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Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  3,494 ratings  ·  433 reviews
Bestselling author, former White House speechwriter, and Atlantic columnist and media commentator David Frum explains why President Trump has undermined our most important institutions in ways even the most critical media has missed, in this thoughtful and hard-hitting book that is a warning for democracy and America’s future.

"From Russia to South Africa, from Turkey to th
ebook, 301 pages
Published January 16th 2018 by Harper
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David One of the things that makes this take on Donald Trump so interesting is that it is written by a lifelong Republican who has been very active in party…moreOne of the things that makes this take on Donald Trump so interesting is that it is written by a lifelong Republican who has been very active in party politics. David Frum is nobody's idea of a "L.W.N.J.," and he has been harshly critical of President Obama. Trump is just that bad.(less)

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Will Byrnes
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Democracy dies in darkness, opines a great American newspaper, but it would be more accurate to say that it dies by degrees. Where constitutional democracy has been lost, it has been lost because political actors have broken its rules turn by turn to achieve some immediately urgent goal. Each rule breaking then justifies the next, in a cycle of revenge that ends only in the formal or informal abrogation of the constitutional order.
David Frum pisses me off. He is not someone I would normall
Bill Kerwin
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: politics

One of the pleasures of too much MSNBC is the lamentations of the never-Trumpers, those conservatives who watch as the wild boar that is Trump gores their Republican party. All of them (with the exception of William Kristol) have something worthwhile to say, and what they say—from the righteous barkings of the sepulchral Richard Painter, and the sharp reproofs of old campaigner Steve Schmidt, to the surreal smears of jester Rick Wilson—is delivered by each one of them in a distinctive, memorable
Lewis Weinstein
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
UPDATE 2/4/17 ...

Since I have followed the disgusting news about Trump and his presidency, much that Frum writes is familiar to me. Frum despises Trump, as do I, and over 235 pages he makes the case that such a view is well justified. How America is going to exit from this travesty of governance is another matter, one that should concern all thinking Americans, especially those who have besmirched themselves by lying down with Trump.


I just started reading ... I'll take my notes here, and edit
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
First, this is a really good book published at a uniquely, critically important moment in time. It's a worthwhile investment of time and, as a bonus, it's an easy read. (OK, I struggled to put it down, and decided that, once I started it, I'd rather finish it then get a good night's sleep or do some of the work that, temporarily, was put on hold.)

While I'm hesitant to (broadly) recommend this book to others, I'm pleased that I bought it (it makes me feel good to have provided a pittance of royal
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
Sorry, Dave, but the erosion of the Republican base was well underway during Your Guy's administration. Your start date of 2008-ish for when Things Started Going Downhill in the Party is kinduva steaming load of bullshit. I don't disremember those 8 years. It was shit, and your party was starting to show signs of rot & disorder & subversion of norms to the point that Jim Jeffords left you guys.

Don't gaslight me, Dave.

It'd be nice to see a parade of flagellant ex-Bushies in the streets, but I won
Mal Warwick
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
"Trumpocracy has left Americans less safe against foreign dangers, has diverted their money from its proper purposes to improper pockets, has worked to bias law enforcement in favor of the powerful, and has sought to intimidate media lest they report things the public most needs to know." Thus David Frum sets the stage to explain how Donald Trump undermines democracy in his new book, Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic.

If there is any surprise in this line of argument, it lies i
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Frum expands on his articles in The Atlantic, where he is senior editor, to convincingly put forward the reasons that President Trump is a threat to our Constitutional Democracy. As a thoughtful, principled conservative and ‘Never Trumper’, Frum is appalled at the blatant disregard for the Presidential tradition of showing the public their tax returns and following ethical guidelines to avoid the appearance of corruption. Indeed, Trump seeks to enrich himself and his family by mixing business wi ...more
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Ugh. It's only slightly more nuanced than Fire and Fury and all of the rest of them. (Why do I keep reading this books about Trump? Because I feel like if I read them all, I will come to understand why he is our president). There are some really good passages--especially when he talks about the entire Republican party and what its problems are, but the stuff about trump is just everything we already know from the headlines. This isn't a big idea book even though it's sort of thinks it is. We mig ...more
Ted Lehmann
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Trumpocracy by David Frum – Book Review

David Frum has written an erudite, scholarly, entertaining, coruscating, and, ultimately, both deeply scary and hopeful book called Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic (HarperCollins, 2018, 320 pages, $25.99/12.99). Using elegant, nuanced writing and thoughtful analysis based on deep, and wide research, fully thirty percent of the text is taken up by footnotes, Frum carefully builds his argument using well-recognized sources from across the

(view spoiler)
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Considering David Frum’s one-time employer, his unabashed (though not brash) embrace of the conservative label, and the unfortunate occasion of its publication (on the heels of Fire and Fury), it’s possible his latest book may not garner the wide audience it so sorely deserves. Trumpocracy is a thorough, candid, and humorous treatment of the political apotheosis of America’s legendary bully. Though it’s impossible for me to say how Trumpocracy ranks among published criticisms of the current admi ...more
He did not do it by himself. Donald Trump was hoisted into office, and is sustained there by many hands:
by a conservative entertainment complex that propagandized for him;
by fellow candidates for president who appeased him in the hope they could use him;
by a Republican Party apparatus that submitted to him;
by a donor elite who funded him;
by a congressional party that protected him;
by writers and intellectuals who invented excuses for him; and
by millions of rank-and-file Republicans, who accep
May 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, politics
Maybe you do not much care about the future of the Republican Party. You should. Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy. The stability of American society depends on conservatives’ ability to find a way forward from the Trump dead end, toward a conservatism that can not only win elections but also govern responsibly, a conservatism that is culturally modern, econom
Scott Rhee
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
“I just want to repeat: I’m president. I’m not king... I can exercise some flexibility in terms of where we deploy our resources, to focus on people who are really causing problems as opposed to families who are just trying to work and support themselves. But there’s a limit to the discretion that I can show, because I am obliged to execute the law. That’s what the executive branch means. I can’t just make up the laws by myself.” ---President Barack Obama, 2010

The resentment, anger, hatred, and
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a book I picked up at a library sale earlier this year. Interesting because it's by David Frum, a conservative. His opposition to Trump is due to Trump's character, or lack of same and how he is corrupting the American system of democracy. Needless to say, Frum does not regard Trump as a true conservative and he looks forward to the post-Trump era when the Republican Party can return to conservative principles. But I have to say it was difficult to keep reading this book and being remin ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While there are many anti-Trump books out there, they are for the most part written by left leaning activists and intellectuals. David Frum is a former speech writer for George Bush and a Republican, giving him a very different perspective on this presidency, yet coming to many of the same conclusions as his normal rivals. Thoughtful and alarming, yet never alarmist, Trumpocracy gets to the heart of what’s wrong with both the election and subsequent administration, while offering real hope for m ...more
Regina Hunter
Jan 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
Book does not add nor expand on the current knowledge at all. Simply recounts and restates the obvious, anybody watching liberal media can gather as much.
Andrew Shaffer
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
A solid overview of the past two years, and how normalcy has eroded. Maybe my expectations were too high after the backstage intrigue of books like THE DEVIL'S BARGAIN and FIRE AND FURY. ...more
What a disappointing effort from David Frum!  While I do not share many of the author's political convictions, he is one of the writers I turn to to better understand neoconservative Republican viewpoints.  His writing in "The Atlantic" magazine, where Frum is a senior editor, is usually crisp and his points well substantiated, so I was looking forward to reading a strongly argued position expanding on his many articles addressing the peculiarities of the Trump campaign and presidency.  I was sp ...more
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Will we be a functioning democracy after Trump? After I finished Trumpocracy I was both more frightened and more hopeful. David Frum explains in this book how our entire system (which was designed to make sure that a casually cruel, corrupt person like Trump could never assume power) failed. This did not happen overnight and we will not fix it overnight. David Frum makes that clear from the get-go. Then it gets worse.

In a chapter titled “Enablers” Frum points out that Trump became president and
Jason Aglietti
I found Trumpocary to be a thought provoking commentary on the current chaotic status of US politics centered around the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Frum explains how US politics arrived to this point, rehashes the current status of the Trump presidency of the last year, and then focuses on the short-term future of US politics.

Frum, a long-time conservative and former speech writer for George W. Bush makes a compelling case against the Trump presidency and the need for Republicans to recant
Very good commentary from David Frum, a conservative journalist. He is right on about many things about who elected Trump and why they elected Trump. He notes the antipathy about immigrants many of the Trump voters have and he warns that conservatives who feel threatened will check out on the democratic process. In the end he offered hope if the conservative view is included in government, and says that Nazi and Communist are just names. I agree with a lot that he says has already happened but t ...more
Alan Johnson
The author of this book, David Frum, is a self-described conservative Republican. This book is not, however, primarily about conservatism versus liberalism (American progressivism). It is rather about conservativism and liberalism versus authoritarian Trumpism. As such, it is well argued and well written. Consider, for example, the last paragraph (p. 236) of the book:

"Those citizens who fantasize about defying tyranny from within fortified compounds have never understood how liberty is actually
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
An alarming, clear-eyed and well articulated view of what's going on in the US. ...more
Tabea Vanessa
I always think rating nonfiction is impossible.
What I can tell you that this is worth your time very much but it is also devastating to have it all so condensed and not in small doses. Maybe that is necessary though for even the last people to wake up.....
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum

“Trumpocracy” is a solid book of those who enable, empower, support and collaborate with Donald Trump. Senior editor at the Atlantic and author of nine books including the bestseller The Right Man, David Frum provides the public with yet another conservative voice who has taken a public stance against Trump’s subversion of norms and the paralysis of governance. This interesting 325-page book includes the following twelve chapters:
Eric Wojciechowski
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If I were to write a book about the Donald J Trump presidency and the campaign before it, it would read very much like David Frum’s TRUMPOCRACY. I found myself time and again nodding in recognition of my own thoughts and recollections, noting that I’d written similar warnings and complaints in essays featured on my own blog, to Twitter threads and other social media posts. And in conversations with numerous people, I presented many of the same concerns Frum discusses in this book. However, Frum ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trumps's presidential win was a major blow to so many American values, norms and even institutions that a detailed description of it all in this whirlwind of a presidency is elusive. In fact, it's still all unfolding at a fever pitch. While David Frum's book uses details of what transpired, it is only to paint a larger portrait of the impact Trump has had on America's reputation and world standing. From the beginning of this dark time, he seems to have had his finger on what Trump's rise means, ...more
Elizabeth Stolar
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very high four stars - only not 5 because I just read When Democracies Die which was a 5, and this was just slightly behind it. But this discusses many of the same ideas. I always feel badly for David Frum, a good old Republican utterly dismayed by what has happened to his party. This book lays out many of the ways that this president may destroy the country - I'm not sure what else to say, so I'll put a couple of excerpts:

"A president beholden to Russia had been installed in the Oval Office:
Ian Beardsell
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
What's interesting about this criticism of Trump, is that it comes from a fairly staunch Republican. David Frum, a Canadian by birth, entered conservative American politics 30 years or so ago and became a speech writer in the George W. Bush presidency. We owe the loaded political phrase, "axis of evil" to David. Most interestingly, unlike many Republicans who seemed overly eager to support a bully that they discounted before the 2016 Republican Convention, Frum stood by some principles and openl ...more
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David J. Frum is a Canadian American journalist active in both the United States and Canadian political arenas. A former economic speechwriter for President George W. Bush, he is also the author of the first "insider" book about the Bush presidency. His editorial columns have appeared in a variety of Canadian and American magazines and newspapers, including the National Post and The Week. He is al ...more

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“Maybe you do not care much about the future of the Republican Party. You should. Conservatives will always be with us. If conservatives become convinced that they can not win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. The will reject democracy.” 32 likes
“The main benefit of controlling a modern bureaucratic state is not the power to persecute the innocent. It is the power to protect the guilty.” 7 likes
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