Wednesday, January 24, 2018

It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America, by David Cay Johnston (author), Danny Campbell (narrator)

Simon & Schuster Audio, ISBN 9781508254898, January 2018

David Cay Johnston is a working journalist who has covered Donald Trump for decades, and has written two previous books about him. In this book, he looks not at Trump's personal life and all the possible, ah, colorful details, which at this writing are much in the news, but strictly at his actions as President, and his business dealings that explain and illuminate those actions.

This is very much a fact-based book, examining what Trump has actually done, and the practical effects, as well as the direct contrast between Trump's specific and oft-repeated campaign promises to help, for instance, students struggling under student loans or workers who aren't finding jobs because companies have moved those jobs overseas, or to help small businesses, and what his policies really are. Trump has appointed Betsy DeVos to head the Dept. of Education. She has no real education experience, but is deeply involved in for-profit education companies. Under Trump and DeVos, President Obama's progress toward protecting students from predatory loan practices by for-profit schools are being reversed, not improved. This is just one easily summarized example. To fully understand this example and others, Johnston's careful detailing of the actions, their background, and their effects are necessary.

He lays out Trump's many conflicts of interest, and the extent to which Trump's approach to the Presidency is truly different not just from our most respected Presidents, but even from the ones we've considered incompetent or corrupt. We see how tangled, contradictory, and profoundly unhelpful his immigration actions and policies are to the American workers he has promised he will help with those immigration policies are. Again, another example, one better understood with Johnston's detail and context than in a short review.

This is an important book. It is fact-based, not ideology-driven. You will learn by reading or listening to it.

Highly recommended.

I bought this audiobook.