We’re only two weeks into 2018 but it’s impossible to talk about books in the new year without hearing three words: fire and fury.
Since an excerpt published in New York Magazine on Jan 3., the country has been buzzing about columnist and non-fiction author Michael Wolff’s latest book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.
The book is a searing deep dive into Donald Trump’s presidency as seen from Trump’s own White House staff, most notably Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon (who, since the publication of Fire and Fury, has been disavowed by the Trump campaign and ousted from Breitbart News) and former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh.
But whether Wolff is dragging his subjects, like when Michael Wolff tries to explain a theory of why Donald Trump might try to court Vladimir Putin:
But then there was the those-that-know-him-best theory, some version of which most Trumpers would come to embrace. He was just star-fucking. He took his beauty pageant to Russia because he thought Putin was going to be his friend. But Putin couldn’t have cared less, and in the end Trump found himself at the promised gala dinner seated on one side next to a guy who looked like he had never used a utensil and on the other side Jabba the Hutt in a golf shirt. In other words, Trump—however foolish his sucking-up might have been, and however suspicious it might look in hindsight—just wanted a little respect.
or roasting Donald Trump’s hair
[Ivanka] often described the mechanics behind it to friends: an absolutely clean pate — a contained island after scalp-reduction surgery — surrounded by a furry circle of hair around the sides and front, from which all ends are drawn up to meet in the center and then swept back and secured by a stiffening spray. The color, she would point out to comical effect, was from a product called Just for Men — the longer it was left on, the darker it got. Impatience resulted in Trump’s orange-blond hair color.”
one thing becomes abundantly clear about Fire and Fury: nothing and no one is safe from a Michael Wolff’s shady, shady pen.
This week on the MashReads Podcast, we chat about Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury. Join us in the episode above as we chat about what this book says about the Donald Trump presidency, how do we separate fact vs. fiction in this book given Michael Wolff’s somewhat dubious fact-checking methods, and what to make of the president’s response to Fire and Fury.
And as always, we close the show with recommendations:
Peter recommends The Mighty Boosh, a BBC Three comedy. “It’s just the weirdest and most surreal show, that’s slightly problematic sometimes. All that said, though, it’s a delightful show because it has my two favorite comedians: Rich Fulture and Matt Berry. It’s fun. It’s on Hulu.”
Heather recommends “The Liars Club” by Mary Karr. “Mary Karr is perfect, she’s never made a mistake, much like Michael Wolff. This published in ’96 or ’97, and it kicked off the era of memoir writing. This was like the original good memoir.”
MJ recommends author Matt De La Peña’s essay for Time “Why We Shouldn’t Shield Children From Darkness.” “The essay is just so movign about how we need to support children through darkness and the incredible, heartbreaking moments that he’s expereicend when he’s gotten to see a child expressing true emotion and grappling with that.” He also recommends RnB singer Jessie Reyez. “Her songs just got me all up in my feelings.”
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