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Rage

Written by: Bob Woodward
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

An unprecedented and intimate tour de force of original reporting on the Trump presidency from Bob Woodward.

Rage goes behind the scenes like never before, with stunning new details about early national security decisions and operations and Trump’s moves as he faces a global pandemic, economic disaster, and racial unrest. Woodward, the number one internationally best-selling author of 13 number-one best sellers, including Fear: Trump in the White House, shows Trump up close in his entirety before the 2020 presidential election. 

President Trump has said publicly that Woodward has interviewed him. What is not known is that Trump provided Woodward a window into his mind through a series of exclusive interviews. At key decision points, Rage shows how Trump’s responses to the crises of 2020 were rooted in the instincts, habits, and style he developed during his first three years as president. Rage draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand witnesses, as well as participants’ notes, emails, diaries, calendars, and confidential documents. 

Woodward obtained 25 personal letters exchanged between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that have not been public before. Kim describes the bond between the two leaders as out of a “fantasy film”, as the two leaders engage in an extraordinary diplomatic minuet. Rage will be the foundational account of the Trump presidency, its turmoil, contradictions, and risks. It is an essential document for any voter seeking an accurate inside view of the Trump years - volatile and vivid. 

©2020 Bob Woodward. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Amazing insight

Amazing insight and meticulous. Bob Woodward has shown again why he is an American treasure. These authentic investigative reports are needed now more than ever.

12 people found this helpful

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Ouch

A truly biting insight into the narcissistic mind of Donald Trump. Trump's rambling, repetitious responses, and avoidance of actual answers show a man incapable empathy, and totally unfit for the office he holds.

5 people found this helpful

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Just fantastic

This book was intriguing at first, then terrifying captivating. We have all lived through weird times in 2020 and this book really shows you what Trump went through emotionally as the pandemic went on. It also touches on racial justice and Woodward’s own reckoning with white privilege. 110% recommend to those who follow US politics and those who want to understand the last year or so of Trump’s presidency.

4 people found this helpful

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Solid

A fair and highly interesting novel. So scary that the US elected this man into their highest office.

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infuriatingly even handed. a must listen.

Right or left, if you really want to hate a book, check out "Rage" by Bob Woodward. The compulsively even handed treatment of Trump by the Watergate vet promises to disappoint everyone's bloodthirst, and might force you to ask some questions about what we know versus what we've been led to believe. If you feel like American politics impact your life, and are one of us who test their beliefs by the constant barrage of challenge, it is an absolute must read/listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Staggering

we all knew the Orange menace wasn't up to the task, and let's face it, not that intelligent - but when he lets his guard down it's staggering how little he knows about the world around him.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lee Ward
  • 2020-09-15

Really grabbed me

The narration was excellent as if Woodward were present and speaking informally to me. I think everything about this book including the editing is first rate. It's remarkable how Woodward got the president to trust him enough to do 17 interviews, and I bet Trump feels betrayed. But after Woodward's book, Fear, Trump should have sensed what was coming. It's not the banter of the Trump interviews that does it for me, although those with a psychology background may view these as the richest sections. Woodward's main idea is that Trump's psychology is dangerous, and his theme is that Trump's job performance is extremely bad. I came in with notions of what was bad, and found myself persuaded by Woodward about other areas where performance was bad. What former officials said along with background information and related analysis is the dynamite with respect to job performance. There are a couple very brief criticisms on Obama and also the democratic party, although these are intended as background to give the listener context. There are criticisms against Trump that are less relevant and only serve to water down the weightiest ones, in my opinion. For example, Woodward criticized step by step how Trump handled a 30 minute early February 2020 phone call about the epidemic with his Chinese counterpart, but I didn't find anything inappropriate. Trump didn't talk tough when maybe he should have, but it's what he did after the call that mattered and is so alarming. Many quoted in the book were political appointees under Trump who came out publicly against him. No other president was denounced by so many of his own. James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, Dan Coats, John Bolton, John Kelly and so on - we get to hear what they said about Trump. It comes down to they don't feel Trump is disciplined, organized or trusting of his advisors. He changes the focus of discussions and repeats himself until time runs out. He communicates by Tweet. They don't agree with Trump's most impulsive decisions and warned him repeatedly on various issues to no avail. My favorite character was Lindsey Graham who would golf with the president and try to promote action on criminal justice reform, race relations and national infrastructure projects. Of course, Graham wasn't able to break through; it seemed he was most likely to ingratiate himself. I don't know what to make of Jared Kushner, a very powerful actor playing a unique role. Woodward unpacks Kushner quotes, an entertaining element that doesn't in the end get us closer to a major judgement. The biggest topic in the book is the Covid response, a response which could have been much more appropriate. Woodward believes this to be the defining issue of the Trump presidency. We certainly as a country have to use this as a lesson, and that will make 'Rage' required reading all over the place, in my view. This book gives a first class history of the federal government's Covid response, and it made me feel sick at times because of all the divisiveness. I really believe Woodward will succeed in making this the defining issue of the Trump presidency. Woodward puts forward the idea that presidential power keeps expanding over time and is now at its peak. I keep thinking about it and what may happen if presidential power continues to expand. 'Rage' is stimulating and enjoyable no matter one's political loyalties, if any.

108 people found this helpful

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  • Bridgette
  • 2020-09-17

Illuminating

Woodward does in this book what no one else could have done. He penetrates the consciousness of Donald Trump with deft questioning. He manages to remain tethered to reality and resists the urge to either turn away from Trump in disgust, or fall under his spell. As a reader I felt myself empathizing with Mattis, Coats, Tillerson, and others who tried desperately to manage the impulsive and erratic president and the fallout from his disastrous decisions. More surprisingly, I felt empathy and even a very conflicted gratitude to Kushner and Graham who have managed to maintain trust with Trump while trying in vain to help him grow into the office. Donald Trump is a skilled manipulator and entertainer. He can be charming and seductive, but he is tragically self absorbed. Even when an action is clearly in his self-interest, he is simply incapable of doing it. As a mother of young children, I know when something is simply beyond my child’s developmental capacity. Donald Trump would like voters to see him as a victim. He is, but not a victim of the deep state or the liberal media. He is a victim of his own hubris. He believes he is a great leader and has nothing to learn from others. He is not a leader and making him president was a mistake. Some people may have been able to grow into the office, but he has shown himself unable to do that. This book highlights as no other book I have read that Donald Trump cannot lead. He cannot inspire anything but rage. He is the dynamite behind the door.

30 people found this helpful

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  • LCooper
  • 2020-09-17

Nothing New Except....

The many people who back up these accounts and the deep reporting that is done to understand how Trump operates. It’s actually scary. Woodward does a great job providing an understanding of Trump’s methodology & psychology of his decision making process. I feel like I better understand that I keep thinking Trump is insane when he actually is very calculating which again is very disturbing. I would recommend this book.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah Swayze
  • 2020-09-17

An honest perspective

This book based on the sincerity of the house reveals the true character of our president. Just to observe or hear his inability to stay on topic says a lot about who Trump is and why he is mentally and personally not a great candidate to serve as the leader of any country. i would recommend this to my friends.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Harry A. Jones Jr.
  • 2020-09-17

Bob Woodward is a great writer

Bob Woodward has written many books and honesty is his best quality. When trump complains and whines like no president has ever done it’s because truth is his enemy. Great book and insight into this corrupt administration.

12 people found this helpful

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  • BiG O
  • 2020-09-17

A Worthwhile Listen

Considering that the President day for seventeen interviews, I think this is as fair and balanced as one could expect. Both sides of the aisle will find things to gripe about but if they’re honest, they’ll also find things to -perhaps begrudgingly- admire. It’s a great book by an author who still sets the standard for journalism.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Weldon
  • 2020-09-20

Insightful

I felt the narrator/writer was tad bias but i loved the insight into the president. it showed his weakness but did not acknowledge any strengths.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Charles Elmore
  • 2020-09-18

The Cadillac of Trump Books

Having listened to way too many Trump books over the last four years (I've lost count), Woodward's style and end-result has the effect of carrying you along the twists and rubble-strewn paths of the Trump era with a vantage point of intellectual distance, rationality, and, dare I say, sanity. The book is laid out in a completely open and objective format with every claim and assertion backed by facts. He never oversteps this boundary between facts and opinion. When he does step in to offer his analysis, which he does from time-to-time (especially in his moving epilogue), he offers it as just that: his analysis. "Rage" has the added effect of making the reader a witness of sorts to history, much of which at the time of this review, was unfolding within months of the conclusion of the book's timeline. The result is a much needed perspective. In this way, Woodward offers up a kind of neutrality in an age of politics as sports. No doubt he achieves this from his decades of experience. The content itself, the narrative, has a way of creeping up on you and pulling you in, and before you know it, you've reached the end. Five stars all around. Great narration as well.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Jo Ann M. Whiteman
  • 2020-09-17

a must read

loved it... The author is straight. He presence the facts and leaves the decision to the reader.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Mary
  • 2020-09-18

Leading the witness

This book told me nothing more than I already knew, but what I found fascinating was how much Woodward tried to lead Trump to do and say the right thing. How many times did he beg him to understand about the people in the country who are hurting. How many times did Woodward say it’s about the heart you need to understand their heart and all Trump could respond with was see what I’ve done.

5 people found this helpful