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Fear: Trump in the White House

Fear: Trump in the White House

Written by Bob Woodward

Narrated by Robert Petkoff


Fear: Trump in the White House

Written by Bob Woodward

Narrated by Robert Petkoff

ratings:
4.5/5 (563 ratings)
Length:
12 hours
Released:
Sep 11, 2018
ISBN:
9781508240105
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Editor's Note

New release…

Read the book that sparked an uproar and has everyone talking — including the president. Veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s new exposé takes readers behind-the-scenes at the White House for the inside story on President Trump.

Description

THE INSIDE STORY ON PRESIDENT TRUMP, AS ONLY BOB WOODWARD CAN TELL IT

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump's White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence.

Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president's first years in office.

Released:
Sep 11, 2018
ISBN:
9781508240105
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Bob Woodward is an associate editor at The Washington Post where he has worked for 49 years and reported on every American president from Nixon to Trump. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for the Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein, and second 20 years later as the lead Post reporter for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


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Reviews

What people think about Fear

4.3
563 ratings / 93 Reviews
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Critic reviews

  • Veteran journalist Bob Woodward — one of the original reporters uncovering the Watergate scandal — takes readers behind-the-scenes at the White House for the inside story on President Trump in this exposé.

    Scribd Editors

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Excellent book on the inside of the White House! Great job Bob Woodward excellent reporting!,,


    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Woodward's book confirms what we already knew - Trump really IS a moron. He's an arrogant, ignorant, reckless, dangerous, malignant man, and we should all be afraid, especially if he gets re-elected.
  • (4/5)
    Fascinatingly detailed account - with actual conversations on essential topics of government policy, all reflecting Trump's questionable knowledge of any subject related to governing and his impatient and immature reactions to his advisers - not that we didn't know all this already, but at the same time, another poignant proof, in much, much detail. If it were not for such a credible journalist as Bob Woodward I would be skeptical about how such detailed conversations could have been obtained. I listened to the audio version - very well narrated by Robert Petkoff.
  • (4/5)
    Extremely well-documented and frightening account of life in the Trump White House. Irrespective of party affiliation, Woodward's book does little to build confidence in our current administration.

  • (4/5)
    I thought an interesting book to listen too, Not sure if this book was meant to bash Trump but for his base I'm sure it had the opposite effect. The final words in the book was no great revelation, Trump is an Effing Liar. No news here. Enjoyed the banter between the political players.
  • (3/5)
    This is a book read with horrified fascination. Mr. Woodward is a reporter who works by accumulating a number of details and then letting the subject reveal itself in short snippets, presenting short scenes and encounters that gradually build up a picture of the circumstance he wishes to describe. He does it well, and this bok is a worthy addition to his other political works. Woodward dwells on the difficulty of trying to create a coherent polcy from a set of wildly shifting prononcements from a man who came to the conclusion that the basis of all leadership is the constant conflict of advisors who are kept in a state of near panic by the inconsistencies of their boss. I am not going to describe Donald Trump as a leader, for his manner and talents do not lie in the field of bringing out the best in his subordinates but instead, in using them to set up dramatic scenarios which allow him to appear as as "Decider" who swoops down from his superior perch and blesses or damns the hopeful aspirants who surround him. The matter of the scenarios does not matter to Trump as much as the dramatic playlets he can create for his personal theatre. It is no way to run a presidential administration.The book deals almost entirely with the very domestic management of the President and his White House team, and the public relations staff, as well as his corps of lawyers. There is practically nothing about the foreign policy of the USA, nor with the domestic manipulation of the Congress except as it functions as the matter of the playlets. A chilling and very narrow focus is maintained, creating a portrait of a man who, not having very much real self confidence, has substituted the creation of fear by his serious inconsistencies, rather than by any organized program. Mr. Woodward has not chosen to follow what may appear to be the president's gradual loss of focussed energies, as that was probably not as pronounced by the time of preparation and publication, finishing in summer 2018, compared to the events of the winter and spring of 2018-2019.
  • (4/5)
    Bob Woodward's portrait of Trump and account of the first year or so of his presidency starts out kind of disjointed and a little dry. But by the end, like Trump himself, it compels a certain trainwreck fascination. Nothing in it is particularly surprising, though. Woodward's portrait of Trump reveals him as exactly the person he appears to be (and god help us all). And even though I go through long periods where I cannot stomach keeping up with the news, I can't say there was very much in here that was new to me, other than some insights into Trump's ill-informed and intractable ideas on the economy and free trade. Which sort of makes me wonder why I put myself through reading it. (Which is a commentary not on Woodward, but on his subject matter.)I suppose it could be appreciated as an interesting historical look at a truly weird time in American history, if only we didn't have to live through it all.
  • (4/5)
    I read Bob Woodward's book "Fear: Trump in the White House." Lots of thoughts. But I'll just put a few brief observations here to start.

    First, you should read it. A book does so much more justice to history than tweets, news stories, commentator hot takes, and social media rants. Do yourself a favor, and take the time to read the book.

    Second, I didn't pick up "fear" as a very good theme for the book. "Unhinged," or "Liar," or "Unprecedented," or "Wowsahs" all might be better titles. But "fear" just didn't seem to fit. I'm not saying that Trump hasn't used fear at any point to get what he wants or that it isn't a theme in his administration--nor am I say that it is--just that Woodward doesn't really seem to draw that theme so much as drop it in at a couple random points. (But then, "Liar" might have provoked a lawsuit for slander, and would red goes better with fear, and if we're all about selling books, "Fear" on a red cover goes better, right? Good thing we're not judging books by their cover...)

    Third: there are both heroes and villains in this story. And that's just inside the White House. Unfortunately, the heroes can't consistently manage, and the President seems to lack an internal compass. Enter the villains...

    And last: As one friend pointed out (at book club, and you know who you are), he finished reading the book and, oddly, his opinion of Trump actually went up. I don't know if that's because his opinion was so low before that it could only increase, or if Trump really is better than we give him credit...nah, it's not that. But it made me think about how complex the modern White House is and the difficulty of governing in the polarized environment of constant media scrutiny. Sure, Trump is largely where he is because of that situation, but he's also an ongoing victim of it.

    Or maybe we are victims of it?

    It's a republic if we can keep it, and 24-hour news consumption is not helping us keep it. Go read a book. This one, even.

    Bonus thought: the Democrats are not helping themselves. They're ensuring that Trump wins reelection, transforms the judiciary, and remakes foreign policy in a way no one has been able to do in a decade. All is not lost, nor is it all bad news.

  • (4/5)
    It's a compelling subject, chronicled by a masterful journalist. Unfortunately, as some other reviewers have lamented, virtually all of the "meat" contained in the book is old news for any readers who were exposed to Woodward's exhaustive book tour. I get the need to promote books by showcasing strong content. I've been a small-press publisher for 35 years. But I can honestly say there wasn't a single "punch line" in Woodward's work that I hadn't ready seen, heard or read about --- multiple times -- during his book promotion blitz. There oughta be a law... Having said all that, I do think "Fear" is an important book that meticulously (sometimes to a tedious extreme) documents numerous critical chapters in American history.
  • (5/5)
    This is a very well-written terrifying look at the process of making Trump president in very manipulative and frightening ways. Frightening because it shows how easy it was for nefarious people to manipulate American voters into voting for the inept, unqualified man that is now president. It is terrifying to believe that such an incompetent man is now the leader of our nation all because he was marketed to the lowest common denominator and got him elected.
  • (5/5)
    Where do I start with this one? Rather than focusing on the topic, can I just say that Bob Woodward's writing is just good. I found myself thinking that being an investigative journalist would be like attempting a ridiculously large puzzle while only being given a small card table to put it all together on. So in other words, I don't know how they do it, but I admire and appreciate their using their talents to help shed light on our world, its events and people.
  • (5/5)
    Typical of Bob Woodward: fully researched and reported, impeccable sources, thoroughly damning to Trump. Special counsel Robert Mueller probably used this book as evidence in his investigation of Trump. Woodward brought down Nixon. Now he is going to bring down Trump.
  • (4/5)
    This well-researched book gives background on events both before and after the 2016 presidential election. Many of the players from early in Trump's presidency have already left the stage, but I'd still recommend the book to anyone who'd like to understand a bit more about how we've gotten to this point.
  • (4/5)
    There was so much about this book in the news when it came out that I wondered how much was left for me to discover. Well, a lot. My husband was reading this on vacation and wanted me to read it quickly so that we could talk about it together. One thing my husband brought up is how Rob Porter is portrayed in the book - almost as a hero. He figures prominently for about 200 pages of the book, ostensibly one of the only people trying to hold Trump back from his worst behavior; when he resigns, it garners about half a page - I was a bit disappointed about the light treatment of him in the end - I mean he resigned because of accusations of domestic abuse from his two previous ex-wives, and they had photos.And actually that's a point about the book - there's no salacious stuff. It doesn't even mention the relationship between Hope Hicks and Porter, for example.Also, I found that Woodward jumped around a lot in the book, without transitions - I was like, oh, OK, we're going to talk about that now...The book starts in 2010 when Steve Bannon firsts meets Trump and ends when Trump's attorney Dowd resigns because Trump was planning on testifying to Mueller, against Dowd's advice. The detailed part of the book starts in August 2016 and goes through March 2018. I wasn't that surprised with a lot of the stuff in the book because I've seen Trump behave the way the book describes, because of all the leaking out of his administration and finally because of all the press this book got when it came out. What I guess was surprising is how denigrating he was of people in his administration, how badly he treated people; also, he didn't care about any facts that were presented to him, if they were not supporting his already developed opinion, which he would never change. Facts be damned - of course, this shouldn't really be surprising as this president lies more than any other (reference politifact.com). I think Bob Woodward was trying to be as balanced as he could be - he seemed to be giving Trump a lot of credit for how charming he was when he would call the families of fallen military; what's weird is some stuff that was covered in the news about how Trump bickered with the widow of La David Johnson who was left behind to die in Niger, wasn't in the book. So, I was surprised about that.Anyway, with everything that keeps coming out after more and more people are making plea deals with Mueller, I kept running across stuff in the book that led to a lot of 'a-ha' moments, and "it's all making sense now."It's definitely worth a read.
  • (4/5)
    I didn't expect to sit down and read this from cover to cover, but I did. (Full disclosure: I was snowed in.)Woodward is such a damn good reporter (no surprise here). Many reviewers here said it was a good read but they didn't really learn anything new. Although I'm a faithful news reader and watcher, I learned a lot--about how Trump thinks, how he interacts with the staff trying to help him, and the way he makes decisions.None of which was reassuring.
  • (4/5)
    An in-depth look at the Trump administration from a reporter known for his sources. While much of this book felt like reliving the years 2016 to 2018, depth and behind-the-scenes knowledge was new. Woodward does a good job digging up those stories and sorting through the different versions. He also puts forward a more complex image of Trump than one would get from watching the nightly news. There's plenty in the book and the final story isn't one that quite fits either the Republican or Democratic narrative of the presidency.
  • (4/5)
    Scary. Confirms through research what we hear nightly on many news outlets.
  • (3/5)
    FEAR, by Bob Woodward, is an excellent rough draft of history, this history being the rise of President Donald Trump and his first year in office. It would be an easy book for Trump’s acolytes and sycophants to dismiss as “fake news,” and call it a smear job, except that to read but a few pages is to know that Woodward brought all of his reporter’s skill to bear, and got people – especially people close to Trump – to talk about what they saw and heard. Conversations are recounted verbatim, and details are recalled that could only have come from people in the room. And some common threads emerge, threads that knit a portrait of man as ignorant as he is supremely self-confident, as self absorbed as he is devoid of any motivation other than self interest of the moment, lacking any moral center; in its place, a savage cunning, a keen eye for opportunity, and a finely honed ability to spot weakness. This proved to be enough to elect Donald Trump President in 2016, and make possible what came after.Woodward’s book, which comes in at just over 350 pages in hardback, is presented in a series of anecdotes that touch on the greatest hits of the early Trump era: the Access Hollywood tape, the capitulation of the Republican establishment, the Muslim travel ban, the firing of James Comey, the border wall, Charlottesville, North Korea, illegal immigration, tariffs, Syria, NATO, and tax cuts. And time and again, we see one high ranking member of the administration after another utterly fail to reign in the President, who rules by whim, impulse, and tweet. But hanging over it all, is the shadow of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, and the question of collusion. Toward the end of the book, the spotlight is increasingly on lawyers and the special prosecutor, as serious questions are raised as to the possibility that the President of the United States conspired with a hostile foreign power to gain the office. Of course, Woodward cannot give us any definitive answer, but the one thing he does definitively prove is that Trump is a liar, one who is quite capable of committing any of things he is alleged to have done.Behind Trump is many a name from the news: Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway, John Kelly, Rex Tillerson, Gary Cohn, H.R. McMaster, Michael Flynn, John Dowd, Rob Porter, Hope Hicks, Jeff Seissons; along with Trump’s children and son on law, Jared Kushner. All of them in some way come to grief in their dealings with their President, some much more than others. But I must admit that I gained some grudging admiration for Steve Bannon, for though his politics are abhorrent, he read the political landscape in 2016 better than anyone else, and almost alone except for the candidate, saw the road to victory over Hillary Clinton when everyone else had given the Republican candidate up for dead. Most of these people were sources for Woodward, clearly determined to get their side of events out before the public as fast as possible. Sadly, FEAR, is already dated, as the events it covers have faded into the past, and most of the participants who are still part of the administration at the end, have left since publication. But have no fear, there will no doubt be sequels, and sequels to the sequels before the Age of Trump ends.
  • (3/5)
    I has already heard many parts of this book due to the coverage on the news, however it was interesting to read through the whole passages on my own. I found the writing a bit disjointed and was surprised at how Woodward jumped from one topic to another without transition - this was surprising to me (thought Woodward's writing style would be more sophisticated). Scary to think this is our president and our current administration!
  • (5/5)
    For those of us who have watched our government go about an incredible attack by the person in charge at the moment, Woodward provides an up close view that steps inside the doors of the White House with the people closest to Trump. We see him with his actual words and people's actual descriptions --- it's been out there in the news but this gives a better framework and timeline at the same time it provides a somewhat better understanding of how people think who try and work with Trump. Unfortunately, the book is being read by those who already agree that he should never have been put in this position and it is not being read by those who would learn, perhaps, but once again, not believe, the "truth" about "their president."
  • (4/5)
    5596. Fear Trump in the White House, by Bob Woodward (read 18 Nov 2018) This is the 9th book which Bob Woodward authored or co-authored which I have read. It covers the first portion of the Trump time in the White House, up to about mid-year in 2018. It tells many things about discord and infighting in the Trump Administration. I think it is probably accurate, though one is surprised that Woodward would be told some of the things he sets out. But nothing we know about Trump makes anything in the book unlikely. In other words the things the book says appear to be what Trump and the people around him would do and say. But the book is so episodic that we have to guess at what occurred after what we are told. And sometimes the telling is not of anything really interesting. But overall one does fear for our country with such a person as Trump as president. These are dangerous times and one hopes the country can survive them without catastrophe
  • (5/5)
    Woodward provides what the previous tell-all White House books lack, serious reporting and documentation. The story hasn’t changed, it shows the US president as a person lacking the skills necessary to be president.
  • (5/5)
    A frightening expose of an Administration going over a cliff and taking the entire country with it. Don't expect sensationalism, Woodward is a professional. Not only is this book a confirmation of what we already know, it's an expose of what is REALLY frightening happening behind closed doors. Although Woodward strips the emotion out of his writing, as it should be, it is absolutely frightening. This is an administration seemingly bent on destroying the very fabric of the nation. Columnist Richard Kagan wrote: "This is how fascism comes to America, not with jackboots and salutes (although there have been salutes, and a whiff of violence) but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac “tapping into” popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him."
  • (5/5)
    I was surprised at how policy-driven this book was. Unlike Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury, where Bannon seemed just about the only source, many former insiders obviously talked to Woodward - sources who were in the most critical meetings. Not clunkily written, as I had feared; it was just an excellent piece of journalism. Just amazing that this cruel, weak, lazy narcissist still commands such power. Terrifying.
  • (4/5)
    Everyone should read this book! The reporting and fact-finding results in an amazing 'insider look' at the group dynamics and team functioning (and dis-functioning) within the White House. The book did seem to jump around a lot (I guess like Trump's mind!) ...and I think the book would have flowed better is the narratives were either organized around 'themes' or strict chronology. However, a very good and very important book.
  • (3/5)
    I suppose this is the book of the summer, although there is really nothing here that we haven't heard before from Michael Wolff, the New York Times, The New Yorker, or even Omorosa. What is different is that we're reading from Bob Woodward's immaculately sourced pen, and so an added layer of veracity is added to what are now familiar tales.
  • (5/5)
    I desperately wish and hope that Woodward is wrong. Sady, given his reputation, he probably isn't.
  • (4/5)
    Very much a Woodwardian book: a series of barely-connected vignettes without much narrative structure to hold things together. Like most other Woodward books recently, nearly all of the good bits get leaked before publication, too, so most of the surprise was already gone by the time I got my copy. That said, there still seemed to be plenty of opportunities to provide frightening insights into the operations of the Trump administration.
  • (5/5)
    Bob Woodward is the master when it comes to covering the White House and its occupants. In this book on the Trump White House we are gifted with an extremely well-written and meticulously researched book that provides us with the truth about what is happening there. However, while Trump will certainly go down in history as one of the worst presidents ever, if not the worst, a Pence presidency is also one that must be avoided. This is a fast-paced thriller I simply could not put down. The master has done it again!
  • (4/5)
    Reading this, I often felt: what a glutton for punishment I am! Not because it isn't an excellent book (it is), but because it adds more and more facts about what we already know about this man and what he is doing to our democracy. It seems like Woodward has talked with everyone and, even more impressive, has induced everyone to talk to him. Sometimes I felt the organization could have been tighter, but all in all, excellent.