Bob Woodward is an investigative journalist and an associate editor at the Washington Post. He is most known for teaming up with Carl Bernstein and for much of the original news reporting on the Watergate scandal. These scandals led to numerous government investigations and the eventual resignation of President Richard Nixon.
Since the Clinton Administration, Woodward has written about administrations and presidents, with the most Books written during George W Bushes presidency. While he has had his critics, he has largely maintained a level of integrity with 13 out of his 19 books making the bestseller list.
“We asked about what real power is, and he said real power is fear,” -Bob Woodward
The Novel, Fear: Trump in the White House is written in a style of “Deep background”. Woodward uses the information he gets from his interviews, documentation, etc. But he won’t attribute it at every instance. Instead, he will just write that it happened without explaining where it’s coming from. (The source notes at the end of Fear say that every chapter’s information “comes primarily from multiple deep background interviews with firsthand sources.”)
Much like the book Fire and Fury, this too is written in a narrative “God” style. That is all Fear has in common with Fire and Fury. Unlike Fire And Fury, this book isn’t solely a representation of the outrages inability, inefficacies, and the drama surrounding this president and the current administration. But an explanation on the motivation and perspective of some of the president’s key advisors. The thinking and strategies behind some of the administration’s actions, and at times the lack thereof any strategy.
I was careful not to be too critical of the drama, politicking and the amateur failures of this administration, that is written off in this book. They are consistent with other publically witnessed failures and came as no surprise. But I did learn from the descriptions the backgrounds of much of the key actors within the current administration, some of the early challenges that the administration faced, the policy hurdles, and the agendas being promoted within the White House. (The North Korean threat/ Middle East politics and the foreign policies adopted by the USA).
“Nearly all economists disagreed with Trump, but he found an academic economist who hated free trade as much as he did. He brought him to the White House as both director of trade and industrial policy and director of the National Trade Council. Peter Navarro was a 67-year-old Harvard PhD in economics. “This is the president’s vision,” Navarro publicly said. “My function really as an economist is to try to provide the underlying analytics that confirm his intuition. And his intuition is always right in these matters.”
As the first Woodward book I read, It was informative on how certain government agencies work, how a chain of commands exists, how information to the president is supposed to flow, how advice should be directed. how policies are built, how agendas are advanced, and how influence can be placed in manipulating the president and his own agenda on a whim.