. This is okay leading up to the Jan 6th insurrection. At the same time besides the bit in the beginning about Milley contacting the Chinese regarding fears of a wag the dog scenario, most of this information has been covered in some depth by previous books that have covered the end of chumps presidency and its implosion at the end. Most of the unique info this book offers has already been an expose on various news programs, newspaper & magazine articles by newscasters/journalists who were given chapters of the book to review. What this book does offer that is different than the others is an inside look at Joe Biden's campaign, transition and early presidency. Frankly I wasn't surprised or shocked at any of the info on chump🤷🏾‍♀️ this is my third book on the end of chumps presidency and the book on this I looked the most forward to. It almost felt overdone which may be more a reflection of where I am than the contents of the book. The new info the book included for me was inside into Biden's campaign and that's what most of the review reflects. I was never an ardent Biden supporter but I was unbelievably relieved when he was elected. I'm appalled at his current behavior but I am Black and upset about Haiti. So no I'm not a republican nor a conservative. I'm just a disabled Black Feminist who reviews books based on exactly how I feel reading them. Woodward is both a Republican and a GOPer so this has the conservative anti-progressive bias of all of his books. Republicans who worked with chump aren't heroes and didn't save or protect the nation. Fuck Milley🤷🏾‍♀️ All of them are just trying to save face now that the chump train has been stationed, temporarily at least. The book is soft on Biden enough to not really challenge the fact that he didn't keep his campaign promises, including that fucking $1400.00 distribution when he said $2,000.00. I didn't like the pretense that Biden kissing women on the neck was harmless and misunderstood. Nope, not at all, my late father was incredibly affectionate and kissed me on the lips most of my life. He NEVER kissed my neck. Only lovers or potential lovers have ever done that and I think that's true for most folks. Biden was crossing the line because he could. He's definitely creepy Joe🤷🏾‍♀️ I hate him but of course I'm reading this as I'm watching Black Haitians be rounded up by horseback, using whips and evoking US slave catcher history. So fuck Biden. Fuck his entire administration. He's not chump but thats not the same as being a good president. Chump is the lowest common denominator. Biden is conservative and basically a republican lite, which is why he was chosen as Obama's VP. To balance out Barack's perceived progressiveness. Barack was not a progressive president, not really, he was a warmonger which is business as usual in the USA. I mean Obama remains my proudest disappointment. Biden failed to push voting rights and has pretty much watched as Black folks have been striped across the nation of our rights to vote in upcoming elections. Biden's plan is for us, Black Americans, who won him the fucking election, to fight on our own for our own rights. The Democratic Party at large and Biden administration in particular aren't going to make stopping this racist and illegal disenfranchisement of Black folks a main focus of the presidency and it is shortsighted and ridiculous. Its almost like no one told Biden if the loss of our voting rights stands he's a 1 term president and chump is back in 2024. Instead Biden's decided to throw all support to the infrastructure bill which given racism and white supremacy in society at large will help white folks way more than Black folks. So glad we got him elected. So glad the Democrats can so strongly depend on Black folks that they can only give us symbolic but empty wins. I'm less excited about Black folks in the administration or Kamala Harris since this isn't working out to actually helping Black folks in real life. The kids are still in cages, Biden changed the name of the chump program and expanded it. Infants are being shipped back to unstable Haiti, during political instability and a global pandemic. This is a fucking nightmare but the urgency is gone cause folks feel safe with Biden. Sigh. I am no longer a member of the DNC. I left after the debacle that was the 2016 election. The Democratic party has been steadily moving right since Clinton took office. I think Black folks need to divest from a party that can't be counted on to remember our communities vote saved them not 6 months after the election. Democrats do not care about Black folks as a group. I don't understand the support they have in the community. There are more political choices than Democrat or Republican. Even if you remain a Democrat you gotta hold the party accountable in substantive ways. We can not just wholesale accept this idea of 'hold your nose and vote' or 'vote and hold him accountable'. Historically lasting change isn't voted in anyway, its created by civil disobedience. Martin Luther King Jr died with a serious arrest records as a result of civil disobedience during the Civil rights movement. We ignore that but voting didn't get my ancestors their rights, marching in the streets did. We can't vote this away and that has to stop being our main focus. Sure vote if that's your thing, but get your ass on the streets or find a way to directly support groups that are on the street protesting. Protesters win rights. Also no mention in the book of how the Jan 6th folks just went home and got really light prison sentences in comparison to the Black Lives Matter protesters. I mean they made so many mass arrests during the BLM protests that they got journalists and bystanders. Yet the next day, Jan 7th, en masse the Jan 6th folks took over whole planes heading home. A miniscule amount were arrested. Sigh. I'm glad this bloated book is over. I pirated this as I do most political books🤷🏾‍♀️

  5. 4 out of 5

    Malia

    Oh, boy...I need to digest this one before I write a proper review. Though little in it is surprising, it still has the ability to unsettle and disturb. I read this in conjunction with watching the Netflix series, "The Comey Rule" (based on his book, "A Higher Loyalty", of which I was admittedly critical), and am left with profound relief that our president now is Joe Biden, and not that selfish, vain and dangerous man, who haunted many of us for the better part of five years. Find my book review Oh, boy...I need to digest this one before I write a proper review. Though little in it is surprising, it still has the ability to unsettle and disturb. I read this in conjunction with watching the Netflix series, "The Comey Rule" (based on his book, "A Higher Loyalty", of which I was admittedly critical), and am left with profound relief that our president now is Joe Biden, and not that selfish, vain and dangerous man, who haunted many of us for the better part of five years. Find my book reviews and more at http://www.princessandpen.com

  6. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    Bob Woodward books to me are like big bags of potato chips. I can't resist them, I can finish them off in a few sittings, they're satisfying in the moment, and once opened, they have a short shelf life so are better enjoyed while fresh - you can't pull them off your shelf in a year or two and expect them to be anywhere near as good. As a result, I avoid buying potato chips altogether, otherwise I will binge on them. I lack such self control when it comes to Bob Woodward books. Fear and Rage took Bob Woodward books to me are like big bags of potato chips. I can't resist them, I can finish them off in a few sittings, they're satisfying in the moment, and once opened, they have a short shelf life so are better enjoyed while fresh - you can't pull them off your shelf in a year or two and expect them to be anywhere near as good. As a result, I avoid buying potato chips altogether, otherwise I will binge on them. I lack such self control when it comes to Bob Woodward books. Fear and Rage took us inside the Trump presidency as it was happening. "Peril" invites us to look back at the administration's waning days and the beginning of the Biden administration. It seems a little early to want to relive this in book form - didn’t all of this just happen? The past year-plus has already been news overload, with the pandemic, the election and the insurrection, so if you’ve been paying any attention, much of what’s recounted here will be familiar. But there are plenty of unique nuggets, most of which have already been revealed in pre-publication news articles about the book - such as Gen. Mark Milley’s efforts to prevent Trump from instigating a “Wag the Dog” style armed conflict, the John Eastman “coup memo,” Mike Pence’s call to Dan Quayle for advice, and so on. Reading these spoilers in advance blunts their impact when read in the context of the book, but it shouldn’t detract from the impressiveness of the reporting that uncovered them. The rest of the book is vintage Woodward, in that it takes you inside the rooms where conversations were happening, allowing you to relive now-familiar events with a different, fly-on-the-wall perspective. Even though you know what happened next and how it all turned out in the end, it’s still an engrossing read. Woodward's co-writing partnership with Robert Costa seemingly helped get this book out just a year after the previous one, cutting in half the two-year interval between the first two books. But the dual authorship never shows any seams, so it still reads like a Woodward book. The narrative goes back and forth between Trump and Biden - the chapters on Trump are both surprising and entirely unsurprising at this point, while the chapters on Biden mostly read like a straightforward recounting of well-reported events. About ¾ of the way through, the book loses some steam as the story progresses to Biden’s first few months in office, and wonkish discussions of the efforts to get his coronavirus relief package through Congress. As is Woodward’s style, all interviews for the book were conducted on background, so it’s left to the reader to deduce who spoke with the authors. But it’s not at all difficult to figure out. The problem is that you end up with a lot of stories designed to make the teller look good. Bill Barr, for example, comes across looking like a principled, irreproachable, calming influence in the chaotic final days of the Trump administration - according, apparently, to Bill Barr. And Lindsey Graham never comes across quite so good as when Lindsey Graham is telling the story. It will be decades before the events of this past year or so can be properly analyzed as history. If you just can’t wait, this book - which neatly concludes the trilogy in its final few sentences - will serve its purpose as the first draft of that history. And it will undoubtedly prove useful for future authors and historians to build upon. It’s not something I’m likely to pull off the shelf in a year or two or three to reread, but like that bag of chips I just can’t resist - it may not provide lasting nutritional value, but it sure tasted good.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Susan Tunis

    In reviewing another of the recent Trump books, I compared my Trump reading to an obsessive, examining the Zapruder film, frame by frame. And the more I think about it, the more apt the analogy feels. Not merely for insight into my own frame of mind, but for the insecurity people were feeling about our institutions of government at that turbulent time. The Kennedy assassination was a national trauma that is still being felt nearly 60 years later. I believe the Trump years, concluding with the ev In reviewing another of the recent Trump books, I compared my Trump reading to an obsessive, examining the Zapruder film, frame by frame. And the more I think about it, the more apt the analogy feels. Not merely for insight into my own frame of mind, but for the insecurity people were feeling about our institutions of government at that turbulent time. The Kennedy assassination was a national trauma that is still being felt nearly 60 years later. I believe the Trump years, concluding with the events of January 6th, will be no less traumatic and scarring to our national psyche. Which leads us directly to Mr. Woodward's and Costa's latest. First, the cover is very good, because the book is as much about Joe Biden as it is about Donald Trump. It's mildly annoying that the news media spoils the most provocative parts of these political books. Though, I was somewhat surprised the the Mark Milley call with his Chinese counterpart was literally page one! One of the other recent books had some revelations about Milley, but they were different revelations. And that's exactly the thing that keeps me coming back to these books--not just Woodward's, but Rucker's, Wolfe's, et al. They all contribute to the big picture that I'm desperately trying to take in, so that I can begin to understand the inconceivable times we are living in. Yes, there's overlap in the reporting, but I've never once felt like I didn't glean new insights and angles from the coverage. And, each book has slightly different areas of interest and emphasis. Plus, as much of a news junky and fan of long-form journalism as I've become, there are always new revelations in the reading of each book. There are always a few fascinating details or anecdotes that fell between the cracks of earlier reporting. Here, for instance, the authors report in some detail on former Senator Paul Ryan's real-time response to the events of January 6th. I had not read this anywhere else. Also, even as recent as these events are, the slightly greater perspective allows time for additional research and new information that simply wasn't available as events unfolded. Having wallowed in the muck of the Trump presidency for years now, the reporting on Biden is an absolute balm! Listen, this isn't a hagiography, and they're certainly not suggesting that he's some kind of perfect politician, but the thing that comes across loud and clear--and it's just this HUGE juxtaposition--is that he's a really descent human being. But the other thing that feels really eerie about the book is how very up-to-the-minute it feels! Towards the end, there's a lengthy discussion of the decision to pull troops from Afghanistan. And of course we all know how that ultimately played out. Or, I should say, is still playing out. But it really feels like this book must have gone to press mere days ago. It's not true, but it definitely gives that impression. Will Bob Woodward continue documenting of-the-moment presidential politics? If he does, will I continue reading them? Only time will tell. But I feel that in the near future I am hooked. Because Trump is haunting this country like the monster under the bed. And contemporary history still feels inconceivable. I'll tell you one thing... The members of the press are not the enemies of the people.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    Wowza. Just...wowza. While reading this, all I kept thinking was, "This is the craziest shit I've ever read in my life." After which I had to remind myself repeatedly, THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. It almost seems like a feverish dream, some distant repressed memory. It SEEMS like fiction, but then you realize it's so bizarre that not even the most imaginative author could come up with this shit. Reading this is no different than reading your favourite thriller. It's written like a thriller, with short Wowza. Just...wowza. While reading this, all I kept thinking was, "This is the craziest shit I've ever read in my life." After which I had to remind myself repeatedly, THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. It almost seems like a feverish dream, some distant repressed memory. It SEEMS like fiction, but then you realize it's so bizarre that not even the most imaginative author could come up with this shit. Reading this is no different than reading your favourite thriller. It's written like a thriller, with short chapters and cliffhangers. I'm personally very into politics, I follow politics closely. Yet, reading this, I felt like I was experiencing this all again for the first time because Woodward gives us so much new information. It feels like you're a fly on the wall, living the history all over again but with a magnifying glass this time, with a deeper understanding of the inner workings of all that chaos. It was one thing to experience it from afar, watching it all unfold from a distance, but another thing to experience it as though you're right in the room; and that's what this book accomplishes - it takes you into the room. My heart was actually pounding at moments, mostly with rage. Anyways, not much to say other than this was an amazing book. Well written, well researched. Very interesting. Would recommend. And I'm highly likely to return to Woodward. Onward.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim Dooley

    At this time of year, I often enjoy various scary tomes to put me in the Halloween spirit. Little did I realize that PERIL had a horror story of its own to tell. If you don’t believe me, read through the section that opens the book. It details the steps the US military high echelon was willing to take to make certain that an emotionally out-of-control President didn’t “play the nuclear card.” Chilling, indeed. True confessions: My political party affiliation is Independent. I was not particularl At this time of year, I often enjoy various scary tomes to put me in the Halloween spirit. Little did I realize that PERIL had a horror story of its own to tell. If you don’t believe me, read through the section that opens the book. It details the steps the US military high echelon was willing to take to make certain that an emotionally out-of-control President didn’t “play the nuclear card.” Chilling, indeed. True confessions: My political party affiliation is Independent. I was not particularly impressed by Joe Biden, but I voted for him because I could never bring myself to vote for Donald Trump. In all honesty, I made up my mind after the 2020 Presidential election not to give Donald Trump any more of my consideration. Yes, I’d read some excellent books about his various escapades in the White House, but I was “Trumped out.” It was time to let some reality back into my life as it came to the subject of politics. But, then came January 6. This was followed by so much distrust and hatefulness that the nastiest thing you can say about a person is that they are a member of “the other party.” To top it off, PERIL was about the transition of the Office of the President of the United States. What was it like from the inside? Yes, I just had to read this one. The writers, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, do an excellent job of providing clarity to events that seemed bewildering. If the Reader doesn’t have “political savvy,” it doesn’t matter. Woodward and Costa provide the information needed to be brought quickly up to speed. The stories behind the events were riveting. Many instances that were the subject of Press coverage didn’t contain “the human element” when I first heard about them. PERIL allowed me to feel like an “insider” … and that was seldom a comfortable feeling to have! The timeline of PERIL is from the white supremacy march (in which a monster drove his vehicle into a group of protesters, killing one) to the decision to pull out of Afghanistan, and the wheeling and dealing to promote President Biden’s recovery plan. So, the Reader will have more knowledge of the result of those latter projects than is covered in the book. It includes the very real human stories of the January 6 insurrection, and the frustration felt by the Staff with a President who obsessed on “a stolen election” when many other incidents demanded his attention. I know it wasn’t the intent of the writers, but I ended PERIL with a huge distrust of politicians and government … both in the United States and elsewhere. The stories of the easy willingness people in office were willing to go through to “win” their agenda at the cost of beneficial negotiation was disheartening. Every Election Day, I found myself watching the movie “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” again because I needed to feel that someone, somewhere, was placing Value on Principles. After PERIL, though, I can’t say that I feel such people exist any longer. My gloomy outlook aside, PERIL was immensely readable and disturbingly fascinating.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sugarpuss O'Shea

    Good god. Knowing that someone in our government produced a document to justify overturning the 2020 election is terrifying. This country better wake the F up. We ousted a King to become the United States of America. If Kevin McCarthy was Speaker on Jan 6th, 2021, he would've taken this country right back where we started. Oh . . . And here's an idea: If you're looking for something to replace those traitorous Confederate General statues with, General Milley wouldn't be a bad choice. Good god. Knowing that someone in our government produced a document to justify overturning the 2020 election is terrifying. This country better wake the F up. We ousted a King to become the United States of America. If Kevin McCarthy was Speaker on Jan 6th, 2021, he would've taken this country right back where we started. Oh . . . And here's an idea: If you're looking for something to replace those traitorous Confederate General statues with, General Milley wouldn't be a bad choice.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eric Allen

    Yikes. The election and everything leading up to Jan 6th is SO. MUCH. WORSE. than it looked like just watching it all unfold on the news.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carmel Hanes

    I found this to be mesmerizing. I don't often look too closely at our so-called democratic republic in action because I find it too infuriating--and disheartening--but this did not disappoint me. I listened on audio and my attention never wavered. I appreciated the behind the scenes view on a troubling time in our country. I wish I could say we are on the mend and on to better times, but I remain cautious and skeptical. I found this to be mesmerizing. I don't often look too closely at our so-called democratic republic in action because I find it too infuriating--and disheartening--but this did not disappoint me. I listened on audio and my attention never wavered. I appreciated the behind the scenes view on a troubling time in our country. I wish I could say we are on the mend and on to better times, but I remain cautious and skeptical.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter Kalnin

    Clear Portrait of a chaotic Presidential Transition Easy to follow story-telling that paints a clear picture of what was going on behind the scenes with DJT and JB, and what those closest to them said. A good listen about one of the most dangerous times for the American republic.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Because Woodward and Costas are reporters and talented writers, this book reads more like a thriller than a serious historical tome. Which is fine, because the 400-odd pages fly by, most stuff you know already, other stuff has been teased close to publication like Milley's phone calls to his counterpart in China. I actually learned more in the last quarter of the book after Biden is sworn in and begins his interminable jousting with Joe Manchin. Because Woodward and Costas are reporters and talented writers, this book reads more like a thriller than a serious historical tome. Which is fine, because the 400-odd pages fly by, most stuff you know already, other stuff has been teased close to publication like Milley's phone calls to his counterpart in China. I actually learned more in the last quarter of the book after Biden is sworn in and begins his interminable jousting with Joe Manchin.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angus McKeogh

    This three book series about the presidency of Trump was phenomenal. And this final one was on par with the others. Since it was taken from hundreds of interviews from those inside the administration it was a fascinating behind the scenes look. Because every time a politician breathes they simultaneously spew some sort of lie, this series was able to give a different perspective. Lots of this book revolved around Lindsey Graham’s interview (arguably Trump’s closest political friend in his admini This three book series about the presidency of Trump was phenomenal. And this final one was on par with the others. Since it was taken from hundreds of interviews from those inside the administration it was a fascinating behind the scenes look. Because every time a politician breathes they simultaneously spew some sort of lie, this series was able to give a different perspective. Lots of this book revolved around Lindsey Graham’s interview (arguably Trump’s closest political friend in his administration) which afforded a unique perspective about the former president. The public really didn’t get any idea about the severity of the instability of our democratic process until the last president did everything in his power to not relinquish the top spot after losing the election. And perhaps you’re one of these people that thinks the “election was stolen”. Again, Graham not only did a personal investigation of his best friend’s claims but repeatedly told the man himself that he found nothing and his claims of fraud were “just not true”; moreover, he told Trump in personal conversations numerous times, “you lost a close race…now let’s move forward and figure out how we can win the next one”. It ultimately comes down to Trump’s refusal to accept that he didn’t win and his belief that “his people expect him to fight and never give up”, even at the detriment of our system of governance and the fact that nearly half of our nation supported an authoritarian regime. It’s just strange, I always believed that’s what Americans shrugged off when they fought to remove themselves from the authoritarian reign of George III. But I suppose that’s the Cult of Personality, and for the most part the people’s willingness to forfeit personal liberties due to fear and tyranny. Maybe just a general stubbornness and refusal to admit when you’re wrong. Whatever. When evaluating history, no government lasts forever, so it remains to be seen whether the government of the United States will outlast my lifetime. Sad but true. If the attempted sedition on January 6th was presaged in history perhaps it’ll be like the unsuccessful 1905 uprising of Lenin in Russia, it was only 12 years later that those individuals rose up again and were this time successful, thus starting the Soviet Union. Remains to be seen. Regardless, another great read, it’d be a shame if anyone were oblivious to the major events of history which are taking place here and now.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I should have never have read this book. Every time I read something on Trump he gets me so mad and worked up I just want to forget who he was. The chaos we saw and the horror many of us felt and still feel during his last year in office is unforgettable. I picked this up because Biden's presidency is looked at also and the current state of affairs and maybe there is something I would learn as Woodward takes a in depth look at both of these people. I was hooked from the beginning just reading th I should have never have read this book. Every time I read something on Trump he gets me so mad and worked up I just want to forget who he was. The chaos we saw and the horror many of us felt and still feel during his last year in office is unforgettable. I picked this up because Biden's presidency is looked at also and the current state of affairs and maybe there is something I would learn as Woodward takes a in depth look at both of these people. I was hooked from the beginning just reading the prologue. The conversation between General Mark Milly and Nancy Pelosi is very interesting. The Chinese were concerned that U.S. was planning an attack on them because of the instability of the January 6th insurrection. The fact is that these people were concerned about Trump's public behavior and his over instability and his hatred of the Chinese, they felt war was imminent. "Peril" shows how the chaos, anger and fear came together in the final year of Trump's presidency, placing the presidency and even democracy in danger. "Peril" begins with America in danger from Trump, it ends the same way. It describes Trump instability and apparent unwillingness to this day to accept the reality of losing election and all the nutcases the would influence Trump to believe that. Conservatives love to pretend that harsh realities that make them uncomfortable (Covid-19, Russian collusion, mask, and vaccines) are "fake news." So they will claim that this book and dozens like it are some kind of radical left conspiracy funneled by Hillary's emails and Obama's Kenyon relatives. It is a very sad. I reminded of quote by Will Rodgers a famous American stage and film actor of 20's and 30's, “There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Now I haven't said much about Biden in this book because his administration has yet to be graded. Biden's judgement comes from experience and a lot of that came from analyzing bad judgement. In fact I wish Woodward would have not compared the two and stuck to just bashing Trump. I can tell you this much is this is a tale of two men with opposite characteristics. Joe Biden well known for his empathy and caring for the country and the constitution. The other narcissistic and lying caring for himself more then the constitution of the United States. You read it let me know if I'm wrong.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ric

    Woodward’s third book on the Trump presidency may have been the best one of the bunch, but also the most terrifying. The in depth stories of the January 6th insurrection and the events leading up to it were sickening even though they were also illuminating. The fact that months later Trump still believes the election was stolen from him is hilarious and asinine, but also a bit alarming. We knew from the first two books (and the last four years) that he’s unhinged, but this book took it to a new Woodward’s third book on the Trump presidency may have been the best one of the bunch, but also the most terrifying. The in depth stories of the January 6th insurrection and the events leading up to it were sickening even though they were also illuminating. The fact that months later Trump still believes the election was stolen from him is hilarious and asinine, but also a bit alarming. We knew from the first two books (and the last four years) that he’s unhinged, but this book took it to a new level. I also enjoyed the parts about the Biden campaign and early in his administration. I’m not a Biden fan either, I didn’t vote for him in the Democratic primary, but holy crap am I glad he won the general. The stories about his Covid response were the best in my opinion, because the stark contrast is apparent. This one may be more of a must read than the other two books, because January 6th was one of the darkest days in American history and understanding the events of it and the lead up is really important.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Onceinabluemoon

    Another clear concise report of our horrific reality, how long before we are truly cancer free...

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ali Hassan

    Bob Woodward always reveals some harsh stories related to the US foreign policy and developments happening in the Oval Office and Pentagon quoting some credible sources. Here is the story of the time when Trump's followers and protege were assaulting Capitol Hill in Washington DC. There was a huge chance of nuclear war between the US and China. A call between the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and his Chinese counterpart General Li Zuocheng was placed when the latter sensed a threa Bob Woodward always reveals some harsh stories related to the US foreign policy and developments happening in the Oval Office and Pentagon quoting some credible sources. Here is the story of the time when Trump's followers and protege were assaulting Capitol Hill in Washington DC. There was a huge chance of nuclear war between the US and China. A call between the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley and his Chinese counterpart General Li Zuocheng was placed when the latter sensed a threat for an attack on his country as the US military was conducting a military exercise in the South China sea. It was the same time when a mob invoked by Trump attacked Capitol Hill, there were riots in the country provoked by racists and religious sentiments, and above all, when Gen. Milley believed that Mr. Trump could stage a war with China by using his presidential power for the sake of regaining his lost post. So it is actually about how the US military prevented a supposed Coup d'etat and restored democracy in the country. The military chief didn't take over the country himself at that crucial juncture of US history which usually happened in our country in the name of the sole savior of the country, you all would be aware of that old saga "Mulk Nazuk Halat Se Guzar Rha Tha, Riots, Mobs, And Dushman etc". So it is also about how a man sitting in a responsible office does react in a time of crisis. This is what, I think, we being Pakistani should learn and understand.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Colleen

    I really want to step away from the news and the current events books because it’s starting to impact my mental health (I just read Robert Kagan’s piece in the Washington Post from last week entitled “Our Constitutional Crisis is Already Here” and if that’s not enough to cause you to lose sleep, I don’t know what is). But I just can’t seem to quit it. The things that are happening are too important for American citizens to turn our backs on them just because we’re weary. We are on the precipice I really want to step away from the news and the current events books because it’s starting to impact my mental health (I just read Robert Kagan’s piece in the Washington Post from last week entitled “Our Constitutional Crisis is Already Here” and if that’s not enough to cause you to lose sleep, I don’t know what is). But I just can’t seem to quit it. The things that are happening are too important for American citizens to turn our backs on them just because we’re weary. We are on the precipice of an abyss, and if we fall, our way of life and everything we’ve stupidly taken for granted, everything that makes us American, might very well be lost forever. Books like this are vital in showing us how we lost our way and forcing us to decide which direction we want to take next. Read them. Learn from them. Be galvanized.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Grindy Stone

    A good portion of this book - about the first 100 days of the Biden administration - is wonky, warmed-over material from Politico. The other half, presumably the Woodward portion, is pretty good stuff about the final days of the Trump administration. The book is written on deep background, but it's apparent who the sources are - Bill Barr, Lindsay Graham, General Milley. Even though their contributions are self-serving, especially Graham's, the narrative is terrifying. Ranking Trump as the worst A good portion of this book - about the first 100 days of the Biden administration - is wonky, warmed-over material from Politico. The other half, presumably the Woodward portion, is pretty good stuff about the final days of the Trump administration. The book is written on deep background, but it's apparent who the sources are - Bill Barr, Lindsay Graham, General Milley. Even though their contributions are self-serving, especially Graham's, the narrative is terrifying. Ranking Trump as the worst or one-of-the-worst presidents ever is a futile task, and does a great disservice to the Millard Fillmores and Franklin Pierces and Jimmy Carters of history. They may have sucked as POTUS but they weren't seditious. Trump's niche in American history is in with John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald or Osama bin Laden, and that's where his relative importance to history should be measured.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kato Justus

    Just finished Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. Well done (as usual). About 1/3 of the book really relies upon the memoirs of General Milley. Americans should be very glad he was in the position he was while Trump ruled. The rest is “filler”—mostly stuff we already know from high-level reporting. The nitty-gritty of the deep-dive details is what keeps it interesting, even fascinating. The when, where, who details of what happened from Trump’s November 2020 election loss through the Biden tra Just finished Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. Well done (as usual). About 1/3 of the book really relies upon the memoirs of General Milley. Americans should be very glad he was in the position he was while Trump ruled. The rest is “filler”—mostly stuff we already know from high-level reporting. The nitty-gritty of the deep-dive details is what keeps it interesting, even fascinating. The when, where, who details of what happened from Trump’s November 2020 election loss through the Biden transition to about mid-June of 2021 make it a satisfying read for the historian or political junkie. Besides General Milley, Senator Graham, Senator Manchin, former VP Pence, Speaker Pelosi, and WH Chief of Staff Ron Klain are featured. I suspect they were primary sources for the book’s contents. I find Lindsey Graham’s Trump pandering particularly disgusting. The very nano-second it becomes clear Trump no longer has political pull will be the moment Graham stabs him in the back. Just as he did with Senator McCain. This idea of being able to control or somehow steer an anti-democratic strongman, like Trump, is historically ridiculous. It never works that way and it’s foolish, even deadly dangerous to think otherwise. Another gripe I have with what is reported in this book is Pence’s bit. This reeks of the self-interested Pence wanting to reform his image and downplay his involvement. Make no mistake, Pence is no hero. He worked tirelessly, with a cadre of lawyers and constitutional scholars trying desperately to find some way to throw the election to Trump. Overthrowing the election results, the will of the peoples’ vote was his primary goal and focus. Pence just couldn’t quite get there. There’s just no way his actions for doing the right thing, in the end should be applauded. He’s every bit as vile as all the other Trump sycophants. In my opinion, Woodward and Costa should have given that fact at least some focus in this book. The prologue which has already been heavily reported on is definitely the best part of the book. Unless health problems or justice prevails rest assured Trump will run again in 2024. I’ll leave you will the closing quote between Brad Parscale and Trump: “Sir, are you going to run?” “I’m thinking about it,” Trump said. He sounded restless. Impatient. He leaned into the idea. “I’m really strongly thinking about running.” “Well, that’s all I need to hear,” Parscale said. “We’ve got to keep doing this, Brad.” He wondered aloud if Biden was suffering from dementia. “Decrepit,” Trump spat, speaking of Biden. “He had an army. An army for Trump. He wants that back,” Parscale later told others. “He feels a little pressure of not being in the fight like he was and he’s wrapping his head around how to get back there. “I don’t think he sees it as a comeback. He sees it as vengeance.” Unless thwarted, Trump will have his vengeance and an “army” of insurrectionists to back him up. The chilling march away from democracy and towards a theocratic, fascist, authoritarianism moves onward. Indeed we are living in interesting and frightening times. All brought on by the charismatic power of one buffoonish man, Donald Trump. Mark this one a must read for the political junkie and history buff.

  23. 5 out of 5

    HR-ML

    I read Kindle version of this non-fiction book. In times past, I have read books about Congress or certain House or Senate members. Some featured here spent more time in political intrigue than conducting official business. I found Senators Lindsay Graham + Mitch McConnell to be disingenuous. Graham kept contact w/ President Trump, now in private life, to gain his assist in the GOP regaining the House and Senate in 2022. Graham told him "Your problem is too much drama. Too much volatility." He a I read Kindle version of this non-fiction book. In times past, I have read books about Congress or certain House or Senate members. Some featured here spent more time in political intrigue than conducting official business. I found Senators Lindsay Graham + Mitch McConnell to be disingenuous. Graham kept contact w/ President Trump, now in private life, to gain his assist in the GOP regaining the House and Senate in 2022. Graham told him "Your problem is too much drama. Too much volatility." He also said "If we (GOP) come back in 2022 and recapture House and Senate, you'll (Trump) get your fair share of credit. If we fail (in 2022), Trumpism, I think, will die." (both @65%). Authors showed both President Trump & President Biden, warts and all. Handlers tried to keep both men away from unscripted events or long interviews. Both were prone to long-winded replies. But Biden genuinely showed empathy. Some ideas stuck w/ me: Sen. Joe Manchin's stubbornness on holding up needed infra-structure bill, Trump thought if undocumented immigrants had children once in the US, neither the parents nor children should become citizens. Once again Trump willfully ignored existing law. Also I learned a "blue dog Democrat" referred to a moderate.

  24. 5 out of 5

    M

    An eye-opening must-read. It really was an insurrection and attempted coup d’état. I don’t usually read nonfiction, and when I do, I prefer the sciences or medicine. I rarely read political books, but I felt a need to read at least one book after having watched the Capitol Hill “riot” of 01/06/2021. What my fellow Americans did that day shook me to my core. Had the insurrectionists succeeded in taking the Capitol, they could’ve removed the first three people in the presidential line of successio An eye-opening must-read. It really was an insurrection and attempted coup d’état. I don’t usually read nonfiction, and when I do, I prefer the sciences or medicine. I rarely read political books, but I felt a need to read at least one book after having watched the Capitol Hill “riot” of 01/06/2021. What my fellow Americans did that day shook me to my core. Had the insurrectionists succeeded in taking the Capitol, they could’ve removed the first three people in the presidential line of succession. I highly recommend this book to anyone who—like me—wants to learn more about what REALLY happened before, during and after 01/06/2021. About a third of this book is about our current President, Joe Biden, but the rest is about his predecessor, Donald Trump. Before choosing this book, I read many reviews, including the one star ratings. After finishing this, I wondered if some reviewers hadn’t read the book or whether some bought a Kindle copy only to write a “verified purchase” Amazon review—then made an e-return. Several guys I know will never believe anything negative about DJT, nor would they acknowledge the injuries, violence, and damage that “happened” at the Capitol on 01/06. I sincerely believe that if not for the brave officers of the U.S. Capitol Police, the insurrectionists might have harmed VP Michael Pence—or perhaps even hanged him, as many had threatened. The (mostly) male insurrectionists also hunted Speaker Nancy Pelosi and specific female Democrats—but in the tumult, would it have mattered which senator or congressperson fell into their hands? I think not. We Americans dodged a bullet on 01/06. The authors remind us at the very end: “Peril remains.”

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    The third and (hopefully) final book in Bob Woodward’s series on the Trump presidency is just as eyebrow raising (eye popping) as the others. It may have also been the most unsettling. Months after Biden has taken the presidency, Trump is still claiming the election was a fraud. The disparity between the way the two presidents approached the coronavirus is staggering, but really it’s the determination of some Republicans to get Trump back in the Oval Office and the many aids and sycophants who c The third and (hopefully) final book in Bob Woodward’s series on the Trump presidency is just as eyebrow raising (eye popping) as the others. It may have also been the most unsettling. Months after Biden has taken the presidency, Trump is still claiming the election was a fraud. The disparity between the way the two presidents approached the coronavirus is staggering, but really it’s the determination of some Republicans to get Trump back in the Oval Office and the many aids and sycophants who continue to enable him that I found to be truly disturbing. It ends on a very worrying note.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Kukwa

    It feels like it's missing the bite of the previous two volumes in the Trump Saga. Perhaps it's due to the influence of a co-author? Perhaps it's due to the fact that once we transition to a sane President, all the mania and terror suddenly fades away, leaving a post-Trump hangover? Whatever the reason, there is a certain something missing from the mix...but that said, it's still strong enough to make me race through it from cover to cover. It certainly feels like the end of a lethal roller-coas It feels like it's missing the bite of the previous two volumes in the Trump Saga. Perhaps it's due to the influence of a co-author? Perhaps it's due to the fact that once we transition to a sane President, all the mania and terror suddenly fades away, leaving a post-Trump hangover? Whatever the reason, there is a certain something missing from the mix...but that said, it's still strong enough to make me race through it from cover to cover. It certainly feels like the end of a lethal roller-coaster.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tom Campbell

    The latest Woodward book, just as with the prior one, is a compelling narrative, presenting a picture of the waning days of the Trump presidency contrasted with the early days of the Biden administration. Neither president was interviewed for this book, so the narrative is constructed based on the views and recollections of those around each man. As a result, we get a picture of events, but filtered through the lenses of sometimes biased sources, leaving the reader to ultimately determine how cl The latest Woodward book, just as with the prior one, is a compelling narrative, presenting a picture of the waning days of the Trump presidency contrasted with the early days of the Biden administration. Neither president was interviewed for this book, so the narrative is constructed based on the views and recollections of those around each man. As a result, we get a picture of events, but filtered through the lenses of sometimes biased sources, leaving the reader to ultimately determine how closely the narrative comes to the actual events. While a solid read, the book does seem to lose focus a bit following the events of January 6th. While coverage of Biden's early days clearly couldn't be too diminished in the context of a transition, it did feel like some important events were given less attention than perhaps deserved. The prior president's case of Covid-19 really isn't discussed, though it would seem relevant both with the pandemic which defined his final year and coming, as it did, in the latter days of the campaign. Additionally, the second impeachment trial is given little time, as well. One wonders whether there shouldn't have been more than one book covering this period to be more comprehensive and really allow the material a little more breathing room. One of the strengths of the book, as with the prior one, is portraying the players three-dimensionally, humanizing them, as opposed to the glimpses we get in often well-rehearsed performances for the media. People within are portrayed as having both virtues and flaws, giving the reader a better understanding of what drives each president. Again, though, it falls to the reader to determine how accurate a portrayal they're getting, and, in a current political climate where many tend to lock themselves in to a specific viewpoint and demonize those who are not viewed as sharing that, it's questionable how open the general reader might be to allowing the book to enhance how they view any of the people covered within.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Mahmood

    An inside view of what really goes on in the Presidency of United States of America starting from the final days of Trump to the first year of Biden administration. How did Trump react to his loss, how his most trusted vice president refused to follow his last command, how Biden is still living in the Shadows of Trump legacy, and finally will Trump be back?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sara Zarr

    Having read both Rage and Fear, I felt I had to finish the Trump Trilogy with this one. This might have been the best of the bunch, though it would be hard to call it a "favorite" given the period in history it covers. As with the other two, I did this on audio. I do recommend these three books if you're still looking to process the last five years and get a handle on the big picture, especially since living through it felt/feels so incredibly chaotic. Having read both Rage and Fear, I felt I had to finish the Trump Trilogy with this one. This might have been the best of the bunch, though it would be hard to call it a "favorite" given the period in history it covers. As with the other two, I did this on audio. I do recommend these three books if you're still looking to process the last five years and get a handle on the big picture, especially since living through it felt/feels so incredibly chaotic.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    If author Bob Woodward intended a trilogy on former president Donald Trump, then his latest book, Peril, is the third volume, following Fear and Rage. However, I suspect Woodward has not exhausted the research material he has amassed, and he might yet squeeze out another Trump book. One difference this time is the collaboration with a coauthor, renowned Washington Post reporter, Robert Costa. Woodward and Costa have done a remarkable job of stitching together what must be thousands of individual If author Bob Woodward intended a trilogy on former president Donald Trump, then his latest book, Peril, is the third volume, following Fear and Rage. However, I suspect Woodward has not exhausted the research material he has amassed, and he might yet squeeze out another Trump book. One difference this time is the collaboration with a coauthor, renowned Washington Post reporter, Robert Costa. Woodward and Costa have done a remarkable job of stitching together what must be thousands of individual pieces of information into a cohesive tapestry to tell the story of the events surrounding the transfer of power from outgoing to incoming president. For the most part, it is a linear story, and its linearity cries out for a comprehensive timeline diagram. It is also objective reportage, with little editorializing. Readers who watch, listen to, or read mainstream news media will be familiar with the majority of 2021 events related to Trump’s departure/Biden’s arrival as president—this is very “fresh history.” Despite 400+ pages, the book is a brisk read because of the amount of quoted speech. However, as with the previous Trump books, I am not fond of the practice of having a full paragraph of what appears to be directly-quoted speech, only to find that the quoted material is often broken and then continued around a short, embedded sentence of the author’s. There is nothing wrong with this, but it might require a quick reader self-check to be clear on what is and is not quoted. Upon finishing this book, three things rise to the surface and linger in my mind. First, the amount of profanity. I am no prude, but the frequency of use of the F-word by our legislators and leaders is depressingly sad and pathetic. Can they really not conduct themselves to a higher professional standard? The second lingering item is that once legislators are elected into power, it seems that they become predominantly preoccupied with one thing—and one thing only: retaining that power through re-election. The American citizens who voted to get them there seem to be quite forgotten. If scoring high on the following three-question metric is required in order to “leave the office for the day,” I wonder how many politicians would ever see home: Have I done work today that is directly responsive to the needs of the people I represent? Have I done work today to benefit all Americans? Have I risen above blind partisanship today to advance democracy? The third takeaway is the stark contrast in character of the two presidents—the outgoing Trump and the incoming Biden. One man is egotistical, utterly self-centered, congenitally untruthful, conceited, and cannot rise beyond self-interest. Even when close friends, such as Lindsey Graham, repeatedly point out to Trump that he lost the election, Trump simply does not appear to have the emotional and intellectual wiring to accept that. And the other man is painstakingly diplomatic, constantly collaborative, humble, and forever a servant of the people. The silver lining in any Trump story is generally a frightening caution of what a self-adulatory, corrupt dictator can do in terms of corrupting all around him, and a stark illustration that when the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government are all corrupt simultaneously, then the ingenuous notion of checks-and-balances via coequal branches of government—as bewitching as we might wish it to be—becomes a total fantasy.

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