••• The International Writers Magazine: Review
Fire and Fury
Inside the White House by Michael Wolff
Sam North review
How to describe a vacuum? The sort of question you’d get in science class maybe, not something that you expect to describe the current incumbent of the White House and all those who serve within it.
If you want to truly scare someone – forget those unpleasant fairy stories of Big Bad Wolves, Evil Queens and poisoned apples. Read Fire and Fury and you will reel with horror at the paucity of intelligence in American Governance and if you ever thought ‘The Donald’ or Steve Bannon deserved any sympathy – think again. This is all very frightening stuff.
Michael Wolff chronicles the chaos caused by actually winning the presidency. Trump it seems had no plan for the hours after voting day as he and all those around him thought they’d lose – badly. Indeed he’d promised Melania, his wife as much as she didn’t care for this adventure at all. Although it seemed obvious to me as an outsider that FBI Director Comey’s intervention just before the ballot on Hillary’s emails won it for Trump, Trump himself didn’t see it that way and the chapter on how he dumped Comey is like a scene from the Godfather movie cutting room.
Bannon is the poisonous thread that runs throughout the first year of the presidency. He is at war with Ivanka and Jared throughout, but wins all the key battles to roll back protection for the environment and making life harder for the poor. He’s the one who is all for removing healthcare from millions of Americans (Trump it seems was ambivalent in the beginning) he is the one who pushes the anti-china agenda and of course Trump is in thrall to all the dictators such as Putin and as we discover Little Rocket Man (although the book stops at the point when Trump is temporarily threatening North Korea with Fire and Fury).
No one comes out of this saga well. Although, I do have more sympathy for White House Press spokesman Sean Spicer now. Wolff details who came in, who courted the Kings displeasure, the endless plotting and of course, who left under a cloud. (Almost everyone). Fox News of course is a huge influence and we see the paranoia grow about any critical media being labelled 'Fake News'. When in fact pretty much all the negative reporting turns out to be true. (Trump Jr confessing he saw the Russians in Trump Tower being one major correction recently). This is not the West Wing of President Bartlet. This is through the West Wing and out the other side. This is madness.
Trump is painted as an empty vessel vulnerable to the loudest most extreme opinions in the room and can’t abide criticism of any kind unless he’s the one tweeting abuse on a daily, hourly basis. If you ever had any doubts about him being the Manchurian Candidate – cast them aside, he’s your man with the sniper gun. Fire and Fury comes with the authority of a sober documentary and you read it with increasing incredulity as all the personalities from yesterdays news flash by on the road to obvlivion.
Read it and weep. I totally recommend this book.
© Sam North August 2018
author of Another Place to Die: Endtime