2020 | Biography-History | BLR-102 | Politics |

Six Political Bombshell Books Every American Should Read

1. The Truths We Hold: An American Journey
by Kamala Harris
2020, Paperback, 236 pages.
This is the inspiring autobiography of our next Vice President. Senator Harris writes:

My father, Donald Harris, was born in Jamaica in 1938. He was a brilliant student who immigrated to the United States after being admitted to the University of California at Berkeley. He went there to study economics and would go on to teach economics at Stanford, where he remains a professor emeritus.
My mother’s life began thousands of miles to the east, in southern India. Shyamala Gopalan was the oldest of four children—three girls and a boy. Like my father, she was a gifted student, and when she showed a passion for science, her parents encouraged and supported her.
She graduated from the University of Delhi at nineteen. And she didn’t stop there. She applied to a graduate program at Berkeley, a university she’d never seen, in a country she’d never visited. 

Born in 1964, Kamala Harris grew up between Oakland and Berkeley; she became an attorney, and then a Democratic U.S. Senator from California; and recently was chosen by Joe Biden to be his running mate in 2020. And the rest is American History.

2. Rage
by Bob Woodward
2020, Hardcover, 480 pages.
The ink had not yet dried on Woodward’s 2018 book,  titled “Fear: Trump in the White House”,  when the stable genius agreed to many hours of interviews, hoping to be immortalized by the Pulitzer-Prizewinning reporter. The new masterpiece, Rage,  answers the perennial Watergate question: “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” … Fans of  James Buchanan and Andrew Johnson will rejoice that the current President snatches the baton on the race to “worst President ever.” And it all happens indisputably, in his own self-mocking words.

3. Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man
by Mary L. Trump, Ph.D.
2020, Hardcover, 240 pages.
This book is an invaluable lesson on the roots of evil, and how a childhood without love and attention creates a man without empathy and principles. Mary Trump, the niece of the Donald, is a psychologist, and her book sold one million copies on the day it was released. In its psychological portrait and insider details — painfully depicting a young man destroyed by his father’s avarice and bad example — this book exceeded my expectations and fueled my fears. The night after finishing this book I dreamed that  President Obama gave Trump a set of fake and useless nuclear codes — codes that, instead of unleashing hydrogen bombs, made the oval office rain brightly-colored flakes of confetti.

4. Disloyal: A Memoir: The True Story of the Former Personal Attorney to President Donald J. Trump
by Michael Cohen
2020, Hardcover, 432 pages.
While traveling by bicycle across Turkey, an old man working in the fields placed his hand on his heart then told me: “No matter how far you have traveled on the wrong road — turn back.” … I admire Michael Cohen — Donald Trump’s personal attorney for more than a decade — for turning his life around, taking a new path, and telling the whole truth. This is a shocking portrait of greed and egoism, revealed by one of the President’s closest former colleagues. Cohen has been disloyal to someone doing the wrong things, and then in the end became loyal to himself and to his country. Rachel Maddow wrote that the book is unputdownable, “I read it cover-to-cover. I did not intend to, but I started at the beginning and didn’t put it down until it was over.”

5. Melania and Me: The Rise and Fall of My Friendship with the First Lady
by Stephanie Winston Wolkoff
2020, Hardcover, 352 pages.
From the first chapter:

Donald, who has been called ‘the King of Bling,’ taught Melania how to master the perception of prestige and influence. Rolex, the luxury timepiece brand, is called “the King of Watches.” Donald is a Rolex man. He owns a gold Rolex President, the same watch that was worn by Lyndon B. Johnson.
I was there at the beginning. I witnessed the transformation of Melania from gold plate into twenty-four-karat gold. I believed she had the heart to match, that she was genuinely caring and loving and worth all of our attention. Throughout our early friendship, she lived up to what I saw in her. Watching her now, and seeing that only the gold shell remains, I have to wonder if that’s all she ever was, and I was the sucker who bought the fake watch on the street corner.

Melania and Me is a fascinating tell-all about our glamorous FLOTUS, and what she is really thinking and feeling beneath her enigmatic smile.

6. The Useful Idiot: How Donald Trump Killed the Republican Party with Racism and the Rest of Us with Coronavirus
by S.V. Dáte
2020, Paperback, 242 pages.
Despite not being written by a celebrity or an insider, this fearless and important book is filled with page after page of inconvenient truths. S.V. Dáte is a novelist, biographer, and senior White House correspondent at the online magazine HuffPost, and has known President Trump since 2006. What’s the meaning of the title? … In chapter 1, the author explains:  

Trump’s incoherence, his temper, his impulsiveness, his breathtaking ignorance – all of it was well known among the top tiers of the Republican machinery. But for them, it was simply a challenge to overcome, another hurdle that fate had placed between them and their holy grail of judges and tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks. Not once did I ever hear any concern that just maybe they were working to install a useful idiot who truly was an idiot, with absolutely zero leadership qualities one ordinarily looks for in someone aspiring to become the chief executive of the world’s remaining superpower.

No punches are pulled, no stone-hearts are left unturned, in this impassioned portrait that makes us think twice about the dire dangers of incompetence in power.

— Michael Pastore