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Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump Hardcover – April 2, 2019
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"The American sportswriting great has written my favorite sports book of 2019...By turns hilarious and shocking. In a game that prides itself on gentlemanly conduct, Trump is exposed by numerous witnesses (most of whom are surprisingly happy to go on the record, a tribute to Reilly's reporting skills) as a first-class cheat....I thought my opinion of the 45th president could not get any lower. I was wrong."―The Times (London), Sports Book of the Year
"Relying on testimony from playing partners, caddies, and former Trump employees, Reilly pokes more holes in Trump's claims than there are sand traps on all of his courses combined. It is by turns amusing and alarming....P.G. Wodehouse would have approved."―The New Yorker
"Commander in Cheat is an incredibly creative book, regardless what you think of President Trump, regardless of where you are on the political spectrum. It takes us places behind the press conferences and the staged interviews....It take us into Trump's past, places where there were no cameras, no speech writers, no handlers, no aides. It is just Donald Trump with his appetites, Donald Trump with his excesses, Donald Trump with his flaws. Donald Trump with both his love for golf, and his propensity to play games with the truth."―The Providence Journal
"Building on his firsthand experience by interviewing scores of golf pros, caddies, and opponents, Reilly paints a side-splitting portrait of a congenital cheater."―Esquire, Most Anticipated Books of the Year
"Assails Trump's 'ethics deficit.'"
"Reilly uses golf to reveal larger truths. Or, in this case, lies."
―The Arizona Republic
"Diamonds among the divots - [one of] the best golf books ever written....It was not exactly a secret that Trump plays fast and loose with the rules, but Reilly's catalogue of his moral failures takes the breath away....Hilarious and rather alarming stuff."―The Times (UK)
"Great writing...If you really don't like Trump, this is your perfect book."―Chris Matthews, MSNBC's Hardball
"Sportswriting can be a lens into any part of our culture, and [Commander in Cheat] proves my point... a clever way to make sense of White House chaos."―The Week, Books to Read in 2019
About the Author
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Trump isn't a funny golfer, or a goofy golfer, or a supremely accomplished golfer, or a potentially fun or even interesting golf partner, (unless you're a bit of a masochist). Trump is a liar and an unrelenting cheat in a sport that values, above all else, honesty, courtesy and playing by the rules. Linger on that thought too long, and the stories here can be sad and depressing.
But then - well, gosh it can be funny. As the Borscht belt comics would say - "It's funny, because it's true". Trump is immersed in and obsessed with golf, (playing it, owning the courses, rubbing elbows with celebrity golfers), and all aspects of that obsession are considered and illuminated. Reilly dissects each of Trump's claimed Club Championships, (which is the claim that originally ticked Reilly off). He is merciless in describing Trump's "idiots abroad" approach to Scotland. He recounts innumerable stories about cheating, phony handicaps, and baseless and ludicrous claims by Trump about his skills, his courses, and his prowess. Reilly gives Trump props where appropriate, but always has to circle back to the fact, observed repeatedly, that Trump is constitutionally compelled to exaggerate that which is merely "good" into splendiforous magnificence, and is so convinced that everyone cheats at everything that cheating and winning at any cost is the real normal. Harmless enough, ultimately, on the golf course. But.
So, poor Rick Reilly. He has written a very good, thorough, and sometimes laugh out loud funny book. But, you know, Trump. Read it, and despair.
(Please note that I received a free ecopy of this book without a review requirement, or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
Top international reviews
A highly enjoyable and quick read. Do yourself and the world a favour, and never set foot on a Trump course.
Trump’s elitist view of golf seen as a game only for the already successful, (despite the vast majority of golfers playing on public courses, “four hours of fresh air fun”, costing no more than $35) Trump’s affect on the future success of Rick’s beloved game of golf, his lies and his cheating has made, “golf terrible again”.
Apologies to any golfers - I’m as yet a golf 🏌️♀️ virgin.
No doubt it has been factually validated, for fear of being sued, but there is no reveal.
Frankly the book is a waste of money, much is common knowledge with little analysis or interpretation of the facts.
This tome by Rick Reilly is really the icing on the cake.
Forensic cataloguing of the cons and pros of his approach to business (and presidency, too) comes through to the reader from page one.
I will say no more except that as one who never voted anything but well right of center in the past Commander in Cheat has certainly changed me.
Totally recommend reading!