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📚 Recommended reading for the resistance (books)



Longtime journalist Craig Unger his new book, House of Trump, House of Putin looks full of well researched detail.

"Dear friends, respected colleagues!” Nikonov said. “Three minutes ago, Hillary Clinton admitted her defeat in US presidential elections, and a second ago Trump started his speech as an elected president of the United States of America, and I congratulate you on this.”

Nikonov is a leader in the pro-Putin United Russia Party and, incidentally, the grandson of Vyacheslav Molotov — after whom the “Molotov cocktail” was named. His announcement that day was a clear signal that Trump’s victory was, in fact, a victory for Putin’s Russia.

Longtime journalist Craig Unger opens his new book, House of Trump, House of Putin, with this anecdote. The book is an impressive attempt to gather up all the evidence we have of Trump’s numerous connections to the Russian mafia and government and lay it all out in a clear, comprehensive narrative.


Coming from the front lines of the FBI, this book is hitting the news.

In McCabe’s new book, The Threat which is excerpted here is a full-throated response to how strange-acting, mercurial and revengeful T can be in the face of what kinds of threats and/or control the FBI would have on T’s tenure and the Russia investigation question.

Andrew McCabe, formerly head of FBI, who was fired by T within a day of his resigning was also the Acting head of FBI (May, 2017 - Aug 2017.) Christopher Wray followed as head of FBI, starting in Aug 2017) .

McCabe is a lifelong FBI man, who seems to work by the book, and knows his stuff. When T fires Comey, T also tries to influence and manipulate what the FBI felt about it, asserting that everyone at the FBI was glad. McCabe certainly felt the opposite, and saw that T was a threat (see title!)

Reading his discussions on then Deputy head of DOJ, Rod Rosenstein, who did plot to wear a wire and record T in an effort to make of record of how crazy T seemed (Rosenstein still refutes this for some reason) it was true that the 25th amendment was heavily considered.

So read this excerpt from his book…McCabe is scheduled to be interviewed on 60 minutes this Sunday.

And a tweet from Benjamin Wittes, referring to some kind of release of information or denial on McCabe’s part, not sure, but it was an untruth which McCabe said and they nailed him for it. (My best recollection of what happened.)


Re: The Atlantic excerpt,

On the afternoon of May 17, Rosenstein and I sat at the end of a long conference table in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol. We were there to brief the so-called Gang of Eight—the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. Rosenstein had, I knew, made a decision to appoint a special counsel in the Russia case. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator from New York, was to our right. Mitch McConnell, the Republican senator from Kentucky and the Senate majority leader, was to our left. The mood in the room was sober.

McConnell has known this whole time! Where’s the oversight Mitch? Where the fuck is it?!


Mitch is blind in both eyes…he would no more let T take a hit than smile.

Mitch also knew when Obama pulled him in pre-election that there WAS Russian meddling and refused to let Obama announce this. Mitch wanted it quiet.

Mitch’s sins of omission are legion…he’s a tool of the Russians, the Koch’s, the Republican Alt Right…and he does not factor in ANY moral reasoning.



He didn’t read intelligence reports and mixed up classified material with what he had seen in newspaper clips. He seemed confused about the structure and purpose of organizations and became overwhelmed when meetings covered multiple subjects. He blamed immigrants for nearly every societal problem and uttered racist sentiments with shocking callousness.

This isn’t how President Trump is depicted in a new book by former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe. Instead, it’s McCabe’s account of what it was like to work for then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The FBI was better off when “you all only hired Irishmen,” Sessions said in one diatribe about the bureau’s workforce. “They were drunks but they could be trusted. Not like all those new people with nose rings and tattoos — who knows what they’re doing?”

The description of Sessions is one of the most striking revelations in “The Threat,” a McCabe memoir that adds to a rapidly expanding collection of score-settling insider accounts of Trump-era Washington. McCabe’s is an important voice because of his position at the top of the bureau during a critical series of events, including the firing of FBI chief James Comey, the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller, and the ensuing scorched-earth effort by Trump and his Republican allies to discredit the Russia probe and destroy public confidence in the nation’s top law enforcement agency. The work is insightful and occasionally provocative. The subtitle, “How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump,” all but equates the danger posed by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State to that of the current president.

McCabe is a keen observer of detail, particularly when it comes to the president’s pettiness. He describes how Trump arranges Oval Office encounters so that his advisers are forced to sit before him in “little schoolboy chairs” across the Resolute Desk. Prior presidents met with aides on couches in the center of the room, but Trump is always angling to make others feel smaller.

(Renee) #127

What it is…is the Russians have both parties emails, including the GOP and that kind of explains Lindsey Graham… and money in McConnell’s senate PAC - last count I heard reported (or known) was $3.5M. There was a good story in NYT magazine recently - 2 weeks ago on McConnell. One thought was they could get what they wanted on - taxes, judges etc., and the Trump thing would blow over with no damage to the country or our institutions. Losing while wining - or just don’t give a shit because you have had a life long hard on for this agenda? At this point it is the same thing. Citizen United…the gift that keeps on giving!

(Renee) #128

That one kept me up at night when I first read it!

(Renee) #129

Somewhere along the line I mentioned this book when it first came out. He also wrote two articles for The New Republic before the release of this book. Truly, how do you come back from a $4B bankrupt state? Friends, lots of Russian friends.


Power in the Age of Lies, by M Verant

It’s been described as a modern version of The Plot Against America, and one review says “A riveting thriller built on ruthlessly factual criticism of the Trump presidency.”


I really enjoyed McCabe’s book. The last few chapters are about Trump but the rest is a fascinating FBI memoir. I sped through most of it this week to get to the Trump goods but I enjoyed it so much I’m now giving it a good through read.

(katesavage2001) #132

I have read quite a few of these books. I would add high in the list is Fascism A Warning by Madeleine Albright

Also high in the list The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism
by Steve Kornacki

Investigating American Presidents by Paul Rosenzweig

Lastly, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander


How about Power in the Age of Lies, by M Verant? It’s like the ultimate Trump resistance novel, very exciting and very well researched. I loved it.

(Joan) #134

The Oath by Jeffrey Toobin. Gives a great picture of what’s happening in the Supreme Court (except for Gorsuch and Kavanaugh - but you can see how they fit in to the Roberts Court).

(Alx Dark) #135

“How Democracies Die” by Levitsky & Ziblatt communicates the seriousness of the threats facing our country by comparative analysis with other states that have lost their democratic governments… obvious ones like Germany in the 30s, but also Venezuela, Turkey, Hungary, Chile, etc., as well as examples from our own past. The examples show that nothing is new here, and all of it fits a troubling pattern.

(Liz) #136

Sarah Kendzior’s “View from Flyover Country.” An updated version of excellent essays she wrote over the last handful of years about how we find ourselves here, with this President. Great context about poverty, higher education, race (was present in Ferguson, MO), and her expertise in authoritarian regimes. Now has a podcast, too (Gaslit Nation).
The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America civil


Thanks for this recommendation – I would have never thought to take a look at it. Read some of the user reviews and it sounds really interesting. I’m getting the audiobook. Cheers.


Deep Roots by Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen

Good and Mad by Rebecca Traister

Dark Money by Jane Mayer

Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean


In no particular order:
The Devil’s Chessboard (David Talbot)-a delightful and well-documented conspiracy supporting book about the connections between the CIA, the political “establishment,” cold-war politics, cripto-fascism, and third world adventurism, among others. Basically demonstrates that not much has really changed-DJT is just more erratic and less wedded to any particular ideology. This will not make you feel warm and fuzzy about the Republic.

Political Fictions (Joan Didion)-written in 2001, documents the Gingrich years, WJ Clinton’s dalliances, and the clueless media. Lots of cameos from the usual suspects and an opportunity to revisit some old policy debacles still haunting us today.

Beautiful Country Burn Again (Ben Fountain)-a march through the 2016 political campaigns, in case someone wants to revisit the nightmare. Well written and exhaustively documented.

How Democracies Die (StevenLevitsky & Daniel Ziblatt)-provides an organizational scheme for understanding the threats posed by DJT. Relatively short and not too dense with plenty of references.

(Mike Verant) #140

Thanks for the nice comments! I will shamelessly add the Amazon link (I’m the author btw :slight_smile:


Loved this. Also recommend Star of the North by D.B. John…more in-depth than The Girl with Seven Names.

The Power by Naomi Alderman should be required reading. Mind-twisting story of sexual bias and the potent power of power to corrupt.