Two Accounts of Donald Trump’s Last Year in Office, One More Live


Wolff is a figure sometimes derided in the world of journalism and politics. He was accused of being less diligent in checking facts. He was penalized for careless writing violations. These complaints are valid to a certain extent. But “Landslide” is a smart, lively and bold book. They have great instincts. I read it in two or three sittings.

This is the book this age and this subject probably deserves. In this way, like Kitty Kelley’s brutal 1983 biography of Frank Sinatra, “Her Way,” or, more flattering for the author, Tina Brown’s devious and vigilant 2007 book. About Princess Diana.

You never feel that Wolff has the political world in his hands, as Theodore H. White does in his books “The Making of the President”. He doesn’t have the creepy knowledge of a Garry Wills. With its brash and curious qualities, “Landslide” brought to mind Joe McGinniss’s “The President’s Sale 1968”. Like McGinniss, Wolff bury himself like a tick, even while maintaining social distancing.

Wolff doesn’t have Mark Milley. He doesn’t care much about the Covid narrative. It focuses on chaos and kakistocracy, how nearly everyone escaped Trump in his last months and how he ended up with smug charlatans like Sidney Powell and Giuliani. Giuliani’s bulge is a joke in this book, but the author doesn’t find it funny at all.

Wolff has scenes that Leonnig and Rucker don’t. These include election night details like the frenzy in the Trump world when Fox News called Arizona early for Biden. Wolff, biographer of Rupert Murdoch, describes the frenzied phone calls that went back and forth before he heard from the former Dirty Digger: “[Expletive] him-her-it.”

In this accounting, Trump belittles his followers. “Trump has often expressed surprise at who these people are,” Wolff writes, “of low-rent ‘caravan camps’ and ‘departures,’ joking and nodding once saying he needed to invest in a chain of tattoo parlors ‘large unwashed. ‘ about.

Wolff has an eye for status details. A typical comment: “Bedminster had the hopeful air of an English gentlemen’s club, but more like a steakhouse.”

Another Wolfe, Tom, commented, “The dark night of fascism always lands in the United States and yet only in Europe.” The authors of both books conclude with new Trump interviews on the waterfront in Mar-a-Lago. None of them think that the threat of that night will pass anytime soon.


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