Books by Bob Woodward: Conclusion of the Trump Trilogy – Politics


It was an accolade for Donald Trump when he was interviewed by Bob Woodward at the end of March 2016. The reporter legend had more than eight US presidents Washington Post had already written books, and at the time, outsider Trump was ahead in the Republican primary. The interview is legendary because of a statement by Trump: “Real power is – I really don’t want to use that word – fear.” With that, Woodward, now 78, had found the leitmotif and title of his first Trump book: “fear” described the chaos in the White House in the fall of 2018. After “Wut“, which dealt with Trump’s erratic actions in the pandemic, “Danger” – which will be published in German this Monday – is now the provisional end of Woodward’s Trump books.

US Presidency: Bob Woodward, Robert Costa: Danger.  American Democracy in Crisis.  Translated by K. Petersen, H.-P.  Remmler, H Schlatterer, S Schmid, and T Stauder.  Hanser-Verlag, Munich 2022. 560 pages, 26 euros.

Bob Woodward, Robert Costa: Danger. American Democracy in Crisis. Translated by K. Petersen, H.-P. Remmler, H Schlatterer, S Schmid, and T Stauder. Hanser-Verlag, Munich 2022. 560 pages, 26 euros.

There are several reasons why many readers are left confused, perplexed and possibly annoyed after reading it. The book was published in the USA in September, and the most explosive news is known: General Mark Milley, the top soldier in the USA, did everything to prevent Trump’s behavior from leading to war with China. The chief of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff called his concerned counterpart in Beijing twice and assured them that the US was not planning an attack – most recently after the storming of the Capitol on January 6th.

The chapters about this dark day and how Trump continues to refuse to admit defeat to Joe Biden are disturbing not only because of the good scenic description. Woodward and his co-author Robert Costa are certain that Trump remains a threat because he would run again in 2024 and address the lie about alleged election fraud. The subtitle “American Democracy in Crisis” is a correct description of the present, but unfortunately the book offers too little classification.

Chronicle of the first Biden months

“Many hundreds of hours of interviews with more than 200 people” form the basis for the authors, but this abundance leads to the impression of helplessness. Joe Biden’s election campaign is traced again over dozens of pages and then leads to the chaos of the transition period between election day and the inauguration. “Danger” suddenly becomes a chronicle of the first months of the current president. Of course, it’s also instructive to read about Democrat Biden’s wrestling with West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who so often robs him of the majority he needs – and likes to hide in a secret office so his fellow party members can’t find him. But anecdotes always seem to be more important than analysis.

The book ends with Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in June 2021 and the American’s quote that diplomacy is always something personal and that “in the end you have to develop a personal relationship”. In view of the situation in Ukraine, this sentence gives little hope – but one does not want to imagine what would be going on if Trump were in the White House.


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