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Ilene Proctor Presents #90 in the Great Minds Series



What the Trump Administration

Is Doing To America




Kirkus Reviews

If there’s such a genre as anti-hagiography, Johnston (The Making of Donald Trump, 2016, etc.) adds materially to it with this new polemic against the sitting president.

Chicago Now

By Kelly Konrad, January 20, 2018 at 9:08 pm

Fire and Fury is the book you want to read. "It's Even Worse Than You Think" is the book you need to read.

Democracy Now!

David Cay Johnston: Trump is determined to provoke war to draw focus from racist & erratic behavior.

Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Brighton author's new book explores impact of Trump presidency on America.

The Guardian

Johnston, a journalist who’s tracked Trump for 30 years, analyzes how the current administration is remaking the federal government in Donald’s image and, wait for it, “making America worse again”.

Washington Post

"It's Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is doing to America.


Journalist David Cay Johnston diagnoses the Trump administration as a “kakistocracy,” or government by the least qualified and most venal among us.


This book portrays a leader whose norm-busting impulses are leavened only by incompetence and distraction. The risk of lasting damage to democratic traditions, the author argues, is heightened by a complicit Republican Party.


The relentless pessimism running through this work is barely eased by the author's hope that Trump may prove so abhorrent that he propels America’s citizenry toward a more civic-minded future. It’s a comforting thought — if only they really seemed to believe it.


Johnston, whose book dwells on the president’s appointments, budget proposals and bureaucratic maneuvers, sees patterns amid the chaos. The candidate promised so much — to bring back jobs, renew the nation’s infrastructure, negotiate better deals — yet the president, Johnston writes, has delivered mainly for himself. He highlights the symbolism of Trump’s stopping the inaugural motorcade to stroll in front of the new Trump International Hotel, “an official sign that no boundaries would be drawn between presidential duties and personal profits.”


A longtime Trump critic who last year revealed portions of the president’s 2005 tax return, Johnston also blasts Trump’s proposed corporate tax cuts (the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act had not yet passed when the book was completed) and highlights efforts to eviscerate the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and other supposed redoubts of the “deep state.”


“Trump is among the beneficiaries of modern America’s silent plutocratic system of redistribution upward,” Johnston concludes, and he is governing accordingly. The president’s unwillingness to disclose his tax information and his indifference to conflict-of-interest and nepotism standards lend credence to this interpretation.

Moderator: Greg Palast


About author David Cay Johnston

About investigative reporter Greg Palast


Simon & Shuster

"Urgent, necessary reading."

-Kirkus Reviews


"One of America's most important journalists."-Washington Monthly

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