Book Title: Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House
Author: Michael Wolff
About the Author: This American author is also a journalist and contributor to USA Today, The Hollywood Report and GQ (UK). He has written several books with political themes. It is said that he wrote this book while on a couch in the White House, providing a supposed “fly on the wall” perspective of the daily activities.
Main Characters: There are too many people (I suppose they truly are characters) in this book to list them all. Some of the ones I can remember of note include:
Donald Trump – obvi. He is presented in a very non-presidential, yet very Trumpish way. The quotes are likely to be real but there is no way to know for sure with a lot of them. Tweets referenced are of course direct quotes and I sadly remember when each of them were posted.
Steve Bannon – He seemed more like the central character of the book. Most of the quotes were by him, and there were two chapters dedicated to his shenanigans. Again, no way of knowing if any of his quotes are legitimate. Fly on the wall indeed. I think it’s more likely that Wolff was an invited guest into Bannon’s office. It was probably like Mean Girls when they got together after work and laughed at all the stupid things Trump said earlier in the day.
Jarvanka – The combo name for Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. They were the apparent opposition to the Bannon side of things in the White House. These two factions of advisors in the White House (Jarvanka vs Bannon) giving conflicting advice and were at odds the entire time. Guess we all know who won out in the end. Big surprise. Does that mean they are the good guys? No. Pretty sure there was no protagonist of this book.
Everyone else – There’s just so many names. Hope Hicks. Kellyann Conway. Nikki Haley. Sean Spicer. Reince Priebus. Dina Powell. The other Trump kids. The list goes on with the revolving cast of characters as people lose their jobs, get new jobs, switch jobs, who knows.
Plot Summary: Fire and Fury seemed to be a chronological recount of the first year in the White House under Trump’s presidency. A lot of the book was focused on Bannon’s opinion and approach to advising the POTUS. The rest of the book was about the well documented issues surrounding the unexpected Executive Disorders and meetings with world leaders that were covered in the news, as well as the ongoing animosity between Trump’s family/staff, people like Bannon, and regular career politicians in Washington. The Russian investigation was mentioned many times but no new information or insight was really there.
Lessons Learned: There is very likely a lot of chaos in that White House. I don’t doubt at all that the people working there have very little grasp of what they are doing, as the book explains the background of several people and they are frankly inexperienced at best… incompetent at worst. (That may not even be the worst.) Also, one way to get into the White House staff is to be a pretty woman and make friends with Ivanka. That seems to be the fast track.
Personal Opinions: It’s probably clear how I feel about the people in this book. But I did read it without taking it seriously. I didn’t believe half of what I read. The author uses overly complicated SAT words so he seems intelligent. But it’s just a waste of time. I ended up skimming a lot of it – it reads very slowly and has lots of run on sentences. The fact that we already know that Bannon is out of the White House and abandoned by his news channel made a lot of content in the book pointless.
I bought the book due to the hype. There wasn’t much bombshell insight and I don’t think it was really worth the money. It was a rough read and I am ready to read something more uplifting next!!