Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House

JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
edited January 9 in General
I just finished the Russia chapter, which puts me about 1/3 through the book. Overall it's not what I thought it would be. I'm finding it extremely informative about how the government works (and socialites, and schmoozing, etc) as well as the brief biographies of the players. I hope there's more dish further in. 

But the first few chapters were amazing. I enjoyed the thought that the Trump campaign was just as shocked/stunned/depressed as we were. My favorite part was Wolff comparing this to the plot of The Producers. Holy shit, why had I never seen that before? It's so obvious.

When this book isn't teaching me about how the world works, I'm enjoying the "characters" so, so much. "You can't make this shit up," hehe.  

Oh, also fascinating how Kellyanne Conway meant to say "alternative information" instead of "alternative facts." I don't know if that was common knowledge outside of this book, but it's funny what can take off from a mistake. Freudian slip? 

And I'm finding the book way more even-keeled than I thought it would be. For one thing, it's making any Russian conspiracy seem implausible. 
CretanBullPhoebes89GredalBee

Comments

  • You're forcing me to read it now...I'll drop by the book store tomorrow :)
    JaimieT
  • aberry89aberry89 California
    I'm also surprised how The Producers wasn't mentioned throughout the whole campaign, it's all I could think of...maybe if the nazi stuff had happened before he was  in office. 
  • Pretty funny side note....years ago a University of Toronto history professor wrote a book about WWII called "Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942-1945" and it's become a best seller because people meaning to buy the Trump book are accidentally buying his book!

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/uoft-prof-s-2008-fire-and-fury-book-a-bestseller-thanks-to-donald-trump-1.3750601


    JaimieTFreddyFlukesemnofseattle
  • Natter CastNatter Cast San Francisco, CA
    What's interesting to me is that the book has generated this much interest and people are challenging some of the specific stories and interpretations, but no one seems to be effectively selling the idea that the premise of the book is absurd. 

    It's PLAUSIBLE for  everyone that the president is a petulant, incurious, easily distracted man child with little to no grasp of the responsibilities of the office. Worst they might say is that it's not proven.

    Trump's incompetent lunacy is the string theory of politics. Maybe none of our given formulations are exactly right, but it seems that something vaguely like this is probably going on :) 

    The other less-than-hinged element of this is how much damage this book has done because of Trump's reaction to it. That's been the masterful play here. Any other president would just have surrogates saying "this is crazy, the president is a capable person" while the POTUS and the press secretary just repeat that they don't comment on gossip.

    That's how literally anyone from Lyndon Johnson to Dubya to Obama himself would have handled this: ignore it and have your clean up batters land a few body blows.

    But instead, Trump does everything he can to validate the thesis of the book. I mean, how Kanye West didn't get to #StableGenius first, I'll never know.
    JaimieTCretanBullFlukesMelonuskDaveyMacGanstevenduran1240Phoebes89
  • I powered through the first half or so of this book today.  It's not as trashy and gossipy as I thought that it was going to be.  I accept that particular things might be mis-attributed, slightly inaccurate, out of context etc. but even with that in mind, the overall picture being painted is entirely believable.  Who said exactly what and when doesn't change the overall narrative.  Will it go down as a historically accurate account of what happened?  Probably not, but has it provided a convincing character portrait?  I think that's undeniable...verified by everything that we publicly know about him 
    JaimieT
  • I couldn't sleep last night and ended up reading the rest of the book.  On the whole, it was better than I thought that it would be.  I'm not sure if I learned too much from it, but the tidbits that were new to me were pretty insightful.  I strongly suspect that Bannon was the primary source because he comes out looking pretty good (all things considered)...there's a general pattern where all of the good things were his ideas and when things didn't go well it was because Trump didn't listen to him.  I think that's Bannon flattering himself, and the author going along with it to get the inside dirt.

    Surprisingly, I thought that it was much kinder to Trump than it could have been.  It didn't paint a rosy picture of him and he's definitely portrayed as a buffoon but we already knew that.  If you've already accepted that he's dumb and lazy (as everyone except for that die-hard 35%) the book actually blames most of the major failings on the people surrounding Trump, their in-fighting, selfish maneuvering etc.  sure, he's ultimately responsible for that but if you realize that he's dumb and lazy its natural to shift some of the responsibility to people who should know better...and they get caught up in their own self-interest and derail a series of easy wins.



    JaimieT
  • DeeDee Adelaide
    @CretanBull So it’s basically Trump’s W? 
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    I couldn't sleep last night and ended up reading the rest of the book.  On the whole, it was better than I thought that it would be.  I'm not sure if I learned too much from it, but the tidbits that were new to me were pretty insightful.  I strongly suspect that Bannon was the primary source because he comes out looking pretty good (all things considered)...there's a general pattern where all of the good things were his ideas and when things didn't go well it was because Trump didn't listen to him.  I think that's Bannon flattering himself, and the author going along with it to get the inside dirt.

    Surprisingly, I thought that it was much kinder to Trump than it could have been.  It didn't paint a rosy picture of him and he's definitely portrayed as a buffoon but we already knew that.  If you've already accepted that he's dumb and lazy (as everyone except for that die-hard 35%) the book actually blames most of the major failings on the people surrounding Trump, their in-fighting, selfish maneuvering etc.  sure, he's ultimately responsible for that but if you realize that he's dumb and lazy its natural to shift some of the responsibility to people who should know better...and they get caught up in their own self-interest and derail a series of easy wins.




    Holy shit dude! Nice. 

    Yeah, I figured YMMV on how much you learned from the book. I am not as well versed in how the government operates as I would like. But maybe that stuff tapers off in the second half. (I hope so?)
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited January 11
    38% through.

    I agree with @CretanBull that Bannon is a primary source for this. Now that you said it, it's hard to un-see. 

    Bannon allegedly mentioned having a good idea for a liberal version of Breitbart, and oh my gosh yes I can see that happening so easily. I bet that's where he's headed. There's a lot of money to be made off the Tumblr SJWs and so forth. The groupthink is insane.

    I remember after the inauguration some women were suggesting that Melania showed the signs of spousal abuse. This was in a Women's March facebook group I joined, on a friend's invite. I said I didn't really think we should be focusing on this since it was so speculative, cheap, and honestly distracting from actual, verifiable issues. Literally no one took my side, and instead just went along with the OP: "Now that you mention it, OMG I totally see it! That's horrible!" Etc. OP insisted to me, "But I think it's helpful to women to talk about spousal abuse; it's not visible enough." ..................... smh

    Fucking human nature, man. You don't like something, it's hard to take a measured approach to critiquing it. Or maybe we should just teach higher reasoning in schools more, IDK.

    That's a little off-topic bitching, but the greater point is that those women would be first in line for a left Breitbart. Why should Tumblr (or Facebook) get all the ad money? 
  • Dee said:
    @CretanBull So it’s basically Trump’s W? 
    W is a far more sympathetic person...he was in over his head, but seemed to be aware of that and relied on the people around him - it just turned out that they weren't good (morally speaking) people.

    Trump is dumb but thinks that he knows everything...and because of his deep rooted insecurity, he gets rid of people who actually are smarter than he is - the whole thing is a downward spiral where he has terrible judgement and marginalizes anyone who can help him.
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    I don't think I can read it. I have heard allegations that the author is known to embellish the truth and I don't want to fill my brain with a bunch of info that I just believe because of a confirmation bias toward it being believable since Trump has already proven himself to being erratic, irrational etc. 
    Kela15
  • CretanBullCretanBull Toronto
    edited January 11
    I don't think I can read it. I have heard allegations that the author is known to embellish the truth and I don't want to fill my brain with a bunch of info that I just believe because of a confirmation bias toward it being believable since Trump has already proven himself to being erratic, irrational etc. 
    That was my thought going in, but not at all my thought coming out of it (and that's not confirmation bias at work!).  I was fully prepared to dismiss it, but it really isn't the trashy/gossipy book that I was expecting it to be.  The criticism of it are grossly exaggerated (ie no one is denying what was said, no one is suing and he claims to have audio recordings of his interviews).  He definitely takes liberties when it comes to imagining certain conversations - but no part of that has anything to do with the factual content of the book, it's artistic flourish - not presented as fact.  And as I said above, I think we're largely getting Steve Bannon's view of what happened because he comes out of it looking really good.  Does Bannon lie/exaggerate about certain things?  Probably, but the factual content is multi-sourced.

    I don't think that it's a beat by beat 100% account of exactly what happened when, an accurate account of who said what exact words when etc.  but overall, I think that it a very good insight into the atmosphere inside Trump's White House etc.  Approach it like a character study and not a historical document and there's a lot to gain from it (even if you take it with a grain of Steve Bannon salt).
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    It's just too tricky right now to get well-sourced information and I don't know how to really know. So I am skipping it for now. I admit to reading the excerpt that was on nymag.com though.
  • JaimieTJaimieT Atlanta, GA
    edited January 11
    It's just too tricky right now to get well-sourced information and I don't know how to really know. So I am skipping it for now. I admit to reading the excerpt that was on nymag.com though.

    Yeah, it's nothing like that excerpt. But you do you boo. Books are commitments. 

    43% - I skimmed the CPAC chapter lol. 
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    JaimieT said:
    It's just too tricky right now to get well-sourced information and I don't know how to really know. So I am skipping it for now. I admit to reading the excerpt that was on nymag.com though.

    Yeah, it's nothing like that excerpt. But you do you boo. Books are commitments. 

    43% - I skimmed the CPAC chapter lol. 
    LMAO
    I can definitely talk myself up to commit to reading a book if i trust it's well-sourced. 
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    edited January 18
  • kingbee67kingbee67 Los Angeles Ca.
    On Bill Maher in the interview Wolff says that if you read between the lines.The book points out a affair that Trump is currently in. I didn’t get the book but does anybody know if there is any truth to that? 
  • kingbee67 said:
    On Bill Maher in the interview Wolff says that if you read between the lines.The book points out a affair that Trump is currently in. I didn’t get the book but does anybody know if there is any truth to that? 
    Definitely Ivanka.
    CretanBullxulsolar22
  • kingbee67 said:
    On Bill Maher in the interview Wolff says that if you read between the lines.The book points out a affair that Trump is currently in. I didn’t get the book but does anybody know if there is any truth to that? 
    Nothing jumped out at me while reading it, but my guess would be Hope Hicks...she's the only one who's around him enough for him to be involved with.
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Maybe it's Sarah Huckabee and that's why she's so cranky all the time.
  • Maybe it's Sarah Huckabee and that's why she's so cranky all the time.
    I started to write a reply in the style of Trump, reacting the way he would to that suggestion.  Then I realized that I couldn't post it without looking like a misogynist arsehole that would make people either hate me or severely question my judgement.  Then it hit me...I won't even joke about things that the President causally says with sincerity.

    The book does claim that Trump called Hicks "the best piece of tail" that Lewandowski would ever get - which caused her to leave the meeting that they were having in tears.  He fired Lewandowski and “seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way”...paternal...we know what Trump wants to do with his daughter.
    Flukeskingbee67
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Maybe it's Sarah Huckabee and that's why she's so cranky all the time.
    I started to write a reply in the style of Trump, reacting the way he would to that suggestion.  Then I realized that I couldn't post it without looking like a misogynist arsehole that would make people either hate me or severely question my judgement.  Then it hit me...I won't even joke about things that the President causally says with sincerity.

    The book does claim that Trump called Hicks "the best piece of tail" that Lewandowski would ever get - which caused her to leave the meeting that they were having in tears.  He fired Lewandowski and “seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way”...paternal...we know what Trump wants to do with his daughter.
    The only problem- She's not blonde.

    But on a serious note, what happens when the #MeToo movement hits the White House? because you know there's gotta be some crazy business going on in there.
  • Maybe it's Sarah Huckabee and that's why she's so cranky all the time.
    I started to write a reply in the style of Trump, reacting the way he would to that suggestion.  Then I realized that I couldn't post it without looking like a misogynist arsehole that would make people either hate me or severely question my judgement.  Then it hit me...I won't even joke about things that the President causally says with sincerity.

    The book does claim that Trump called Hicks "the best piece of tail" that Lewandowski would ever get - which caused her to leave the meeting that they were having in tears.  He fired Lewandowski and “seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way”...paternal...we know what Trump wants to do with his daughter.
    The only problem- She's not blonde.

    But on a serious note, what happens when the #MeToo movement hits the White House? because you know there's gotta be some crazy business going on in there.
    Like bragging about grabbing women inappropriately or having affairs with porn stars when your wife is at home with a 4 month old?  The party of family values don't care.
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Maybe it's Sarah Huckabee and that's why she's so cranky all the time.
    I started to write a reply in the style of Trump, reacting the way he would to that suggestion.  Then I realized that I couldn't post it without looking like a misogynist arsehole that would make people either hate me or severely question my judgement.  Then it hit me...I won't even joke about things that the President causally says with sincerity.

    The book does claim that Trump called Hicks "the best piece of tail" that Lewandowski would ever get - which caused her to leave the meeting that they were having in tears.  He fired Lewandowski and “seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way”...paternal...we know what Trump wants to do with his daughter.
    The only problem- She's not blonde.

    But on a serious note, what happens when the #MeToo movement hits the White House? because you know there's gotta be some crazy business going on in there.
    Like bragging about grabbing women inappropriately or having affairs with porn stars when your wife is at home with a 4 month old?  The party of family values don't care.
    Some things still get decided in a court of law in this country, believe it or not. :D 
  • Maybe it's Sarah Huckabee and that's why she's so cranky all the time.
    I started to write a reply in the style of Trump, reacting the way he would to that suggestion.  Then I realized that I couldn't post it without looking like a misogynist arsehole that would make people either hate me or severely question my judgement.  Then it hit me...I won't even joke about things that the President causally says with sincerity.

    The book does claim that Trump called Hicks "the best piece of tail" that Lewandowski would ever get - which caused her to leave the meeting that they were having in tears.  He fired Lewandowski and “seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way”...paternal...we know what Trump wants to do with his daughter.
    The only problem- She's not blonde.

    But on a serious note, what happens when the #MeToo movement hits the White House? because you know there's gotta be some crazy business going on in there.
    Like bragging about grabbing women inappropriately or having affairs with porn stars when your wife is at home with a 4 month old?  The party of family values don't care.
    Some things still get decided in a court of law in this country, believe it or not. :D 
    Fake News!

    Trump thinks his voters are stupid ("I could shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters") and they keep proving him right.




  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Maybe it's Sarah Huckabee and that's why she's so cranky all the time.
    I started to write a reply in the style of Trump, reacting the way he would to that suggestion.  Then I realized that I couldn't post it without looking like a misogynist arsehole that would make people either hate me or severely question my judgement.  Then it hit me...I won't even joke about things that the President causally says with sincerity.

    The book does claim that Trump called Hicks "the best piece of tail" that Lewandowski would ever get - which caused her to leave the meeting that they were having in tears.  He fired Lewandowski and “seemed to treat Hicks in a protective and even paternal way”...paternal...we know what Trump wants to do with his daughter.
    The only problem- She's not blonde.

    But on a serious note, what happens when the #MeToo movement hits the White House? because you know there's gotta be some crazy business going on in there.
    Like bragging about grabbing women inappropriately or having affairs with porn stars when your wife is at home with a 4 month old?  The party of family values don't care.
    Some things still get decided in a court of law in this country, believe it or not. :D 
    Fake News!

    Trump thinks his voters are stupid ("I could shoot somebody and I wouldn't lose voters") and they keep proving him right.
    Luckily there have been quite a few federal judges who are still willing to do their jobs.
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