There is no evidence that President Donald Trump reads at all — it would appear odd, therefore, that his time in the White House has produced a seemingly endless array of books about him and the presidency.
The latest in that long line, Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump’s War on the World’s Most Powerful Office, by Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes, comes just as he pitches himself headlong into the campaign for another four years in that office.
This book is different from the others that have preceded it in that it is not, as its review in The New York Times says, “just another compendium of insider gossip and bumbling treachery”. Instead, Hennessey and Wittes “offer something more sobering, more analytical and, at this point, more revealing” — the book situates Trump’s tenure in the history of the executive branch, and shows “how he is remaking the office itself in his own image”.
Trump’s “vision of the presidency”, the authors submit, is unique. And it boils down, ultimately, to what The NYT bluntly says is an attempt to make “the executive to look more like an absolutist monarchy, with all of the glory and unfettered power that entails”.
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This article first appeared in the print edition on February 18, 2020 under the title ‘Another one about Trump’.
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