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The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America
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The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  472 ratings  ·  73 reviews
The inside story of the battle to control Congress and the unsparing fight for advantage in the 2018 midterm elections

With control of both the House and Senate up for grabs in 2018 and the direction of the nation resting on the outcome, never has a more savage, unrelenting fight been waged in the raptor cage that is the U.S. congress. From the torrid struggle between the
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Crown
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3.97  · 
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 ·  472 ratings  ·  73 reviews

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Fred Klein
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a view of the first two years of Trump's term (first term, and I'm hoping only term) from the perspective of Congress. It is at times gripping, at other times fun, and at other times frustrating. I was most frustrated when reading about the times that congressmen from both sides wanted to work together but were prevented from doing so by the leadership.

One criticism: There are so many congressmen and congresswoman -- obviously not as many senators but still a lot -- that it often be
Jim Mullin
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If there had ever been a doubt in my mind about Congressional term limits this book confirms the necessity. The book covers the activities in the House of Representatives from 2016 through 2018. The authors relate a fascinating tale of the twists and turns of the new majority Republicans attempting to interface with President Trump along with pushing their legislation though the now minority Democratic party. For me it was a page turner, a hard to put down, and very well written
account of accept
Apr 09, 2019 marked it as wish-list  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: published-2019

They thought Trump was taking notes, then they saw the paper. The President is notorious for not paying attention to details but according to a new book, even when he was writing during a meeting, he wasn’t taking notes. Politico's Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer join Lawrence to discuss their new book and what it reveals about the Trump White House and the President’s own party.
Chris Sosa
"The Hill to Die On" is a well-reported and serviceable account of recent congressional history. There's unfortunately little in the way of analytical insight as the authors opt instead for a narrative play-by-play of events with which political watchers are already familiar. But readers who haven't followed the daily reporting closely will enjoy this book.

(Note: Jake Sherman's narration sounds like it's playing at double-speed. I've never heard a narrator speak so fast. The publisher should adj
Ryan Mishap
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
With grinding teeth and tense shoulders I read this survey of Congress during the era of #45. Very informative and a necessary glimpse at how things work in The Hill, I hated reading about despised, venal figures like Paul Ryan and Mark Meadows as if they were normal human beings and not selfish, entitled, ignorant white men who only give a fuck about their own classes' power and wealth while they pretend to work for the good of the country as a whole.

But that's me. Like any institution with a h
Gayla Bassham
A tick-tock of what was going in with Congress during the first two-plus years of the Trump administration. It's an interesting read, but doesn't add anything extremely new.
This could easily be four stars; I’ve just read too many current politics books recently. This one takes an inside look at Washington DC by two Politico legislative reporters, rehashing the 2016 presidential primaries and general election, and concluding in early 2019. Parts of it were fun to relive; other parts gave me a little political PTSD. Some interesting insider tidbits, like which congressional representatives sit near each other in chambers.
Debra Robert
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s a great book if you want to understand Congress, especially in recent years. Since I follow politics closely, some was just a review of everything that went on up to the Government Shutdown.

I didn’t know about all the perks they get, all the back-dealings, inner works and outright lying to put out a message. Also, how much Trump really doesn’t know and how he frustrates all, especially his allies.

It’s all very sad and difficult to take. Not sure why I wanted to read it!
Bill Manzi
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another look at the first half of the Trump Administration, but this time from the perspective of Congress. The authors appear to have been granted access to some key Congressional leaders from both parties, leveraging that access to produce a work that will likely confirm some of the worst public perceptions of the Congress.

The book is not Trump dominated, but most certainly shows how the interactions with the President are handled by Congress, and how Trump (and staff) himself managed the Con
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, j-o-b
As a history specifically of Republican congressional leaders, this is fairly thorough and hits all the gossip buttons. As a chronicle of the midterm elections it's disappointing, and some of the moments chosen as hallmarks of Congress during this time are bizarre. I'm biased of course but there was a lot more to the 2018 cycle than what Paul Ryan was doing, and hopefully another book will capture that.
Overall Rating: 9.5/10 (5/5 stars)

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wow; this book is absolutely incredible. As I venture into adulthood, I’m finding nonfiction more and more interesting rather than just slugging through each book for school. This book is right up my alley too, having worked at the DNC in the fall of 2018. I love the nitty-gritty of politics, and that is exactly what this book gave me. For anyone who watches the news and wonders what things are real
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some books are "timely", in that they give good information about on-going activities. Others are "timeless", in that the information they contain remain relevant for years. Others, like "The Hill to Die On", just seem to pass in the night. It makes me think that some non-fiction books should have an expiration date, much like the dairy products I buy from the supermarket, e.g., a "use by" date, a "best before" date.

This book, by long time political writers Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman, focuses
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
The book purports to tell the story of Congress during the Trump Administration. Generally, each chapter tells a different story of a legislative or policy battle that took place, with a few recurring characters in focus, typically House and, to a lesser extent, Senate leadership.

My hypothesis with this book is that the authors, in the course of their day jobs, got a bunch of "scoops" that either didn't make it into Playbook or were embargoed by sources for a book. They then decided to use the
Stephen Morrissey
Jul 04, 2019 rated it liked it
What should come as no surprise to Jake Sherman and Ana Palmer is the revelation that political news has a definite shelf life: left for too long, without a compelling historical narrative, such news becomes stale, boring, the stuff of deleted Politico Playbooks in one's email box. "The Hill to Die On" is at times an interesting morsel of news and narration on Congressional politics in the Trump era, but one often feels its staleness: the vicissitudes of Paul Ryan's speakership seem distant to t ...more
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics

Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer’s The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's Americais the inside story of President Trump’s first two year and the intra-party battles than consumed these first two years. The Republican Party managed to paper over their differences, especially where Trump was concerned, for the short-term. However, the fracture lines appeared soon enough and made governing, in any coherent and responsible way, nearly impossible. Trump’s unpredictability s
Michelle Arredondo
I didn't want to read this book with the expectations that it was going to be an enjoyable read or that I was going to discover that I really love it. Political non-fiction...I knew I was in for a slow read. I was up for the challenge. I wanted to read this book because it piqued my interest and I thought that I could possible gain a bit of knowledge or prospective from it. Those were the goals.

It's an account of Trumps first 2 years in office via the inner workings of the Congress. The reporti
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
You know what would have made this book interesting? An explanation of how Lindsey graham went from trump hater to trump apologist. How many republicans got on board the trump train would be a great story. Who in the trump administration has influence with members of Congress. How Mick Mulvaney became so influential. The Freedom Caucus is portrayed as a bunch of troublemakers who love to jam the gears but they sure seem more adept at manipulating trump than McConnell or Paul Ryan. It didn't occu ...more
DJ Cheek
On the one hand, this book carefully chronicles the events that propelled Congress from Trump's election in November 2016 through the shutdown that ended this past winter. On the other hand, this narrow scope ignores the citizen activism that generated the progressive gains in the midterms. There is nary a mention of the Women's March, the concerned citizens at Congressional town halls, the courageous ADAPT protestors, the March for Our Lives, or many other grassroots movements. There is no doub ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Favorite quote:

The Freedom Caucus counted only a couple dozen members, but a united front could stop pretty much any bill. And because of [Mark] Meadows's and [Jim] Jordan's power over the group, in many instances it took only their opposition to grind the chamber to a complete standstill. Many lawmakers bemoaned this circumstance, but Jordan and Meadows saw it as a savvy use of power.
"It's simple legislative fact," Jordan said. "If you're one senator, you have an influence based on their crazy
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
The great Charles Pierce once described Politico as “Tiger Beat on the Potomac, which manages on a regular basis to cover the worst of our politics through the worst of our political journalism.”

It was an apt description, and while Politico has improved since then, aspects of it (like the morning playbook) still revel in that approach. So too does this book. It’s the platonic ideal of access journalism, wearing its sources on its sleeve and eschewing depth or real analysis for gossipy bon mots
Harry Allagree
For the record, this book is a joint effort of Jake Sherman & Anna Palmer, both of Politico. It's a behind-the-scenes look at what has happpend over the past two years of the wretched & dysfunctional reign of the current occupant of the White House. It also gives us the "skinny" on the back-room wheeling & dealing of the leaders of Congress. Not much that we haven't heard or read in the news, but it does give context & helps one understand a bit some of the things which haven't m ...more
Hillary Rossi
Aug 19, 2019 rated it liked it
The book was okay, very informative. I could tell the authors had their journalism hat on for the duration. I would have liked to know more about constituent's on-going reaction and grass roots efforts to get the House to flip. What about the US population's reaction to Charlottesville, Kavanaugh, or DACA? Or the government closure, tax break for the rich, or the RNC giving campaign money to Roy Moore in Alabama? I think the authors were too easy on the Republicans by not including any of the pu ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Linda by: Today
3.5 stars.
Some of this was confusing to me. A lot was maddening. Money is such a central lifeline I should not have been surprised, but I was. Once someone is elected to either house of Congress, the electee pays a chunk of money to the party's coffers. A lot of the leadership owes that seat to the ability to bring monies to the party, not the ability to help govern.
The Congressman who represents my district is a founder of the Freedom Caucus and is mentioned multiple times in the book, includin
Steve Hill
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tells of the workings of Congress during Trump’s first two years. Trump comes off as unprepared, eager to please, petulant and ultimately weak. He had the opportunity to accomplish a lot had he not repeatedly caved to the Freedom Caucus, whose intensity is exceeded only by their ignorance. But for Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan, we would have functional immigration legislation. Mitch’s McConnell is, as expected, amoral and interested in one thing - power. So it is, evidently, with his caucus. Not a ...more
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is essentially the mostly-unbiased* story of Trump's first half term.

In that respect, it ends very abruptly, and it's kind of a whiplash situation when it ends. It just kind of halts to a close.

I get that it basically runs out of material, so I get it, but I also expected a bit more from the book since up to the ending, it was fantastic


*I thought that the book tried way too hard to humanize the GOP and centrist Democrats and way too much time to throw dirt on Progressive Democrat's.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

This book focuses on Congress from the 2016 election to the government shutdown resolution in 2019. It does provide a lot of back stories to decisions made on multiple important time points over the course of that period (failure to repeal ACA, passing of tax reform, fight for speaker, blue wave, freedom caucus shenanigans). Because I follow politics pretty closely, not much in this book was surprising or new. Some interesting tidbits, but not w
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Damn! This was just an incredibly fascinating and completely readable book. I only say that due to the subject matter. The workings of Congress in the first two years of the nightmare known as Donald J. Trump. Of course he plays a part but he is not the focus, thank god. Pelosi, Schumer, McConnell, Ryan, Scalise, McCarthy. From shutdowns to health care to tax “reform” to the Kavanaugh hearings to the mid-term 2018 elections and longest shutdown of the gov’t by a petulant toddler. If you love pol ...more
John Willis
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I got this book from a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for a honest review. The book delves into the inner workings of the Congress and Senate. For the person who follows politics closely this will be an interesting read. I felt that the authors fairly described both sides of the aisle and tried to not have a political bias. They shared the details of what was happening in each camp throughout the 2 years of Trump in office. I enjoyed the book but it was a bit tedious to read. Overall worth the r ...more
Dan Bell
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways, politics
I won this as a Goodreads Giveaway.

The Hill to Die On is a fascinating look inside Congress during the first two years of Trump's Presidency. The book is remarkable for the level of access granted to the authors, and the rather frank and open discussions they had with lawmakers, providing insight into what the different players were thinking during various key events. Overall, an excellent read, and highly recommended for those interested in today's political environment and the significant role
Joseph Reynolds
Apr 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Provocative and interesting. If you are a politics junkie you'll like it. Not sure it is for the average Joe Citizen. What it does illuminate is the power games, political sabotage, and rank sneakiness of people in Congress. And the money game is no question destroying our country. The constant quest for absolute power and political vindication means no compromise is allowed. Congress can't function because the team up there sucks. We keep sending them up there, hoping this time there will be a ...more
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