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Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  15,274 ratings  ·  2,025 reviews
7 hours, 46 minutes

Called "disgraceful," "third-rate," and "not nice" by Donald Trump, NBC News correspondent Katy Tur reported on—and took flak from—the most captivating and volatile presidential candidate in American history.

Tur lived out of a suitcase for a year and a half, following Trump around the country, powered by packets of peanut butter and kept clean with dry
...more
Audiobook
Published September 12th 2017 by HarperAudio
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Popular Answered Questions
Richard If there were no electoral college, campaigns would be run very differently. It is a fallacy to say that HRC would have been President if the popular …moreIf there were no electoral college, campaigns would be run very differently. It is a fallacy to say that HRC would have been President if the popular vote determined the outcome. We just don't know because both she and Trump would have campaigned differently. Saying that Hillary won the popular vote in the 2016, and therefore should be President, is like saying the football team that gains the most yards should be declared the winner of the game, irrespective of the final score. The object of football is to score the most points. The object of a presidential campaign is to get the most electoral votes. You design your strategy according to how victory is defined. As the sports saying goes, statistics are for losers.

With regard to the other question, it would be elitist to say that a President must have first held another political office. Eisenhower never held political office, nor did several other generals-turned-President. And lots of former veeps, governors, senators, etc., have been lousy Presidents. I'll offer Jimmy Carter as Exhibit "A". Someone else might point to Richard Nixon. So, holding prior high political office is no guarantee of getting a good President. And the sample size is way too small to assert that a political newbie will necessarily be a bad President.(less)
Rose You spelled my name wrong, but yes I did read it lmao

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Start your review of Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History
Will Byrnes
Prologue:
Trump Victory Party
New York Hilton Midtown
10:59 P.M. Election Day

I’m about to throw up.
I so wish she had said “I think I’m gonna barf,” but we can’t have everything. NBC reporter Katherine Bear “Katy” Tur was not alone in feeling that way. In fact, a wave of nausea has been crisscrossing the nation ever since November 8, 2016, a date that will live in infamy, trapped in a seemingly endless back and forth sloshing. Tur had more reason for gastrointestinal distress than most. She
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Bill Kerwin
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics

If you paid attention to the 2016 campaign, you had to notice Katy Tur. She was a veteran—but virtually unknown—NBC correspondent assigned to the Trump campaign in its early days when his presidential run was considered to be little more than a joke. Tur’s fame grew as Trump gained momentum, and the Donald’s angry yet weirdly flirtatious treatment of her—as she sat in the centrally located “pen” which housed the press at every rally—soon turned her into the embodiment of “fake news” itself and a
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Stephanie
Sep 13, 2017 marked it as to-read
Is there a "not sure I really want to read" category?
Maybe I'll just buy it to support her and then read it in ten years when we have started to heal the damage.
ij
I listened to an audio version, that was narrated by the author.

Katy's book is very funny. She took advantage of a great opportunity to cover a presidential candidate, who many thought had no chance to win. Not a great assignment.

I am glad I chose the audio version. Great listen.
Diane
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Last week I was driving to work when a woman in an SUV ran a red light and plowed into the side of my car. (I suffered minor injuries, but my car was totaled.)

While I was recuperating from the crash, I read James Comey's book, "A Higher Loyalty." And then, because apparently I hadn't suffered enough trauma that week, I read Katy Tur's book, which recounts her experiences as a reporter following Donald Trump on the presidential campaign trail from 2015 to 2016. Tur attended dozens of Trump rallie
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Liz
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, audio

I expected to like this more than I did. The book needed a better editor. It seemed scattered. At times, there was more about Katy, her background and her career than about the Trump campaign. I didn’t really need to know about her parents and their careers in broadcasting.


I think this book probably had a much bigger wow factor when it first came out. But now, we’ve all been living the horror of Trump as president for almost 2 years. Nothing surprises me anymore. We know the stories. There’s not
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Malia
Nov 15, 2017 added it
Even though I zipped through this book,I didn't tremendously warm to Katy Tur as a person. She is tough, even a little ruthless and doesn't mind pushing aside personal relationships to pursue her career goals. That being said, if she were a man, I think she would have received a clap on the back for her bare-faced ambition, so I don't want to be critical of her on that front. She does offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at covering Donald Trump during the 2016 election. As someone who is ...more
Maxwell
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, kindle, 2018
For people who followed the 2016 election closely—which was probably most of the U.S. and probably the world—much of the material in this book will not be new. However, the perspective from which it is told brought to light things I'd never even considered while following the presidential campaigns. That journalistic perspective, the life of an on-the-ground reporter, was really fascinating and my favorite part of reading this. The rest of it was a bit infuriating because the reality of the 2016 ...more
Elliot Ratzman
Katy Tur was a philosophy major in college, but you don’t find out about this in the book. About her love life, drinking habits, food at campaign rallies, and the strange story of her reporter parents…we get this. While it’s a charming book centered around the travails of this spunky, ace reporter, this wasn’t the behind the scenes bombshell I was expecting. I learned very little about the inside workings of the Trump campaign or off-the-record shenanigans. I did learn about the gonzo chaos of r ...more
Christine
There is a man at my job who voted for the Trump, henceforth known as Cheeto Dust or Orange. After Cheeto Dust's victory, said man put up and keeps putting up pictures of the Orange on the boards in the break room. Normally, this wouldn't bother me that much - free speech. But this man also takes down any picture that is anti-Orange. This anger me. It should be equal or not at all.

Needless, the women in the break room (and quite a few men) are mad about this. We haven't filed a formal grievence
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Melki
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
She's talking about Trump. Not that he might win. But that he might not concede gracefully

Ah, yes. Remember when that was the thing we worried about most of all . . . Trump NOT conceding?

It's possible that no one fretted more about that than NBC News correspondent Katy Tur, whose "brief assignment" covering what was anticipated to be the brief presidential campaign of Donald Trump, turned into 510 days of madness when his candidacy caught fire, and he became the Republican nominee for president
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Paul Bryant
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics
We can tell the truth all day, but it’s pointless if no one believes us.

Katy Tur, p199

*

Trump is pointing a finger back to me on the press riser. “There’s something happening. They’re not reporting it.” (p272)

At this point in the book a bell sounded in my head. Bob Dylan 1965:

Well something is happening here but you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mr Jones?


Dylan was jeering at the straight world’s total incomprehension of the counterculture about to inundate it. Their sons and their daughters were
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David Molloy
Awful

Self centered. The book isn't about Trump's campaign as a whole, it is limited just to Katy's role in covering Trump's campaign, and her personal interactions with Trump, and his Tweets about her, and how little sleep she got covering the campaign,. Katy also ate a lot of bad food. She goes on about how difficult it was for her to deal with the secret service, And how brutal it was having to sometimes do hourly on air updates.
In short, she talks about herself as the central character in the
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Chelsea
Sep 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In an election where our electorate was not just divided between political parties, but between fact and fiction, journalists like Katy Tur fought against a candidate who ran against the media reporting the campaign as they saw it. Pulling back the curtain of MSNBC's Road Warriors to show the real people in front of (and behind, hi Anthony Terrell!) the cameras, in front of the candidates and their supporters. An insightful look at the culture that elected President Trump and how, from the insid ...more
Betsy Nelson
A good reminder of why to resist

Katy's start to finish recalling of the two year American travesty that was the Trump presidential campaign highlights (I literally highlighted as I read) two contemporaneous realities: the frightening power of mob mentalities to bring out the worst in otherwise decent individuals to our nation's peril and the absolutely essential role of a free press to bear witness to the actual facts traditionally considered to be called truth.
Allison
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Politics aside (if anyone is able to do that these days), I thought these was a really interesting view into political reporting, and how Tur and her peers survived on the endless and exhausting 2016 election campaign. I listened to the audio version, and Tur did an excellent job straddling the line between her news anchor voice and imbuing it with personality and inflection. Were parts of this personally difficult for me to listen to? Yep. But I still enjoyed the hell out of it, in that can't-s ...more
Cody
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"That's why I'm sitting in an office in 30 Rock, thinking about the old RCA building and waiting for Donald Trump to call me. Apparently tweeting that I should be fired, calling me a liar in front of millions of people on national television, and receiving death threats from his followers shortly thereafter was not enough punishment. He wants penance. He wants groveling. He wants to hear those two precious words. And until he gets them, he says, no NBC News. No Meet the Press. No Today Show. No ...more
Mehrsa
Sep 16, 2017 rated it liked it
It was like reading your girlfriends diary about the election so it's fine if that's what you're into, but there's a lot more in there about Katie than there is about Trump. I think In this genre, Matt Taibbi's insane clown car president is better
☮Karen
If I had a special shelf on Goodreads for horror books, this would be on it. NBC news correspondent Katy Tur followed Trump's campaign for 18 months or so and was asked to turn her notes into a book. She takes the last day, election day 2016, and slowly reveals the shock and horror of it piecemeal, mixed in with the chronology of events leading up to it. I did enjoy hearing her narrate the book herself, revealing ways Trump called her out sometimes, things I may have missed first time around, an ...more
Gary Anderson
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
No one brings the crazy quite like Donald J. Trump. Now imagine being assigned the unenviable task of objectively explaining his elliptical frothings to the vast NBC/MSNBC audience. For more than five hundred days, that was journalist Katy Tur’s job.

Tur’s new book Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History sheds light on the difficulties involved in reporting from a campaign so light on policy and heavy on personality. The book’s episodes bring back the “shock-
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Karla
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I guess I made the mistake of opting for the audiobook version. Usually I'd rather an author read their own stuff since they know the material better than a contracted microphone drone, but in this case...yikes. If you love vocal fry - and I mean, intense vocal fry that in spots would make a Kardashian cringe - then the 8 hours of Tur's whiny nasal crackle will fly by. However, I want a damn medal for getting through it. Holy hell, shouldn't elocution be a thing for national news personalities? ...more
Mary Ann
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-politics
I cannot write a full review of this book-too political and, for me, too painful. To get the basics out of the way, it's very well-written (Katy knows her grammar), fast-paced, and engaging. Voters who supported Donald Trump, regardless of party, will probably not read it, or, if they do, will not believe a word. Voters who did not support Donald Trump, regardless of party, may not read it, and if they do, already know the facts. Tur did not ask for or desire the grueling assignment to the Trump ...more
Jess | thegreeneyedreader
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Katy Tur is very smart and funny. This book was an easy read, and the only reason I am giving it a 4/5 instead of a 5/5 rating is because I didn’t love the jumping timeline. I would have preferred more of a linear timeline. I listened to this as an audiobook and the jumping timeline is the only thing that made it hard to follow in some ways. This is a #mustread #JPBookreview
Shaun
Well, I’ve learned that Trump insists that he has “the world’s greatest memory,” but his vision of the future go him this far. I’ve learned that Trump has his own version of reality, which is a polite way of saying he can’t always be trusted. He also brings his own sense of political decorum. I’ve heard him insult a war hero, brag about grabbing women by the pussy, denigrate the judicial system, demonize immigrants, fight with the pope, doubt the democratic process, advocate torture and war c
...more
Gina
This is one of the best non-fiction political books I have ever read. Yes, I will admit my bias; I am not a fan of Trump in any way shape or form. I will also add that I listened to the Audible version while reading. The author, and now anchor woman, Katy Tur, narrates the book and hearing her very personal (at times) story in her voice made the book so much more interesting. During the campaign, I saw the news clips everyone else saw, but this was such an inside story to some really amazing thi ...more
Jill Hutchinson
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are multitudes of books being written about Donald Trump's first year as President, none of which I have read or intend to read. But this little book caught my eye as it covered the run-up to one of the greatest upsets in US political history. Written by NBC/MSN reporter, Katy Tur, it is humorous with an undercurrent of "how did this happen". Although it concentrates on the campaign, Tur also adds a little history of herself in the narrative and she comes across as a very ambitious and not ...more
Jessica
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unbelievable offers an insightful first draft of history

I'll preface this by saying that I honestly don't watch TV news on the reg, and so I didn't pick this up because I'm a huge Katy Tur fan - I had to Google her to see what she looks like. But her reputation for sticking with Trump and offering useful commentary night after night convinced me to give her book a whirl. I'm glad I did.
Tur writes directly and, as far as I can tell, honestly about her 500+ days of tailing Trump as he went from t
...more
Gokulakrishnan Saravanan
Reading books on Donald Trump never ceases to astonish and disgusts me(more on the latter). I can remember various details and issues of 2016 presidential election quite vividly.There were days when I used to wake up in the morning and look at the latest developments on Donald Trump.I thought that I knew everything about him.I thought that, at times, media was treating him unfairly.I was also awed by him certain times.But this book made me look at those areas where I had overlooked and reassess ...more
Mark
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Katy Tur, a NBC News correspondent, has a much stronger constitution than I have and a much better stomach. If I had to spend 500 days, with Donald J. Trump, I would have contemplated ending my life.
Tur was handed this assignment in 2015 but never thought Trump would survive the duration but she slowly became aware of his rising, cult-like popularity and soon had the unsettling feeling he was going to win it all.
This is not an easy read, as Tur describes all the distasteful horrors that unfolde
...more
Amy
Mar 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
You would think we would all be sick of the exposes on Donald Trump! (Where is an accent egret when you need one?) I have read more than a few, and the daily news over a four year period has told us virtually everything we need to know about the way this man constructs his reality and comports himself in the world. You'd think we would all be completely done on this topic. We are! And I hope America reflects that in November. But, from page one, this book was engaging and captivating and engross ...more
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Katharine Bear Tur is an American author and broadcast journalist working as correspondent for NBC News. Tur is an anchor for MSNBC Live and reports for the NBC news platforms Early Today, Today, NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, WNBC-TV, MSNBC, and The Weather Channel.

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