I reviewed Bob Woodward’s new book for The Telegraph here. In some ways it is a difficult book to review. The standard Woodward MO is to run through the big decisions, looking at political philosophy to deduce first principles and then going from there – via facts and interest groups – to the outcome, all with a view to illustrating the mechanics of decision-making.
That simply doesn’t work when it comes to this White House. Woodward’s technique – and that of so much political biography – falls short. How to analyse decisions that are made without a process (as we might know it)? In some ways, I learned nothing about Donald Trump other than what I already knew.
On the other hand, Woodward does manage to gain extraordinary access to people who help him piece together a portrait of the man (if not the president). The narcissism, petulance and paranoia. It all makes for a must-read account, even if it also falls short in some ways.