...an essential exposé of the first two years of the Trump administration written by the veteran journalist Alexander Nazaryan. Other books have provided richer detail or surveyed a broader panorama, but this is the first to fully capture just how dysfunctional — and destructive — Trump’s executive branch has turned out to be ... Most of these tragicomedies are well known. Yet, by tracing their common threads, Nazaryan drives home the sheer breadth of the damage they’ve inflicted. In his telling, the outrageous behavior was just the surface manifestation of a deeper contempt for government and those whom government is meant to serve ... Nazaryan captures the cluelessness and corruption well; he is less strong on the radicalism behind it all.
A disheartening portrait of the alternately incompetent and corrupt Cabinet of the current administration ... [a] scathing critique ... Nazaryan provides glaring examples of the rampant conflicts of interests and ethical red flags by meticulously detailing the head-scratching nomination hearings of Betsy DeVos...Steve Mnuchin...Rick Perry...Wilbur Ross...and Urban Development nominee Ben Carson ... While this type of bureaucratic runaway train is not news to political watchdogs, the author manages to put a fresh spin on a dire situation with snarky humor and wince-inducing facts, though his intense contempt at times borders on unnecessary mudslinging. While he also identifies countless other impurities infiltrating the political stream...thankfully, he balances these out by documenting how imprudence and circumstance caught up to the pack and an incremental exodus ensued ... A dizzying, tragicomic crash course in contemporary political incapacities.
Yahoo News correspondent Nazaryan decries the corruption, incompetence, and misrule of President Trump’s cabinet-level appointments, calling them a 'low-class orgy of first-class kleptocrats.' Much of the book rehashes their venality ... In keeping with the overall outraged tone, he treats every axed regulation as equally problematic without considering their relative importance or the controversies surrounding them; this is more a blanket condemnation than a nuanced consideration of each case. Readers seeking a substantive politicohistorical analysis of the administration’s effects might prefer Michael Lewis’s The Fifth Risk, but furious left-leaning readers seeking Trump-related schadenfreude will thrill to this takedown.