Inkwell: Alex Shephard
New York magazine|July 19 - August 1, 2021
Trump Books Are Magic Everyone in publishing is sick of the former president. But they keep making books about him anyway.

THE PAST SIX MONTHS have been good to the book-publishing industry. Book sales, helped along by pandemic-induced lockdowns, are up. Adult-fiction sales have risen 30 percent year over year. And most of all, Trump hasn’t been in office. “Postelection, there’s been a breath of Thank God, we don’t have to do Trump books anymore,” one editor told me.

The lull has come to an end. After a brief reprieve from the dishy ticktocks that emerged from the turbulence of the Trump era, publishers are gearing up for a flurry of books detailing the final days and aftermath of his presidency. The Wall Street Journal reporter Michael C. Bender’s Frankly, We Did Win This Election and Michael Wolff’s third Trump book, Landslide, kicked things off on July 13. A week after that came Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker’s second Trump book, I Alone Can Fix It. In the coming months, we will see volumes by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, ABC’s Jonathan Karl, The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser and the New York Times's Peter Baker, the Times's Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns, the Times's Jeremy W. Peters, the Times's Maggie Haberman, and the Washington Examiner’s David M. Drucker.

Most of the publishing insiders I spoke to responded to the coming wave of Trump books with an audible sigh and an eye roll. “After the first few, all of these books seemed repetitive,” the editor said. “At a certain point, you had to wonder—do readers really care about some absurd thing some aide heard Trump say? I’m skeptical about this current crop of books, but my skepticism has been proven wrong again and again.”

Publishers were initially slow to capitalize on the chaos of the Trump era. When the journalist David Cay Johnston pitched a book about Trump in 2015, he was met with silence from big publishers. (He did end up selling the book, which was released in 2016.) At first, no one thought Trump would get the Republican nomination, then no one thought he would win the presidency. Books take months, if not years, to produce—by the time Trump volumes started rolling off the presses, the thinking went, he would be back hosting The Apprentice.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM NEW YORK MAGAZINEView All

Ruth Ozeki, Amplifier

Her latest novel teems with voices—most of them belonging to what she might call “nonhuman persons.” The book of form and emptiness is out September 21.

4 mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

The ‘Bingo' Heiress's Fantastical Duplex

With its Fragonard staircase, koi-pond bathroom, and rodeo-themed kitchen, Gail Ann Lowe Maidman’s apartment is like nothing else on the Upper East Side. Or anywhere else, really.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

THE POPE OF GLOOP

For 60 years, Gaetano Pesce has been preaching the gospel of uncertainty in design. Finally, the world has caught up.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

The Group Portrait: Emerson String Quartet

They’re moving into the coda of a peerless 47-year run.

2 mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

The Money Game: Jen Wieczner

The Antiquarian’s Approach to Crypto Wall Street’s top cop wants to police new finance with old rules.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

The National Interest: Jonathan Chait

Democrats for Rent The wealth lobby is buying them up to defeat Biden’s tax reform.

6 mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

You've Heard This One Before

Maggie Nelson believes we react too quickly and think ungenerously. In her new book, she’s guilty of doing both.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

Ride Like Hell

Exploited by apps. Attacked by thieves. Unprotected by police. The city’s 65,000 bikers have only themselves to count on.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

Jessica Chastain and Liv Ullmann – Same Role, 48 Years Apart

Jessica Chastain reprises Liv Ullmann’s part in the Ingmar Bergman classic Scenes From a Marriage. Their approaches couldn’t be more different.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021

The U.N.'s Own Humanitarian Crisis

Four years after promising to address its internal “scourge” of sexual assault and abuse, the massive, multinational, extralegal institution remains in conflict with itself.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
September 13 - 26, 2021
RELATED STORIES

The Future

Can Design Help Lead Us Out of the Mess We’re In?

1 min read
Fast Company
October 2021

WE WANTED FLYING CARS. INSTEAD WE GOT TARGETED ADS, MORE SURVEILLANCE, INSURRECTIONISTS, AND PETER THIEL

AN EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM THE CONTRARIAN, A NEW BIOGRAPHY

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 20, 2021

‘BATTLING A PANDEMIC IS A SPECIAL KIND OF WAR'

To create the leadership we need to fight biological threats, look to the military’s example

5 mins read
Newsweek
August 27, 2021

WHY WE STILL LIVE IN Reagan's America

The 40th president’s optimistic faith—and lucky timing—help explain his enduring appeal

10+ mins read
Newsweek
August 06, 2021

Net neutrality, right to repair, broadband fees: How Biden's order will affect tech users

The Biden administration’s order encourages independent agencies like the Federal Trade Commission to write stricter rules.

4 mins read
PCWorld
August 2021

CHINA SAYS XIAOMI REMOVAL FROM U.S. BLACKLIST “BENEFICIAL”

China’s commerce ministry on Thursday welcomed the removal of Xiaomi Corp. from a U.S. government blacklist, a day after the U.S. reversed a ban on U.S. investments in the smartphone maker that was imposed under former President Donald Trump.

1 min read
Techlife News
Techlife News #498

Finally, on the Brink of Dow 36,000

In early 1998, my American EnterpriseInstitute colleague Kevin Hassett, a well-credentialed academic who would later become chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Trump administration, came to me with an idea. Over the previous three-fourths of a century, stocks had returned an annual average of about 11% and government bonds 5.5%.

5 mins read
Kiplinger's Personal Finance
June 2021

HIGH COURT SIDES WITH GOOGLE IN COPYRIGHT FIGHT WITH ORACLE

Technology companies sighed with relief after the Supreme Court sided with Google in a copyright dispute with Oracle. The high court said Google did nothing wrong in copying code to develop the Android operating system now used on most smartphones.

3 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #493

CONGRESS TO PRESS BIG TECH CEOS OVER SPEECH, MISINFORMATION

The CEOs of social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Google face a new grilling by Congress Thursday, one focused on their efforts to prevent their platforms from spreading falsehoods and inciting violence.

4 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #491

CYBER ATTACK TIED TO CHINA BOOSTS DEVELOPMENT BANK'S CHIEF

The cyberattack crested just as finance officials from across Latin America were descending on Washington to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Inter-American Development Bank.

7 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #491