The Plot to Betray America: How Team Trump Embraced Our Enemies, Compromised Our Security, and How We Can Fix It Hardcover – November 12, 2019
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"[Nance] does a good job of showing how the Russian campaign to infiltrate the Trump campaign was staged and was so willingly accepted, with key agents taking roles in the Miss Universe contest, swaying the National Rifle Association, and conning Donald Trump Jr... and the book is timely."―Kirkus Reviews
"Succinctly recapping the many interconnected Trump scandals and instances of irresponsible and dangerous behavior, Nance methodically illuminates established facts and their consequences and offers new revelations and insights in an evidential fashion. The result is sobering, consequential, and urgent."―Booklist
"All in all, Nance has produced an impressive clip job, assembling scores of reliable media reports, congressional hearings and the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into a persuasive whodunit narrative."―The Washington Post
About the Author
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I kind of feel bad for ANY author attempting to write a book about the current administration. As mentioned, so much happens, so quickly, it's difficult to coherently report on one day of happenings, let alone an entire year. Nance's book is about the period of time beginning with 2015/2016, up until very early 2019, ending with the release of the Mueller report. It focuses on the minutiae and micro-details of the current administration's campaign, first years of the current term and specifically about each individual involved in significant known and less well known events.
Some of this information has been covered in Nance's previous two books, but if you are looking for ONE book that covers the entire administration from the start up until early 2019, this is the one to get. It's a top down look at how Russia worked with the current administration to subvert our system of democracy to help one candidate get elected, no matter the cost - as well as a look at the spying, double dealing, large scale grifting and other assorted shenanigans that have gone on since 2015.
When I pre-ordered this book I was half expecting it to go into Ukraine-gate and detail some of the more recent revelations, but I can see why Nance didn't even bother to go there. He was submitting this book to the publisher when the Mueller report was released, and it makes more sense to just do an entire new book about Ukraine and the ongoing impeachment process. That's a whopper in itself.
All in all, this is an impeccably researched, written and edited book. If you are interested in this subject you should buy this book now. If, however, you are suffering from 45 fatigue, you can probably just follow along with the current news cycle and hold on for dear life. If you do decide to read The Plot to Betray America, you might want to read Nance's other related books first. You don't have to, to enjoy this one - and some of the material is rehashed, but they read as a trilogy. Together they present a through line on the political landscape of the past half decade and beyond. For armchair political wonks or those who just like to dig down into the nuance and detail of political scandals, Nance's reporting is hard to beat.
This is not a fun book to read, but it is an important book that lays bare the oftentimes complicated, obfuscated, through-the-looking-glass inner workings of one of the most bizarre and terrifying political campaigns and office holders in the history of the United States. Not everybody wants to see how the sausage is made... but if the sausage smells funky and doesn't look right - it might be time to start asking questions.
Martin Sheen did not disappoint: “[O]n every day since the election of Donald J. Trump, a narcissistic scoundrel of a con-man turned opportunistic politician, this once great nation has been on a brakeless descent into a seemingly unending hellscape of national despair. … It is heartrending that Trump has convinced … the misguided desperate to believe that they could be masters above all others if they just embrace hatred and violence and make him their petty tyrant.”
WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT (quoting Martin Sheen): “Nance outlines the long, disgraceful journey into the wretched, putrid bilge of Trump’s nascent authoritarianism. It lays bare the plan to enrich himself at the expense of America’s national security and his mad desire to mimic the ironfisted rule of his peers: a ruthless Russian dictator, a North Korean mass murderer, and an assortment of communist autocrats.”
WHAT THIS BOOK IS ABOUT (quoting the author): “This book will explain the elusive one-word question that has permeated the entire Trump-Russia scandal: Why? Why did Donald Trump suborn perjury, order crimes, hide secret communications and contacts with Russian assets, and show an undying subservience to the ex-KGB officer ruling as a dictator in Moscow?"
This book is well written in a breathless style, but even I could have done without the uberjudgmental tone. I am fully capable of absorbing facts without being told “With the narcissistic intensity that passes for a soul, Trump revealed to the world that ‘whatever it takes’ would not just be a mantra but the modus operandi for Team Trump." Seriously, verbiage like that just feeds into the whole TDR mythos.
The further I read, the more I realized that this book was a bit over the top, even for liberal little ole me.
BOTTOM LINE: Worth reading if you continue to be into this subject, but (even though I agree with the author overall) the bias is loud and clear in this one.