President Donald Trump has become the unlikely saviour of the long-suffering book publishing industry. In the run-up to the election, and his possible eviction from the White House, publishers are scrambling to release a veritable tsunami of tell-all books by former associates of Mr Trump, most of whom have an axe to grind.
In September, legendary journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, is expected to release the sequel to his 2018 bestseller Fear: Trump in the White House that sold well over two million copies. Meanwhile, former Trump lawyer, confidante, and fixer Michael Cohen is scribbling a highly anticipated book of revelations that promises to hit the president where it hurts.
On a lighter note, novelist and satirist Christopher Buckley promises the inside scoop on the Trump Administration in his upcoming Make Russia Great Again, the (fake) musings of Herb Nutterman, the president’s fictional seventh chief of staff. However, truth is stranger than fiction: Mr Buckley saw some of his previous work overtaken by reality.
Scheduled for release on August 11, just two weeks before the Republican National Convention in, Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man is already a bestseller in pre-sales on Amazon. The president’s niece is said to lift the veil on Mr Trump’s tax affairs, including details on systemic tax dodging and evasion that could well pique the interest of public prosecutors.
Lawyers for the Trump family are frantically trying to stop the publication of the book, but their efforts have so far failed to impress New York publishing house Simon & Schuster which already warehoused 75,000 copies with new print runs adding to the pile weekly. At least a few of the stored bombshell books are likely to be misplaced by careless warehouse workers and find their way to the press.
Authors and journalists have found the Trump Administration particularly inspiring. CNN Chief White House Correspondent and Antagonist Jim Acosta dished up the dirt in last year’s The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America (US publishers have a penchant for long titles) whilst far-right media pundit Ann Coulter switched from tearing down Bill and Hillary Clinton to celebrating Donald Trump as the by far greatest man to ever hold the presidency in In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!. Interestingly, Ms Coultier has toned down considerably as of late.
In Understanding Trump, former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, declares his undying love for the billionaire president. The book, described in reviews as a series of platitudes, sold poorly but did manage to reach the top of the New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction Bestseller List thanks to a reported $100K wholesale order placed by the Republican National Convention.
By last count, some fifty major works of nonfiction have been published on the life and times of Mr Trump. The one by former National Security Advisor John Bolton – The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir – ruffled a few feathers but ultimately failed in its stated mission to destabilise, and perhaps even topple, the president.
As often happens with real-time history reporting, the quality of most books on Trump is either downright awful or, at best, tolerable. The imminent release of Bob Woodward’s latest tome may boost the overall readability of the body of work dedicated to the 45th US president. Expect the man himself to publish a book or two as well, after he has left the building. Donald Trump’s attention span may not exceed five minutes, he does like to churn out ghost written books on how to bluff, cheat, and elbow your way to riches. Lesson 1: Never admit defeat.