Bolton’s Book Is Out

By “out” I don’t mean officially published, but the review copies of Bolton’s book have been distributed to major media. And reviews and news stories about what it contains are already out as well. Federal prosecutors may be “mulling” criminal charges against Bolton to keep his mouth shut, but it’s too late. Even if a copy is never sold, what’s in the book will be all over news media.

That said, based on this review, I have no plans to read it.

“The Room Where It Happened,” an account of his 17 months as Trump’s national security adviser, has been written with so little discernible attention to style and narrative form that he apparently presumes an audience that is hanging on his every word.

Known as a fastidious note taker, Bolton has filled this book’s nearly 500 pages with minute and often extraneous details, including the time and length of routine meetings and even, at one point, a nap. Underneath it all courses a festering obsession with his enemies, both abroad (Iran, North Korea) and at home (the media, “the High-Minded,” the former defense secretary Jim Mattis). The book is bloated with self-importance, even though what it mostly recounts is Bolton not being able to accomplish very much. It toggles between two discordant registers: exceedingly tedious and slightly unhinged.

Still, it’s maybe a fitting combination for a lavishly bewhiskered figure whose wonkishness and warmongering can make him seem like an unlikely hybrid of Ned Flanders and Yosemite Sam. His one shrewd storytelling choice was to leave the chapter on Ukraine for the end, as incentive for exhausted readers to stay the course.

Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman:

Even after impeachment, even after his disastrous mishandling of coronavirus, even after over 19,000 false and misleading claims and thousands of appalling tweets, President Trump still retains the capacity to shock us with the depth of his corruption.

That’s the immediate takeaway from the revelations that are contained in “The Room Where It Happened,” the new memoir by former national security adviser John Bolton.

But, in addition to revealing new dimensions of corruption that are remarkable — even for Trump — the book also deals a huge blow to one of Trump’s leading arguments for reelection: the idea that opponent Joe Biden is soft on China, while Trump is bristling with toughness toward that country.

The Post, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have obtained Bolton’s book. It reveals that Trump directly asked President Xi Jinping to help him win reelection, telling Xi that if China increased agricultural imports from the United States, it would aid his electoral prospects.

Do read the whole column. I’m sure there will be more nuggets in the headlines tomorrow.

13 thoughts on “Bolton’s Book Is Out

  1. I hope this gutless, walrus-mustache-lipped bastard doesn't sell a singgle godfamn book! 

    Ya coulda been a hero.

    But instead, you's a zero!!! 

    • If Bolton's book hammers away at Trump's facade, widening and blowing open the cracks that are there, I hope it sells like hotcakes.

      Bolton is a dangerous right wing idiot, but if he manages to give Trump a good push toward the trash-heap, I'm all for it. Nobody will remember John Bolton, but unfortunately nobody is going to forget the Great Orange Pimple, Donald Trump.

  2. I am getting sick of this kind of writing, in this case from Sargent and Waldman as you report them:

    "President Trump still retains the capacity to shock us with the depth of his corruption."


    No, he doesn't.

    I am not shocked, I am not surprised, I am not appalled by the leaks from Bolton's book.

    I am "so what else is new?", <Yawn>, and "Wait, didn't Congress impeach him for this last year?"

    Why is the press and commentariat still, after four years of contrary facts, still reporting on this president as if he were just another president much like his predecessors?

  3. Every day another BFD. This is what the republican party chose to replace "no drama Obama."  And we went for it!

    Makes me want to keep on self-isolating.

  4. Oh. I am sure my Senator who dug in with the rest of the R's is sending me an apology letter now that he knows what Bolton would have testified.  This will certainly be his come to Jesus moment and he will lose all of his party justified psychotic denial thinking tendencies.  He will quit being a sold out Senator and will broaden his concept of who he is elected to represent.  In short he will get the big picture and see how we are all in the same country.  Look man, another flock of pigs just flew by.  They are coming in new trendy colors these days. 

    So Bolton was in it just for the money.  He is not alone.   He also gets to publish his version of his screw ups, and can become a must read for the new wave of right wing hawks.  I must admit I have never had enough respect for Bolton to rank any of his writings as  a must read.  It takes a hell of a writer to get me to a hawkish perspective.  Even with lots of editors and help I am sure he can't get there.  His bias will show through, and I am not fond of reality bending as an art form.  As for the pure cacophony insight into the nature of the Trump administration, that one does not need one more reference.  One can deduce that easily enough from the drunken captain course the ship of state has been on since he has taken the helm.  

  5. I have never liked Bolton but have never liked Trump either.  It is very selfish to withhold important info  from the public so he can sell books and get richer.  Cheesy too.  I'm sure I would get some vicarious pleasure from reading about him describing how corrupt Trump is.  It would be like reading a hot spicy romance novel at my age.  However, I refuse to add to Bolton's bank account and I'm quite sure it  would not change my opinion.  So I will depend on Stephen King for keeping me entertained.

  6. Global domination and conquest remains the ultimate goal of Trumpism.  This has not changed, though Trump has had to endure setback after setback.  At the grass roots level his copycat "Populists" are a disappointment.  I suppose the definition of populism is to ride the ever changing wave of what is popular, but that requires a nimble ever changing grand leader,  Not so grand Trump is showing himself as a rigid and clumsy one trick pony.  He did impress the crowd with a stunning display of one handed water drinking last night, so he must understand that he has work to do.  Hell, what do you expect?  Back flips.  

    In the build up to his great new world vision he showed mental dexterity skills that left the crowd and pundits at awe.  He was able to change United States failure in combating Covid-19 into a sure fire plan to look better to the world.  Less testing.  Why has no one thought of this before Trump?  If we test less the number of identified cases goes down.  When that happens our relative ranking in comparison to the rest of the world goes up.  Perception being the ultimate reality that it is, we will then show leadership and greatness in combating the pandemic.  Simple, inexpensive, and sure fire…the work of a world class political giant for sure.

    He saved the backbone of his new world order for his grand and stunning finale.  The way to this goal is through elitism, and his personal example of how to properly show elitism.  From his attire to his country clubs, from his international edifices, to his dangly ties, Trump just screams out as the ultimate role model for the new priceless.  Followers of the Trumpian way will be on an expressway to a new age of cultural enlightenment.  He was quick to point out how, in all things, he and only he was the elite of elites.  We are entering the age of the Gaudy, Garish, and Glitter. Gone is the old KKK.  In with the new GGG.

    Biden just has no chance to compete with this. It is the beginning of the new wave of Trumpism.  All aboard as the train is leaving the station.  Forget the masks, as true believers are protected by rigid psychotic denial from the virus.  Come on,  What do you have to lose?  You can get in on the ground floor of the new world order.  How can 6 K or so supporters be wrong?  Just look at those who came.  Do they look like people who do not understand where they are headed?  One only has to read their "body art" to know these are people of refined taste and commitment to it.  It is the golden opportunity to the gilded age.  

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