A Warning

by Anonymous

Hardcover, 2019


Twelve (2019), 272 pages


An unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait of the Trump presidency from the anonymous senior official whose first words of warning about the president rocked the nation's capital. --

User reviews

LibraryThing member Clara53
Just like the book's jacket says - "a must-read before Election Day"!

What is it like to operate in Trump environment, according to the author? "It's like showing up at the nursing home at daybreak to find your elderly uncle running pantsless across the courtyard and cursing loudly about the
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cafeteria food, as worried attendants try to catch him. You are stunned, amused, and embarrassed at the same time. Only your uncle probably won't do it every single day, his words aren't broadcast to the public, and he doesn't have to lead the US government when he puts his pants on."

Yes, sounds amusing... but it's not all that in this book. It's a disturbing, sad, but a necessary read. New revelations, substantiated by facts - not just some personal sentiments about the president. Historical ruminations - was impressed by that too. "Steady State" tried their best. Now the "Apologists" have emerged and are prevailing - they are of two sorts: "Sycophants" and "Silent Abettors".... Don't skip the poignant Epilogue!

"In the history of American democracy, we have had undisciplined presidents. We have had incurious presidents. We have had inexperienced presidents. We have had amoral presidents. Rarely if ever before have we had them all at once."
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LibraryThing member dihiba
This book was easy to read but contained very little new information; it simply verifies what the world already knows. As a Canadian, the "warning" part is probably not as frightening to me, but nevertheless, considering the influence the US has on the world, it is pretty scary.
I was quite
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surprised by the number of errors in the book - not so much of a factual nature (which would be ironic considering one of the overriding themes), after paying quite a hefty sum for a new copy. I found at least two spelling mistakes, two grammatical errors, and two semantic mistakes ("honing in" instead of "homing in" - come on! - and "literal" used when, you guessed it, it should be "figurative") but the worse one, and of a factual nature, was referring to Justin Trudeau as the "Canadian president". Geez. Even stranger is that Trudeau had been referred to as prime minister earlier in the book. I would think a senior official in the WH would know we have a prime minister and not a president. I don't know whether to lay the blame for editing on the writer, and if editors are a vanishing breed, perhaps the publishers.
I honestly don't know if I regret buying a new copy at full price, although it was interesting.
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LibraryThing member Susan.Macura
This is a book everyone should read. Having read the Mueller Report and having read numerous books both opposing and supporting Trump, as well as having followed Trump throughout his long life in business and personal relationships, I found this book not surprising but very relevant as we approach
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the 2020 presidential election. During the 2016 presidential election I often explained that Trump only cared about Trump - that the true expression was "make Trump great again" due to my theory that his TV show and businesses were trending downward and he needed to try something different. One has only to look at where he spends all of his free time, and our taxpayer funds, to see how true this statement proved to be. Then look at the basis for almost all of his decisions as president where he values what is good for himself over national interest every time. This books points out everything I have observed myself to be true. I really enjoyed the comparison between 9/11 and the Russian hacking incidents. Gives one plenty to think about before casting our votes. It will be interesting to see who the author is which I suspect we will know soon if Trump loses.
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LibraryThing member TooBusyReading
“Anonymous” seems to be someone who should be on the president's side, a conservative Republican. So, for even him (assuming it is a male from the impression I got) to disparage the president is remarkable. Too many who don't agree also don't have the moral backbone to disagree with him. And
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writing a book as an anonymous author – well, I have mixed feelings about that.

The book is interesting. There was lots of information I already knew, but also some information not revealed before, information that could be known only by an insider. I underlined lots of passages in the book, too many to quote here. But the combination is clear – we have a toddler, and a rather stupid one at that, running the White House. What is even more disturbing are the men and women who support him, who pretend this is business as normal.

I have an issue with the author's opinions in the epilogue. He states, “Ultimately, though, it was our choice whether to follow his lead. We decided to indulge in irrational speculation.” Don't paint me with that broad brush. I tried to keep him out of office, as the majority of US voters did. I could see the train wreck that was coming, although I never imagined the extent of that wreck.

I appreciated reading the point of view of someone who should be supportive of the current occupant of the White House. Perhaps because I follow the news, much of this was not news to me, so it did drag a bit for me, but this is nevertheless a good book for a look from the inside.
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LibraryThing member write-review
Without You, It Will Get Worse

As Anonymous makes clear page after page, President Donald J. Trump presides over the most chaotic White House not only in memory but in the total history of the United States. In the beginning, as the author states, a group of earnest supporters and officials thought
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they could rein in Trump’s worst traits and accomplish conservative Republican goals they believed in. He calls this affiliation of government officials the Steady State. Soon enough, Trump got rid of them. What remains are loyalists and those clinging because of fear. The result is a presidency running wild and out of control, trampling tradition and law, transforming once credible men and women in stooges, and the U.S. into a country forfeiting its credibility and power in the world. The American people, according to the author, are left with only one recourse, and that is to fire Trump. At the end of the book, a litany of sorrowful specifics of Trump’s unfitness for office and as a human being, the author states that putting things right “will require us to alter ourselves—to consider who we were, who we are, and who we want to be.” More bluntly, is Trump how we see ourselves, how we wish our own children to behave when they are adults? The point is: character is everything, and Trump possesses not an iota of the stuff.

It goes without saying that Americans should read this book, to read it and be thoughtful and honest with themselves regarding the president. Unfortunately, the reality is that the very people who should read this book, the Trump supporters for whom the author wrote it, will not read it. Not only not read it, but condemn it without looking past the cover, probably condemn it at the behest of Trump himself and the bloviators who dissemble on his behalf. Too bad, because they, all of us, need our eyes opened to just how bad the Trump presidency really is. To quote the author:

“The net effect of the president’s war on democratic institutions is that he has turned the government of the United States into one of his companies: a badly managed enterprise defined by a sociopathic personality in the c-suite, rife with infighting, embroiled in lawsuits, falling deeper into debt, allergic to internal and external criticism, open to shady side deals, operating with limited oversight, and servicing its self-absorbed owner at the expense of its customers. We should have seen this one coming.”

Fellow Americans, heed the warning from someone, a conservative Republican, who has been in the thick of it and witnessed the chaos and danger firsthand. Ask yourself regarding Trump: Is this who I am, is this who I want to associate with, is this who I want my children to be. As the authors concludes, “if … we shrink from the task, our names will be recorded by history as those who didn’t pass the torch but let its light expire. That is my warning. Every American generation before us faced and passed this test. Our charge is to do the same, proving that the United States can do what other civilizations could not—survive the ages—and bend the arc of the moral universe toward the value that is the real sinew of civic life: freedom.”
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LibraryThing member Thomas.Cannon
I was given this book to read by a friend. I would not have read it otherwise because I did not think it would not give me any new information. Yet it was interesting to have watched Trump and then see what happened behind the scenes. Even knowing everything that Trump has done, it was good to
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review all those utterly strange things.

I also found the behind the scenes events at the White House fascinating. This book describes in detail how people can work for him. Besides how someone could vote for someone that made fun of a person with a disability, this was my primary question.

The author is clearly a conservative and approaches Trump from a betrayal vantage point. He also takes the time to restate and promote conservative views. It was fine, I guess, but not necessary for the thesis of this book.

In the epilogue he makes a direct correlation to 911. He went a bit overboard.

I believe that many supporters remain loyal by the fact that Trump is still in office (and by wearing blinders). This book provides the case that it is the administration that has kept him from blundering his way to being relieved of his duties and explains how this is done.
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