Rage by Bob Woodward

Rage goes behind the scenes like never before, with stunning new details about early national security decisions and operations and Trump’s moves as he faces a global pandemic, economic disaster and racial unrest.

Woodward, the #1 internationally bestselling author of 13 #1 bestsellers, including Fear: Trump in the White House, shows Trump up close in his entirety before the 2020 presidential election.

President Trump has said publicly that Woodward has interviewed him. What is not known is that Trump provided Woodward a window into his mind through a series of exclusive interviews.

Rage draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand witnesses, as well as participants’ notes, emails, diaries, calendars and confidential documents.

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I have consumed several books about the Trump presidency over the last four years, but few authors write with the authority of Robert Woodward.

As I wrote in my review of Fear, Woodward is a bipartisan historian of the presidency who has devoted his career to the topic, and is well respected on both sides of the political aisle. As a result, I know I can rely on the reporting and conclusions drawn in Rage, with the knowledge that it is likely the most accurate portrayal of real goings-on inside the Trump’s White House.

I listed to both Fear and Rage. In both cases, the narration was decent. I did find both books to be rote; both read more like a history text – fitting perhaps as the writer is a celebrated historian – rather than resembling the riveting memoirs and tell-alls that have been published in great quantity.

Listening to Rage after the results of the November 2020 election had been announced and President-elect Biden named as the winner made the reading all the more interesting. The juxtaposition between Trump’s certainty he would be re-elected throughout the book, next to the real life results that he lost in a considerable way, made for more compelling reading.

One advantage that Rage had, is that it is based off of nearly twenty personal interviews the author had with President Trump, a marked difference from Woodward’s previous publication. Also, a good portion of the book discusses COVID-19. I’m not an American so most American politics have little to no effect on my life, even if the wider issue behind those politics does. COVID is different. It has deeply affected every person on this planet, and watching the American response has been horrifying and riveting… a train wreck one cannot turn away from.

Knowing that Trump had such early knowledge about the severity of the illness and its high infection rate but did not act to prepare his country is the type of villainy usually reserved for movies, but his continued obfuscation and denial of the basic facts related to this coronavirus has propelled confusion and misinformation across the globe, including in my country. In this way, I was more easily able to relate to Americans misled by their commander in chief.

Rage cut through many of the rumours online and in news media to illustrate several key points of the latter half of the Trump presidency. I believe it is a key read for Americans, whatever your political views. Knowledge is never the enemy. We have different experiences, different truths, and different perspectives , but the facts are the THE facts. No alternatives. And Woodward presents them in an honest and easily digestible way.

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