A book review of A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig.
The two authors of this book are reporters at The Washington Post and both have won Pulitzer Prizes unlike the subject of their book, a man who has even promoted himself to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize because “he was such a great negotiator with North Korean leader Kim.”
The book is a beautifully written account about Trump in his first three years as president. It contains hundreds of short detailed stories that show a man who surrounds himself with generals and soldiers who must obey him because he is America’s Commander in Chief. He likes that because soldiers must obey their commander no matter how crazy the order…
This is the setting for their approach to describe a monster who has no interest in any other human being except himself and his own self aggrandisement. He is a person who only wants to surround himself with people, like soldiers, who will agree to do whatever he wants and make him look good:
- Soldiers must do this and even generals suck up to this madman. Many of his staff were former soldiers or great distinction and they resigned or were sacked when they realised that the man is nuts.
- The rest of his staff who were not sourced from the military are shoved in and out with comments on Twitter.
- He keeps an iron grip on Republican Party politicians by threats and coercion – they are scared to lose their seats in Congress if they cross him.
- He plays a crude game of whipping up cheering crowds by making wild promises to make America great again, whatever that means, and by constantly repeating insulting and dismissive stories about his political opponents and the media.
The book focuses on domestic politics and only touches lightly on international matters. It does describe how Trump speaks in glowing terms about Putin, Xi and Kim while he denigrates Macron, Trudeau, May, Merkel, and many other leaders of the free world. The Nordics are lucky that we are left in peace in this tome!
The main part of the book concentrates on how he mocks the American political system, democracy and the rule of law because he is ignorant and uneducated; because he cannot read anything longer than a line or two; because he cannot concentrate on complicated details; because he thinks he is that stable genius, which he is not; because he lies and because he is a simply instinctively cunning like a fox – a good description because it is an animal that only thinks about where the next meal is coming from and procreating!
The question that comes to mind when finally reaching the end of the book is simply: “Was it worth the read?”
We already know what this man-boy is like from reading his daily Tweets and from the many press reports about his antics. The book just adds meat to the bone, with details that are really shocking – these are not antics but serious and terrifying wrongs from the leader of the most powerful country in the world.
You are left feeling that no democratic country should employ this type of leader because he is destroying in just a few years what takes decades and centuries to establish. You will see that nobody openly can oppose him for fear of being Tweeted, and yet they know what they are doing – there is no excuse for their acquiescence!
This con-man is portrayed here as a criminal that has no place on the world stage – the book’s message is loud and clear. Good men and women in America need to vote him out of office.
So to answer the question “Was this book worth a read?” the answer must be “Yes!”…
… but your correspondent does not want to read a sequel. Pick-pockets and burglars are sentenced to jail for lesser crimes.