The Catastrophic Last Year of Donald J. Trump by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. Penguin Press, $ 30 (578p) ISBN 978-0-593-29894-7

Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker. Penguin Press, $ 30 (578p) ISBN 978-0-593-29894-7

Washington post reporters Leonnig and Rucker return (after A very stable genius) with a comprehensive but stilted overview of the tweetstorms, turf wars, denial and desperation that rocked the Trump administration from January 2020 to January 2021. It is an in-depth study of the bureaucratic dysfunction caused by a ” poisonous and unfair atmosphere “that has engulfed The House and federal agencies tasked with handling Covid-19, protests against police brutality and the transfer of power to a Biden administration. Amid the plethora of infuriating anecdotes, Leonnig and Rucker reveal that Trump expected the FDA to approve remdesivir as a Covid-19 treatment because Oracle founder Larry Ellison said it worked, which chief cabinet minister Mark Meadows viewed Anthony Fauci as a “formidable” and blocked his television appearances, and that Rudy Giuliani’s advice to Trump on election night was to “just say we won.” Unfortunately, the accumulation of detail at every moment of the book sometimes becomes dull, and the desire of the largely anonymous sources of Leonnig and Rucker to lay blame and preserve their own reputation makes it difficult to analyze what really happened. during controversial events such as the violent protesters withdraw from Lafayette Square in Washington, DC for a Trump photoshoot. This first draft of a history with deep sources is long in access but short in definitive ideas. (July)

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