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Best Political Books of 2018

8 Books | by Likewise

Fear

Fear

Bob Woodward

THE INSIDE STORY ON PRESIDENT TRUMP, AS ONLY BOB WOODWARD CAN TELL IT With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence. Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in office.
Unhinged

Unhinged

Omarosa Manigault Newman

#1 New York Times Bestseller The former Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the Trump White House provides an eye-opening look into the corruption and controversy of the current administration. Few have been a member of Donald Trump’s inner orbit longer than Omarosa Manigault Newman. Their relationship has spanned fifteen years—through four television shows, a presidential campaign, and a year by his side in the most chaotic, outrageous White House in history. But that relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end, and Omarosa is finally ready to share her side of the story in this explosive, jaw-dropping account. A stunning tell-all and takedown from a strong, intelligent woman who took every name and number, Unhinged is a must-read for any concerned citizen.
Contempt

Contempt

Ken Starr

Twenty years after the Starr Report and the Clinton impeachment, former special prosecutor Ken Starr finally shares his definitive account of one of the most divisive periods in American history. You could fill a library with books about the scandals of the Clinton administration, which eventually led to President Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives. Bill and Hillary Clinton have told their version of events, as have various journalists and participants. Whenever liberals recall those years, they usually depict independent counsel Ken Starr as an out-of-control, politically driven prosecutor. But as a New York Times columnist asked in 2017, "What if Ken Starr was right?" What if the popular media in the 1990s completely misunderstood Starr's motives, his tactics, and his ultimate goal: to ensure that no one, especially not the president of the United States, is above the law? Starr -- the man at the eye of the hurricane -- has kept his unique perspective to himself for two full decades. In this long-awaited memoir, he finally sheds light on everything he couldn't tell us during the Clinton years, even in his carefully detailed "Starr Report" of September 1998. Contempt puts you, the reader, into the shoes of Starr and his team as they tackle the many scandals of that era, from Whitewater to Vince Foster's death to Travelgate to Monica Lewinsky. Starr explains in vivid detail how all those scandals shared a common thread: the Clintons' contempt for our system of justice. This book proves that Bill and Hillary Clinton weren't victims of a so-called "vast right-wing conspiracy." They played fast and loose with the law and abused their powers and privileges. With the perspective we've all gained over the past two decades, Starr's story and insights are more relevant than ever.
How Democracies Die

How Democracies Die

Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely.” —New York Times Book Review “Cool and persuasive... How Democracies Die comes at exactly the right moment.” —The Washington Post Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.
Fire and Fury

Fire and Fury

Michael Wolff

#1 New York Times Bestseller With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief. This riveting and explosive account of Trump’s administration provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office, including: -- What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him -- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama -- Why FBI director James Comey was really fired -- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room -- Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing -- What the secret to communicating with Trump is -- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers Never before in history has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion. “Essential reading.”—Michael D’Antonio, author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, CNN.com “Not since Harry Potter has a new book caught fire in this way...[Fire and Fury] is indeed a significant achievement, which deserves much of the attention it has received.”—The Economist
A Higher Loyalty

A Higher Loyalty

James Comey

In his forthcoming book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader. Mr. Comey served as director of the FBI from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. He previously served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration's policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history.
Fascism: A Warning

Fascism: A Warning

Madeleine Albright

#1 New York Times Bestseller A personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world, written by one of America’s most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.” The twentieth century was defined by the clash between democracy and Fascism, a struggle that created uncertainty about the survival of human freedom and left millions dead. Given the horrors of that experience, one might expect the world to reject the spiritual successors to Hitler and Mussolini should they arise in our era. In Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright draws on her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished career as a diplomat to question that assumption. Fascism, as she shows, not only endured through the twentieth century but now presents a more virulent threat to peace and justice than at any time since the end of World War II. The momentum toward democracy that swept the world when the Berlin Wall fell has gone into reverse. The United States, which historically championed the free world, is led by a president who exacerbates division and heaps scorn on democratic institutions. In many countries, economic, technological, and cultural factors are weakening the political center and empowering the extremes of right and left. Contemporary leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are employing many of the tactics used by Fascists in the 1920s and 30s. Fascism: A Warning is a book for our times that is relevant to all times. Written by someone who has not only studied history but helped to shape it, this call to arms teaches us the lessons we must understand and the questions we must answer if we are to save ourselves from repeating the tragic errors of the past.
Becoming

Becoming

Michelle Obama

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.
Fear

Fear

Bob Woodward

THE INSIDE STORY ON PRESIDENT TRUMP, AS ONLY BOB WOODWARD CAN TELL IT With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence. Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president’s first years in office.
Fire and Fury

Fire and Fury

Michael Wolff

#1 New York Times Bestseller With extraordinary access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff reveals what happened behind-the-scenes in the first nine months of the most controversial presidency of our time in Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Since Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, the country—and the world—has witnessed a stormy, outrageous, and absolutely mesmerizing presidential term that reflects the volatility and fierceness of the man elected Commander-in-Chief. This riveting and explosive account of Trump’s administration provides a wealth of new details about the chaos in the Oval Office, including: -- What President Trump’s staff really thinks of him -- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama -- Why FBI director James Comey was really fired -- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn’t be in the same room -- Who is really directing the Trump administration’s strategy in the wake of Bannon’s firing -- What the secret to communicating with Trump is -- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers Never before in history has a presidency so divided the American people. Brilliantly reported and astoundingly fresh, Fire and Fury shows us how and why Donald Trump has become the king of discord and disunion. “Essential reading.”—Michael D’Antonio, author of Never Enough: Donald Trump and the Pursuit of Success, CNN.com “Not since Harry Potter has a new book caught fire in this way...[Fire and Fury] is indeed a significant achievement, which deserves much of the attention it has received.”—The Economist
Unhinged

Unhinged

Omarosa Manigault Newman

#1 New York Times Bestseller The former Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the Trump White House provides an eye-opening look into the corruption and controversy of the current administration. Few have been a member of Donald Trump’s inner orbit longer than Omarosa Manigault Newman. Their relationship has spanned fifteen years—through four television shows, a presidential campaign, and a year by his side in the most chaotic, outrageous White House in history. But that relationship has come to a decisive and definitive end, and Omarosa is finally ready to share her side of the story in this explosive, jaw-dropping account. A stunning tell-all and takedown from a strong, intelligent woman who took every name and number, Unhinged is a must-read for any concerned citizen.
A Higher Loyalty

A Higher Loyalty

James Comey

In his forthcoming book, former FBI director James Comey shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader. Mr. Comey served as director of the FBI from 2013 to 2017, appointed to the post by President Barack Obama. He previously served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. deputy attorney general in the administration of President George W. Bush. From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration's policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history.
Contempt

Contempt

Ken Starr

Twenty years after the Starr Report and the Clinton impeachment, former special prosecutor Ken Starr finally shares his definitive account of one of the most divisive periods in American history. You could fill a library with books about the scandals of the Clinton administration, which eventually led to President Clinton's impeachment by the House of Representatives. Bill and Hillary Clinton have told their version of events, as have various journalists and participants. Whenever liberals recall those years, they usually depict independent counsel Ken Starr as an out-of-control, politically driven prosecutor. But as a New York Times columnist asked in 2017, "What if Ken Starr was right?" What if the popular media in the 1990s completely misunderstood Starr's motives, his tactics, and his ultimate goal: to ensure that no one, especially not the president of the United States, is above the law? Starr -- the man at the eye of the hurricane -- has kept his unique perspective to himself for two full decades. In this long-awaited memoir, he finally sheds light on everything he couldn't tell us during the Clinton years, even in his carefully detailed "Starr Report" of September 1998. Contempt puts you, the reader, into the shoes of Starr and his team as they tackle the many scandals of that era, from Whitewater to Vince Foster's death to Travelgate to Monica Lewinsky. Starr explains in vivid detail how all those scandals shared a common thread: the Clintons' contempt for our system of justice. This book proves that Bill and Hillary Clinton weren't victims of a so-called "vast right-wing conspiracy." They played fast and loose with the law and abused their powers and privileges. With the perspective we've all gained over the past two decades, Starr's story and insights are more relevant than ever.
Fascism: A Warning

Fascism: A Warning

Madeleine Albright

#1 New York Times Bestseller A personal and urgent examination of Fascism in the twentieth century and how its legacy shapes today’s world, written by one of America’s most admired public servants, the first woman to serve as U.S. secretary of state A Fascist, observes Madeleine Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.” The twentieth century was defined by the clash between democracy and Fascism, a struggle that created uncertainty about the survival of human freedom and left millions dead. Given the horrors of that experience, one might expect the world to reject the spiritual successors to Hitler and Mussolini should they arise in our era. In Fascism: A Warning, Madeleine Albright draws on her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished career as a diplomat to question that assumption. Fascism, as she shows, not only endured through the twentieth century but now presents a more virulent threat to peace and justice than at any time since the end of World War II. The momentum toward democracy that swept the world when the Berlin Wall fell has gone into reverse. The United States, which historically championed the free world, is led by a president who exacerbates division and heaps scorn on democratic institutions. In many countries, economic, technological, and cultural factors are weakening the political center and empowering the extremes of right and left. Contemporary leaders such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un are employing many of the tactics used by Fascists in the 1920s and 30s. Fascism: A Warning is a book for our times that is relevant to all times. Written by someone who has not only studied history but helped to shape it, this call to arms teaches us the lessons we must understand and the questions we must answer if we are to save ourselves from repeating the tragic errors of the past.
How Democracies Die

How Democracies Die

Steven Levitsky, Daniel Ziblatt

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER “Comprehensive, enlightening, and terrifyingly timely.” —New York Times Book Review “Cool and persuasive... How Democracies Die comes at exactly the right moment.” —The Washington Post Donald Trump’s presidency has raised a question that many of us never thought we’d be asking: Is our democracy in danger? Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt have spent more than twenty years studying the breakdown of democracies in Europe and Latin America, and they believe the answer is yes. Democracy no longer ends with a bang—in a revolution or military coup—but with a whimper: the slow, steady weakening of critical institutions, such as the judiciary and the press, and the gradual erosion of long-standing political norms. The good news is that there are several exit ramps on the road to authoritarianism. The bad news is that, by electing Trump, we have already passed the first one. Drawing on decades of research and a wide range of historical and global examples, from 1930s Europe to contemporary Hungary, Turkey, and Venezuela, to the American South during Jim Crow, Levitsky and Ziblatt show how democracies die—and how ours can be saved.
Becoming

Becoming

Michelle Obama

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America, she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private. A deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations.