Bob Woodward’s new exposé, ‘Rage,’ provides impartial look at White House operations


Sophia Rocha

“Rage” by Bob Woodward was released on Sep. 15, becoming his second book written about President Donald Trump.

Sophia Rocha

Bob Woodward’s new book “Rage” taught me more about President Donald Trump’s administration than I ever needed, or really wanted to know. Woodward, a journalist who has written about multiple presidents during his career, is best known for uncovering the Watergate scandal of the Richard Nixon administration. Since his first book on said scandal titled “All the President’s Men,” Woodward has written 20 novels, his latest two pertaining to President Donald Trump, titled “Fear” and “Rage.”

Having read all three books mentioned above, I can undoubtedly say “Rage” was the most interesting. After reading “Fear,” I assumed that “Rage” would be more focused on the latter half of President Trump’s term. However, Woodward started from the beginning of the presidency, going in depth on varying topics such as Trump’s relationship with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un as well as the handling of the Mueller Investigation. 

Although complex language was used throughout his writing, Woodward made the book relatively easy to comprehend by providing background knowledge on the president and his administration, allowing even laypeople to follow the book’s discussion. Every time he introduced White House officials who worked closely with Trump, Woodward would do so thoroughly—sometimes for a page or more. He ensured all aspects of the person were covered including past and current positions in government, personal lives and even evaluations of their character by colleagues. This allows the reader to have all the information they need readily available to them in the one book, rather than having to go research each new character on their own. Most other books I’ve read about politics have required me to do extensive research outside of just reading the book, so this was a nice alternative.

In addition to making the book coherent for all readers, Woodward was also successful in removing any bias from his reporting. He organized his book in a way that allows both the perspectives of those working alongside Trump and those in the public sphere, like Woodward himself, to be seen. The whole first half of the book is written mainly through the perspective of other people who previously or currently work for Trump such as Dan Coats, former Director of National Intelligence, and Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President and Trump’s son-in-law. Woodward then adds quotes from his interviews with Trump to reinforce or provide another view on the information given by other sources. 

During one of these recorded interviews, President Trump admitted that he had underestimated the danger of the COVID-19 virus as early as February. Around this time, Trump was downplaying the virus publicly and saying it was just like the flu. This has caused a great deal of controversy since the book’s release, with reporters and citizens alike questioning why Woodward had not come forward with the tapes in February, which could have prevented the huge outbreak in the United States. 

No matter the circumstance, a reporter’s job is to inform the public, which is why many disagree with Woodward’s decision to withhold the interviews until now. Although the information is vital to the current political situation and well-reported through Woodward’s writing in “Rage,” it is understandable why the public is now upset with him, especially after dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19 for about seven months.

Overall, “Rage” was an incredible read, especially for someone who is interested in learning more about the current political climate. Woodward keeps the readers engaged throughout the book and provides an unbiased and factual contrast to most mainstream media by including direct quotes from interviews, first-hand witnesses from officials within the administration and federal or personal written documentation from the time of the events. Whether Republican or Democrat, Trump supporter or not, “Rage” is a book that anyone wishing to voice their opinions on the President should definitely take a look at.