PositiveNPRFor all of you who\'ve been waiting for a tell-all account of James Mattis\' 710 days as President Trump\'s first Pentagon chief, that book has now been written. It is not Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead, the book Mattis published in September...Mattis maddeningly refuses in that tome to go into his time serving a president who\'s still in office. Instead, Holding the Line: Inside Trump\'s Pentagon With Secretary Mattis essentially picks up the story where the former defense secretary left off ... This is not, it would seem, a book the Defense Department was eager to see published. It took a lawsuit to spring Snodgrass\' memoir in September from the Department of Defense, where it had languished for months in a mandatory prepublication review ... an insider\'s account of how Mattis dealt with the conundrum of how to stay in good graces with Trump while at the same time trying to shore up the very international alliances Trump detested ... The accuracy and veracity of many...quotes are difficult, if not impossible, to check ... The book is also not without errors ... while Mattis may be blowing a gasket over this geyser of a leak, he might also appreciate how the man once in charge of putting words in his mouth has — for the most part — painted a flattering verbal picture of him: a military man turned civilian, holding the line when he could.
Jim Mattis and Bing West
PositiveNPRMattis mentions Trump by name only four times, all in the prologue\'s first two pages — each instance taking place prior to the president\'s taking office. That said, he does imply criticism, without directly taking shots ... Call Sign Chaos is ostensibly part of the well-trodden genre of leaders keen to share their insights on what it takes to lead ... And the book, indeed, is chockablock with insights and aphorisms about what it takes to be a good leader ... Mattis tells us very little about his personal life ... We will possibly have to wait for another administration before learning Mattis\' thoughts about his 23 months as Trump\'s defense secretary. But he lets some of those views slip toward the end of his book. \'Nations with allies thrive, and those without wither,\' he writes. \'A polemicist\'s role is not sufficient for a leader; strategic acumen must incorporate a fundamental respect for other nations that have stood with us as trouble loomed\' ... A parting shot? Perhaps. Mattis clearly has another book to write that many will be eager to read.