Fire and Fury

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff

If anyone has not heard about the most talked about book of 2018 so far, then they probably aren’t reading this post right now.  This book, Fire and Fury, has swept the nation up in a firestorm of political gossip and certainly has the attention of President Donald Trump, essentially at the center of it’s thesis.

Initially, when I heard that this book would be released, I compared it to other “smear” books, like Blood Feud, Partners in Crime and All Out War, political hypothesizing that I don’t entertain when looking for a book to read, when I have time for it.  But, because the Trump administration was so eager to have it go away, and because reviewers corroborated what was said by sources, I knew it was something I needed to read.

For the exact same reason I avoided the other books, I read Fire and Fury with much skepticism and continue to question how it’s author was able to obtain so many damning quotes so easily and quickly.  One of my favorite political commentators, NBC’s Chuck Todd, also wondered this, questioning Mr. Wolff about it in their interview on 1/7/18.  Wolff stated the Trump administration welcomed him into the White House, possibly with the hope that he’d write a puff piece on the “progress” Trump and his team had done in 2017.

While writing nonfiction is easier, and I enjoy writing it, I don’t really know of many nonfiction books I’ve enjoyed reading.  In fact, I could probably count on both my hands, how many nonfiction books I’ve liked.  However, I loved Fire and Fury.  It was sinfully delicious, as a vocal Hillary Clinton supporter.  One Amazon reviewer said reading it was like eating a 5-gallon tub of ice cream.  I agree with that statement 100%!  It really is.

I don’t want to possibly spoil anything for anybody, so if you think you’d even remotely be surprised by what’s in this book, then look again.  The overall theme of this book, which is highlighted heavily at the beginning of the book is that the Trump administration was never supposed to happen.  Nobody, including Trump himself, never expected him to win.  In fact, he promised his wife that things would return to normal after Nov. 8.  He mainly thought about the consolation prize to losing; enough media attention to establish his Trump TV Network, forever cementing his celebrity status across the globe.

Did Trump really want to become president, regardless of what the vote outcome would be?  I’m not sure, and the book doesn’t really speculate on this.  What is certain is his desire to suck up all the media and become the world’s biggest celebrity.  He’s certainly done that, but maybe not in a way anyone hoped.

If you’re someone who enjoys innocent reading, this book is not for you.  Some sections are very crude, providing very explicit quotes from those like Steve Bannon, Sean Spicer and Trump himself.  These quotes were sexual, sexist and overall degrading in nature.  You can’t help but feel bad for those who were on the receiving end of those statements.  How they endured, or continue to endure them, is beyond me.

When reading the book, you can’t help but wonder if Steve Bannon is a major, yet silent, contributor to this book.  He’s quoted heavily throughout the book, and his political beliefs are intensely studied.  Sometimes, you thought Wolff had been invited into Bannon’s office or home to receive dictation, rather than being the “fly-on-the-wall” journalist he claims to be.

The book, while very good, is not without it’s problems.  There’s grammatical errors (no book is immune to this, though), and Wolff’s choice of words sometimes stops the flow in this intensely fast-paced book.  I, a public relations major, have been trained to write as simplistic and concise as possible, which may be why I’m critical of his $20 words and grand descriptions.

It also felt rushed.  Releasing the book five days ahead of it’s release date didn’t help that feeling go away.  Maybe the author and publisher feared some of the sources would recant.  Maybe President Trump would have a credible reason to have the book pulled from the shelves.  Or may Wolff just wanted it released as soon as the first year in the Trump presidency had concluded.  Who knows.

One thing’s for sure; President Trump’s public outrage over the release skyrocketed it into fame.  This book, which would normally be considered “tabloid” printing, now has merit and causes some people, including yours truly, to believe a majority of the book’s content is true.

Even if it’s not true, it still provided a good read, and I encourage any of my political-conscious friends to read it.

Have you read the book yet?  What are your thoughts?  Post your comments below.

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