Books About Donald J. Trump and Other Literary Legacies

BOOKS ABOUT DONALD J. TRUMP AND OTHER LITERARY LEGACIES

“A biography, is a detailed description of a person’s life. It involves more than just the basic facts like education, work, relationships, and death; it portrays a person’s experience of these life events,” Wikipedia

By T.K. McNeil

Write It All Down

Trump rarely reads and has been writing his memoir on his Twitter feed.

Trump rarely reads and is writing his memoir on his Twitter feed, 240 characters at a time

We live in an age of documentation. The word “biography” did not enter the English lexicon until relatively recently. We now have the ability to create personalized literature 240 characters at a time.  I’m sure a book about Donald Trump will someday be written based on his Twitter feed.  Before this age of technology however, a person had to be somewhat well-known  before anyone would think to write, or read, a book about them. One group that has almost always been in this category are U.S. presidents.

Once In The Ground

For much of American history, a president could count on being at least out of office before the ink began to fly. Some of the former leaders with the most pages dedicated to them being those who are long dead. Once in the ground, presidents become easy targets for writers and historians to delve into every aspect of their life and career from multiple angles. It’s always easier once someone is dead to dig about in their personal correspondence and investigate rumor and innuendo, and talk to people who shared time with the president.

Give It A Little Time

Before the 21st century most presidents were not written about until after death

Before the 21st century most presidents were not written about until after death

The explanation of course is due to the importance of each presidency to the history of the Republic and the politics of the time. Furthermore, once a president passes he is no longer available to explain himself and the effects of his actions are much more clear through the lens of time.

Paradigm Shift

In the early 1990’s, there was a bit of a shift in presidential biographies. The main outlets for written presidential accounts shifted from after-the-fact books and biographies to the minute-by-minute style of newspaper articles written as books at the time of their presidency. There have been many such books written about Donald J. Trump. Some writers are just trying to figure out what is going on, while others are tell-all’s by former insiders. One of the books written about Donald Trump, specifically his rise to power in 2016, actually being called, “How the Hell Did This Happen?” A bit more surprising is the fact that it was written by self-described “Republican” P. J. O’Rourke.

Actually Number One

There are so many books being written I have had to get an assistant reader

There are so many books being written about Trump I have had to get an assistant reader

For all Trump’s bluster about his achievements and profound faculties, many of them delusional, there is one area in which the current president holds the crown. There are more books about Donald Trump in the third year of his first term than any other living, let alone sitting president, in history.

Outlandish!

Sounds crazy. Donald J. Trump can barely be bothered to read; and writes mostly in 240 word tweets, often with childish spelling errors. Amazingly there have been more books written about Donald Trump than any other living president. Which is now down to Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. None of whom are, or should be, immune from criticism.

Sheer Volumes

First let’s set some limits and define some terms. The focus is on books about Donald J.Trump specifically. More than only his presidency, but his life, his business career or even his campaign were scrutinized and written about extensively and published between when he got into office and now. There have been at least 51 books published about the Trump presidency since May 2016. At least 60% of these books about Trump books come out in 2018. Astonishingly, that’s 2.5 books about Trump per month for a total of 30 new publications in 2018.

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God Does Not Exist- Dr. Michael Shermer

I am thankful that we are living in an era where we can question religion without being burned at the stake. Dr. Michael Shermer made this video in 2013. Shermer gives an excellent lecture on the subject of why religion makes no sense. “God Does Not Exist” is the title. It is in two parts. Be sure to listen to both. His logic is compelling.

A recent poll indicates that 26% of Americans call themselves Atheists. Thirty-six per cent of millennials reject religion. Many other Americans call themselves “spiritual” versus “religious”. Finding meaning in life is no longer tied to religion. Reason and science hopefully will clear the way for humanism. When we let go of God there are consequences. One of those consequences is that we are suddenly responsible for our actions with no gift of  “life after death” by a deathbed embrace of Christ.

Darlene

Sectarianism In Europe; Fear Of Foreigners

NOT OF THE TRIBE: INTER-EUROPEAN OPPRESSION, WHITE-ON-WHITE CONFLICT AND GENOCIDE, FEAR OF THE FOREIGNER

By T.K. McNeil

The Roots of Difference

Fear of others is a problem as old as humanity

Fear of others is a problem as old as humanity

Human beings are tribal. By definition. Whether it is literally in the context of a family, or a tribal group, or a nation, there is always an “in” group.  And as the Newtonian law of opposites tells us, there is also an “out” group. There has always been a fear of foreigners. Also known as xenophobia. Such is a biologically determined certainty.

Persecution  Of “Out” Groups

What is not certain, or even particularly static, are the qualities that separate the “in” groups and the “out” groups. There are some factors common to many situations but no single indicator that determines whether a group is accepted or rejected. Not even what is called “race” or “culture.” There being cases of persecution between groups of similar if not the same, or close cultural and racial backgrounds. On going hostilities have existed for thousands of years.

A Classic Rivalry

Nowhere is this basic fear of foreigners between similar cultures clearer than the history of war between European nations. Something that dates back over 7,000 years. Including noticeable examples such as the adversarial relationship between the city states of Athens and Sparta, which remained snippy even when both were threatened by the full might of the Persian Empire.

White As Snow

Simo Hayha was a snipper responsible for no less than 500 Russian deaths in 3 months

Simo Hayha was a Finnish sniper responsible for no less than 500 Russian deaths in 3 months in early WWII

The fear of foreigners was palpable during the Winter War. The general term for the failed attempt by the Soviet Union to invade Finland at the beginning of World War II. Famous for both its short duration, three months, and the mighty Soviets were soundly beaten despite having nearly three times the troops and equipment of the Fins. During the war,  a single Finnish sniper, Simo Hayha, nicknamed “The White Death” because he dressed in all white camouflage achieved heroic status.  Hayha earned 505 confirmed kills, some sources claim 542 confirmed kills, over the three-month period.

Neighbor Versus Neighbor

Not to mention the xenophobia-stoking door-to-door attempts of the newly liberated Serbians to take over their neighbors after the collapse of Soviet Yugoslavia in the 1990’s. What is now known as the Yugoslav Wars. The last of these being the infamous invasion of Albania in 1999. A major war crime by white Europeans against other white Europeans that saw the leader of the Serbian government, Slobodan Milosevic, ousted by his own military.

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Understanding Brexit, (Or Maybe Not)

UNDERSTANDING BREXIT (OR MAYBE NOT)

By T.K. McNeil and D.S. Mitchell

A Bit Of History

The European Union encompasses 28 countries, covers over 1,500,000 sq miles and has a population of over 515,000,000

The European Union covers over 1,800,000 sq miles and is home to 515,000,000 people.

If Americans are to understand Brexit we need to fill in a bit of history. So, here we go. The European Union is made up of 28 countries, including the UK. It covers over 1,800,000 square miles with a population of over 515,000,000.

Alternative To War

The EU was originally developed as a means to thwart war. As a reminder, the continent had been the powder keg that launched two world wars within 25 years in the early part of the twentieth century. After WWII a consensus developed that if countries worked together and were inter-dependent trading partners there would be less chance of another world war.

From A Small Start

You’re doing great, just hang in there. Because, understanding Brexit will take at least a couple more paragraphs. The European Union (EU) can directly trace its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC/Common Market) formed in 1951 by Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.  It was another 22 years before the UK joined the then European Economic Community on January 1, 1973 with Denmark and Ireland. Since then the European Union has nearly tripled in size, and for the most part flourished.

A Single Market

NAFTA is not the EU.

NAFTA is not like the European Union

In the United States we are familiar with NAFTA. NAFTA is not like the EU. Understanding Brexit is more complicated than what we here in the U.S. are familiar with. Each country choosing to join the EU pays an entry fee. After that first fee there are annual fees based primarily on each country’s national GDP. In return, they become members of a team who gain special advantages by working together. This includes being part of a “single market”. In other words, the countries within the union can trade without tariffs or duties with one another and people can move around freely, as if the “union” was actually just one big country.

Four Principles of Freedom

Whoa. That’s definitely different from what NAFTA does. In fact, the European Union is based on Four Principles of Freedom; the free movement of goods, services, people and money. Interestingly, the EU has its own parliament headquartered in Strasbourg, France. Indeed, laws are passed by its parliament and it has its own currency (the Euro). The UK unlike many of the other member states upon its entrance into the union chose to stick to its own pound and pence monetary system.

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