“Fire and Fury” confirms the dysfunction at the heart of the presidency


Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. By Michael Wolff. Henry Holt; 336 pages; $14.99. Little, Brown; £20.

TO THE many ironies of Donald Trump’s presidency can be added the fact that a man who does not read books has helped cause a publishing sensation. Four days after “Fire and Fury” went on sale on January 5th, despite Mr Trump having denounced Michael Wolff’s caustic account of his administration as fiction and threatened both the author and the publisher with legal action, Henry Holt had received orders for a million copies of the book. Several hundred thousand e-books had also been sold, and readers as far away as Kenya claimed to be illegally circulating an electronic PDF version of Mr Wolff’s tale of eye-watering haplessness and bloodletting. Not since Harry Potter has a new book caught fire in this way. No wonder Mr Wolff, who based his account on more than 200 interviews, including with Mr Trump and members of his inner circle, after he took…Continue reading

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Redeeming Mary Magdalene

EVERY generation of artists has brought its own sensibilities and experiences to the depiction of canonical Christian stories. Giotto, an Italian painter, set Bible scenes in medieval Tuscany. Rembrandt gave his a hint of mercantile 17th-century Amsterdam. “Mary Magdalene” is similarly a retelling of some of the faith’s main events …

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FOR evidence that modern democracy has lost its pep, look back to the age of cheery campaign jingles. The art form dominated elections from America to the Philippines after the second world war. Australian political parties used them well into the 1980s. It is tempting to believe that melodious campaigns …

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