It’s still early in 2020, but the impeachment proceedings and the November presidential election have kept politics front and center in the book world while President Donald Trump continues to make news—and inspire anguished analysis—with every utterance and tweet. You can be sure much more ink will be spilled in the months to come.
This week sees the release of two works of investigative journalism that look at the 45th president and his circle. Announced in mid-December (and embargoed until publication), The Fixers: Bottom-Feeders, Crooked Lawyers, Gossipmongers, and Porn Stars Who Created the 45th President (Random House, Jan. 14) shines a light on the lawyers and media figures who have enabled and protected Trump throughout his career; it’s by Wall Street Journal reporters Joe Palazzolo and Michael Rothfeld, who won the Pulitzer Prize last year.
Meanwhile, Andrea Bernstein, Peabody Award–winning co-host of the Trump, Inc. podcast, delivers American Oligarchs: The Kushners, The Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power (Norton, Jan. 14), a close examination of these intertwined real estate clans, joined by the union of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. Our review (published on page TK) calls it a “painstaking documentation of a relentless culture of corruption.”
Not enough for you hardcore news junkies? Here are some other recent releases that dig deep into the world of Donald Trump:
Crime in Progress: Inside the Steele Dossier and the Fusion GPS Investigation of Donald Trump by Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch (Random House, Nov. 26): Fusion GPS is the Washington, D.C., research and analysis firm helmed by the authors, two former Wall Street Journal reporters. Their reporting led to the notorious Steele Dossier, and here they lay out their findings for the general reader. Kirkus’ reviewer calls it “red meat for Trump foes and a convincing denunciation of the Republicans’ ‘win-at-all-costs electoral strategies.’ ”
The Mueller Report Illustrated by the Washington Post, illustrated by Jan Feindt (Scribner, Dec. 3): If you didn’t tackle all 700-plus pages of The Mueller Report when it was published back in April, you can now sprint through what our reviewer calls “a lively, graphic version of the foundational document in the current presidential impeachment process.”
Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos by Peter L. Bergen (Penguin Press, Dec. 10): Though Trump was endorsed by nearly 90 retired generals and military officials during his 2016 campaign, a CNN national security analyst shows that as president he has consistently alienated the Pentagon and staff of the National Security Agency while burning through generals tapped for top posts (Mike Flynn, H.R. McMaster, Jim Mattis, John Kelly). Kirkus’ review of Trump and His Generals doesn’t mince words: “More hard-hitting, abundant documentation of a woefully incapable president’s litany of failures.”
Finally, take your pick of the published results of the impeachment report: The Impeachment Report: The House Intelligence Committee’s Report on Its Investigation Into Donald Trump and Ukraine (Broadway Books, Dec. 17) features an introduction by presidential biographer and former Newsweek editor-in-chief Jon Meacham, and The Trump-Ukraine Impeachment Inquiry Report (Melville House, Dec. 17) is published flip-book style, with the official report on one side (blue cover) and the response of House Republicans (red cover) on the other.
Enjoy your reading—there are just 295 days until Election Day.
Tom Beer is the editor-in-chief.