Peril ~ by Bob Woodward, Robert Costa

This book went on my Wish List at Audible when its upcoming publication was announced.  I didn’t pre-order it because I just don’t do pre-orders.  Over the last 5 years I’ve read maybe 25 “Trump books” either about him specifically or obviously inspired by him.  I haven’t read one in about 3 months though (that was Landslide by Michael Wolff), so I was kinda hankering after something.

by Bob Woodward & Robert Costa 
2021 (506 pages) 
Read by Robert Petkoff 13h 35m
Rating: 8  / history, politics 


Peril opens with a long Prologue – a tale about General Mark Milley and the days of the Jan 6th insurrection. Miley had China issues and Nancy Pelosi to deal with at the same time Trump was falling apart under the stress of his grievous loss.  Now the problem for the administration was how to protect the country from the possibly insane actions and reactions of the commander in chief.

Then the narrative backs up for Chapter 1 on Biden’s life and his campaign. This stuff is pretty well known. And the rest of the book is mostly about that last, crazy Trumpian year – 2020 – the year of so many things, so many crises and during which time our democracy was in a “perilous fight.” 

A lot happened between January of 2020 and January 20, 2021 and a few months beyond. This book does a cherry-picked review of issues related to Trump’s incompetence and his determination to maintain his hold on the presidency.  As such, it’s pretty fun.  But as we lived it – or as the people involved lived it – it was scary.  

There are a lot of things happening, many angles, many characters from Kamala Harris to Lindsey Graham but the structure is generally chronological and it’s usually easy enough to follow. ,
Towards the end, the “rogue memo” about Afghanistan made me laugh – how stupid – how 3-Stooges-like – or like a 6th grader.  And also toward the end serious people really tried to talk sense into Trump and maybe it worked, all things considered. He did leave pretty much without incident after 1/6.  And it looks like life is still going on – maybe into 2024. 

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