- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Press; First Edition ~1st Printing edition (July 18, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0735225028
- ISBN-13: 978-0735225022
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 525 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency Hardcover – July 18, 2017
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One of The New York Times Book Review’s Notable Books of 2017
One of NPR’s Great Reads of 2017
“The first deeply insightful political narrative of the Trump era.” —David Leonhardt, The New York Times
“Indispensable.” —Jeffrey Toobin, The New Yorker
“Mr. Green is a talented reporter and a gifted storyteller. The anecdotes he records from the chaotic 2016 Trump campaign are both well chosen (they’re there for thematic reasons, not as gratuitous gossip) and brilliantly told.” —Wall Street Journal
“You won’t be able to put it down. I certainly couldn’t, surrendering a weekend I should have rightly spent with the kids. I spent it instead with a 63-year-old nationalist whom Time magazine all but called the shadow President of the United States . . . Addictive.” —Newsweek
“Deeply reported and compulsively readable . . . Green is consistently interesting on the subject of Trump. But the real value of Devil’s Bargain is the story it tells about Bannon, some of which has been previously reported (not least by Green himself) but never so well synthesized or explained as it is here.” —Bret Stephens, The New York Times
“Vividly pulls back the curtain on the symbiotic relationship between two of America’s most polarizing figures. . . . Green is nothing but prescient.” —The Guardian
“Green saw Bannon as an important figure early on and began to track his career long before other journalists. As a result, Green had the material and access to produce a deeply researched and sharply observed account of a political figure and a movement that took most of the country by surprise . . . Readers will find no better guide to Bannon’s vision than this gripping and sometimes appalling account.” —Foreign Affairs
“One of the best, more thoroughly researched, and arguably most influential 2016 books to come out so far, Devil's Bargain is the product of years of interviews and tight reporting from journalist Joshua Green. He thrillingly tracks the influence of Steve Bannon and the alt-right on Trump's candidacy, persuasively arguing they were intrinsic to his rise and eventual victory. It's disturbing, fascinating stuff for anyone interested in this newly powerful fringe.” —Entertainment Weekly
“In this important and vivid book, the veteran journalist Joshua Green . . . examines the role of Bannon, the man who, on convincing evidence laid out here, was instrumental in securing the most improbable election victory in modern political history.” —The Times (London)
“Intelligent, insightful, and fast-moving.” —The Washington Times
“Delicious from page one.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Fast-paced, crisp, and cogent, this is a first look into a dark corner of history whose ramifications are only beginning to be understood." —PopMatters
“Joshua Green is an incredible storyteller, and Bannon is an incredible subject.” —Paste Magazine
“Fascinating . . . required reading for anyone interested in the future.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Absorbing . . . the first thing I’ve read in the last year and a half that manages to make some sense of the human catastrophic weather event that is Steve Bannon.” —The Millions
“Behind the scenes and ripped from the headlines, Green’s saga exuberantly traces Trump’s wild ride to the presidency.” —Kirkus
About the Author
Joshua Green is a national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek and a CNN political analyst. Previously, Green was a senior editor of the Atlantic, a weekly political columnist for the Boston Globe, and an editor at the Washington Monthly. He has also written for the New Yorker, Esquire, Vanity Fair, and other publications. Green regularly appears on CNN’s shows, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and PBS’s Washington Week and Frontline.
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Green characterizes Bannon as a brilliant ideologue from the outer-fringe of American politics, and an opportunistic businessman with a great distaste for Hillary. Green contends that DJT's being embarrassed at the 2011 White House Correspondent's Dinner by President Obama and Seth Meyers was the catalyst that put Trump on the path to the White House. Obama zeroed in on the birth-certificate controversy that Trump had endorsed, produced a copy several days prior to the dinner, and then joking proposed to also release a movie of his birth (a Disney jungle tiger cartoon film). Soon afterwards Trump met with a few long-time Clinton haters - one of whom was David Bossie. Bossie asked Bannon to provide informal counsel on a potential Trump presidential bid. Bannon didn't think Trump would run, but this didn't stop Bannon from imparting his hostility to illegal immigration and Hillary.
Bannon had been a Naval officer during Carter's disastrous effort to rescue U.S. hostages in Iran. That disgusted Bannon, who went from being a Democrat like the rest of his family, to becoming a hard right Republican, avid Reagan fan, and Islamaphobe. He also realized that it would take forever for him to gain major influence as a Naval officer --> resigned to attend Harvard Business School, then join Goldman Sach's.
Trump thought of running for New York governor in 2014, vs. Cuomo. Kellyann Conway put together a paper suggesting he'd do well, contrary to what the poll data actually showed. Meanwhile, Trump learned from his appearances that anti-immigration provided a strong position.
At the time, Bannon was chairman of Breitbart news (lots of Clinton stories, also immigration - including the child migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014, killing any chance of immigration reform at the time, ISIS, race riots, and 'the collapse of traditional values - drawing about 21 million viewers/month), an alt-right site that would help clear out Trump's 16 Republican competitors. He'd taken that role after the site's founder (Andrew Breitbart, a former Matt Drudge apprentice) unexpectedly died in 2012. Bannon's biggest success to-date had been acquiring a stake in the 'Seinfeld' show. One of Bannon's biggest contribution to the Trump campaign was pitching the 'Clinton Cash' revelations (he'd helped nurture the book's writing) to the mainstream media. Bannon then encouraged Trump to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, created a mutinous frenzy among house conservatives that led to Boehner's resignation, paid trackers to follow Anthony Weiner's Twitter account and eventually intercepted a crotch shot Weiner inadvertently had made public.
In 2012 he became founding chairman of Government Accountability Institute, a nonpartisan research organization staffed with lawyers, data scientists, and forensic investigators that helped bring about the 'Clinton Cash' uproar. The focus is on providing rigorous, fact-based indictments against major politicians, then partnering with mainstream media outlets conservatives typically despise to disseminate those findings to the broadest audience. Bannon had previously learned that building stories on facts motivated professional investigative reporters, even though they might have been personally liberal. Their access to the liberal New York Times and Washington Post was seen as invaluable by Bannon. Prior conservative efforts to impugn Hillary (eg. House Oversight Chairman Dan Burton's portrayal of Vince Foster's 1993 suicide as a murder) were seen as killing conservatives' credibility and influence.
GAI published an e-book 'Bush Bucks: How Public Service and Corporations Helped Made Jeb Rich' oo- Florida land deals, corporate board sinecures, and a seven-figure salary with Lehman Brothers. (He'd raked in nearly $30 million in the eight years after leaving the governor's mansion.)
In 1990. Bannon and a couple of Goldman colleagues launched Bannon & Co., an investment bank specializing in media. They used VHSs cassette sales and TV ratings to value intellectual property. Then, while serving as the go-between Westinghouse (seeking to unload Castle Rock Entertainment) and Ted Turner, Bannon took an ownership stake in five shows, including Seinfeld. .
Hillary added to her problems by refusing to list foreign donors, or release her Wall Street speeches. Various people had been attacking the Clinton's for years, with limited success - Bannon's secret was sticking to what could be documented, and avoiding unnamed sources. Turns out that the set of characters donating to the Clinton Foundation was nothing one would want publicized. When Trump ran into the problem with his off-color comments about women, Bannon countered by having Bill Clinton's former rape accusers sit on the stage with Trump during a rally.
Green ends by posing his sense of why Trump has had so many problems as President:
1)Trump assumed that Congress needed him; in fact, they have their own constituencies.
2)He ran against Republicans in general, Wall Street, and Paul Ryan - then adopted their agendas.
3)His 'agenda' is constantly changing.
Joshua Green's new book, "Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency", is a well written, non-partisan look at Donald Trump and his campaign and victory, with particular emphasis on Steve Bannon and his influence both on the Trump campaign and on the wider political world of the 2016 presidential election. This is one of those well-composed books on the absurdity of politics which manages to capture the true absurdity without sounding condescending in the process.
Although I describe myself as a political junkie, I'm not going to read many books about the campaign. In fact, this is the first one I've read and may well be the last. Joshua Green is not a "campaign insider", but rather a political reporter. He has no bone to pick with either the Trump campaign or the Clinton campaign. Because he isn't trying to justify any person connections, he can remain non-partisan, which I believe his writing is in this book. (He does have a bit of a juicy story about Donald Trump and Chris Christie, which seems right on to both men.)