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The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir

3.11  ·  Rating details ·  11,682 ratings  ·  2,208 reviews
As President Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton spent many of his 453 days in the room where it happened, and the facts speak for themselves.

The result is a White House memoir that is the most comprehensive and substantial account of the Trump Administration, and one of the few to date by a top-level official. With almost daily access to the President, John Bol
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Simon & Schuster
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Manny PS And while you're at it, please do the same for the other 213,000 books that suffer from the same problem, find a cure for covid, and arrange world …morePS And while you're at it, please do the same for the other 213,000 books that suffer from the same problem, find a cure for covid, and arrange world peace. Thank you.(less)

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Average rating 3.11  · 
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 ·  11,682 ratings  ·  2,208 reviews

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Jamie Pauline
Feb 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
What has the country come to if I’m marking a book by John Fucking Bolton as “To Be Read”?
Jun 17, 2020 marked it as not-to-read
Just as a thought experiment, would you, in 1943, have read a tell-all memoir about Adolf Hitler written by a disgruntled Rudolf Hess?

A. Give my hard-earned money to one of the Nazi Party's former leaders? Are you crazy?

B. Not read the latest dirt on Hitler? How could I resist?

C. I would have to read it of course, but it would be a stolen copy.

D. I'd wait for the Goebbels book, it would be better written and have juicier stories.

E. With Alan Turing's capable help, I would invent the internet and
Marius von Heinen
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a Norwegian, I simply find American politics amusing. Why? Because they are not like the politics in Norway. Our "far-right" is "far far left" compared to the US. We're different from you guys. I find French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Swedish, and British politics just as amusing because they are different (more similar than the US though).

As Trump would probably tell people that this book is made up of lies and recommend everyone to not read it, I just had to get it and read it. And I did.

Jul 30, 2020 rated it it was ok
I suppose it was the fact that President Trump was so set against this book being published that sparked my initial interest - what was it that he was trying to cover up? I live in the UK, but I do like to try and educate myself as to what’s happening on the other side of the pond. However, am I really doing that by reading something like this? It’s difficult to decide what’s true here and what isn’t to be honest.

I actually had real difficulty in finishing this book, and very nearly gave up alto
Jun 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs-and-bios
2.5 stars, rounded up for now

Update after finishing: I don't feel like I learned a lot, aside from learning that this guy is a pompous ass. He really finds fault with just about everyone ...except himself. Of course he paints the picture of a stupid and incompetent Trump (like I said, nothing I didn't already know) but he didn't help with the impeachment, nor does he offer his solution to making a Trump a one-term president. Voting for a third candidate (Independent, etc) is not a solution, but
Jun 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have decided to embark on a mission to read a number of books on subjects that will be of great importance to the upcoming 2020 US Presidential Election. Many of these will focus on actors intricately involved in the process, in hopes that I can understand them better and, perhaps, educate others with the power to cast a ballot. I am, as always, open to serious recommendations from anyone who has a book I might like to include in the process.

This is Book #27 in my 2020 US Election Preparation
Arthur Graham
Jan 27, 2020 marked it as to-read
BOLTON: I'm willing to testify if subpoenaed.
REPUBLICANS: He's just trying to sell a book!
ME: Then why offer so many damn spoilers?
Thing Two
Jun 12, 2020 rated it did not like it
Where in the hell was all of this when Mueller was testifying? Where was this during the impeachment trial? Bolton had a chance to go down in history as a patriot, instead he’ll go down as a footnote.

Ross Blocher
Jul 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
Ah, The Room Where It Happened. The title is the coolest thing about this book, borrowed from the infinitely more engaging Hamilton, which actually has art and a point. This is, of course, the tell-all somewhat-redacted account of Trump's White House from one of his top appointees, John Bolton, who served as National Security Advisor for 17 months (aka 47 Scaramuccis: an eternity in Trump's revolving-door administration if you're not related to him). In it, we get another, closer glimpse inside ...more
Feb 01, 2020 marked it as noway-josé
He wouldn't testify.
I won't be opening my purse.
Montzalee Wittmann
Jun 27, 2020 rated it did not like it
I only read 34% of this, I could not do more!
Bolton continued to brag about himself and his great ideas. He acted like he was the only adult in the room, even above the generals.
Those great ideas were the idiot plans I had previously attributed to Jared or other severe right wingers. Now I know! He also bashed Obama's plans and how they needed to go down. He still is a war hawk and wanted to bomb the hell out of things. He has enough blood on his hands from the Bush administration to last a lif
Elyse  Walters
...narrated by Robert Petkoff.
...John Bolton reads his epilogue.

...There are professional reviews....
...There is the publishers summary....
...Other readers who are much more qualified to review this book, than me.
...Seriously scholars, political geeks, history buffs...
don’t need my unqualified review.
That said...
....I listened to 20 hours and 52 minutes- ‘knowing’ I wasn’t understanding half of it.
...Half of it I did!

I figure my half-ass-effort of
No, I am not done yet. Not even close.

Rarely do I wrote a book review of a book I have not finished.

But it needs to be done. This book by Bolton is gigantic. It will take me awhile to finish it. I will read it at my leisure.

But as anyone who knows me knows..I do not like Trump.

Originally I was not going to buy this because I think Bolton is a coward who cares more about profit then doing the right thing.

But..he's still way better than Trump.

And I am curious.

And Trump does not want people to buy
I did not enjoy this book. In many ways, I wished I had not read it. I guess I am tired of reading about an out of control two-year-old playing in the White House and disgracing the country. Prior to this it never bothered me who was in control of the government. I just figured the rotation back and forth between conservatives and liberals kept the country more or less in balance, until now.

I did not learn anything new in this book, but it reinforced what other books have said. It did provide mo
Chris A
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
While I'll never forgive Mr. Bolton for staying quiet when it mattered, I'm quite confident that everything in the book is accurate and at least it is in time to help Trump lose the election.

Those who refuse to believe it are simply continuing to lie to themselves about the huge mistake they made in 2016.

It's not too late to wake up and snap out of it. Or, if you're fully aware and STILL support this traitorous president, it's never too late to re-grasp your lost conscience and turn your life a
Jul 23, 2020 marked it as abandoned
I wanted to read this book for two reasons:

1). As a United States citizen who cares about my country, I feel it is my duty to be as informed as possible.

2). Trump's little hissy fit over the book piqued my interest and I wanted to find out what's so bad that we don't already know.

I can't though. I just cannot do this book. I read a few pages but Bolton's arrogance just oozes out of the Kindle.  I can't stomach it for 652 pages, not if I want to retain my sanity. And I do. 

Whatever it is that tru
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating inside scoop.

I was impressed by the sheer detail and clear accuracy of this book.

I'm more disapointed in anything, that the country has been run this way for this long.

As a Republican, I am aboslutely not voting for Trump, between all the trusted accounts like Mattis or Bolton, his refusal to take racism seriously, and his denial of Coronavirus' threat.

People will disagree, but it's so obvious now that he conned us. I'm sick and tired of defending every moronic or selfish thin
Karen Adkins
Jun 21, 2020 rated it liked it
I got my hands on an advance copy and read it. Anyone who's bothering to read Goodreads reviews surely has already seen the leaked substance, so I won't repeat that here. What I will say is that Bolton comes across incredibly poorly in this tome (and I have no love lost for anyone in this administration): 1) His ego is endless. He has seemingly written down every piece of shameless/shameful flattery any person has ever uttered to him, and recounts all of them here, clearly tickled at all of them ...more
Aug 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Lack of space prevents my including a total array of pictures here. To see the review with all the pics, go to my blog: https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

John Bolton

When Donald Trump was elected President in 2016, he sought to get John Bolton - Republican political consultant, television commentator, writer, and former United States Ambassador to the United Nations - into his Administration.

Trump wanted Bolton on board at least in part because the commentator - a conservative hawk who se

While I’m not exactly a fan of Bolton’s, I do appreciate how thorough his ‘tell-all’ is - despite coming short of telling all. My guess after reading this, that telling all would require an entire set of encyclopedias, several bottles of aspirin and excessive quantities of alcohol.

I cannot offer a comprehensive theory of the Trump Administration’s transformation because none is possible. Washington’s conventional wisdom on Trump’s trajectory, however, is wrong… Trump was always bizarre, but
Jun 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio, overdrive
Bolton seems to have kept very detailed notes so this is a blow by blow description of the chaotic decision-making with respect to various crises. Nothing new here, just more of the background.

I don’t agree with anything this man stands for. His views are appalling. His Trump enabling was despicable. He did nothing to help us get rid of Trump through impeachment. So now he wants our money in exchange for his sharing his negative views of Trump. Well, most of us were smart enough to recognize Tru
George Bradford
Jun 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: america, villains
I received a free copy of this book. And after reading it I can say I paid a fair price.

The author is a pompous blowhard. And that makes reading this poorly written book very difficult. He cannot string more than three sentences together without bragging about himself in an unrelated matter.

His arrogance is titanic. I use that metaphor on purpose. This is a guy who thought going to work for this president would turn out well. History speaks for itself on that. And no one with common sense would
It is truly appalling that someone who purports to be a public servant would maintain silence in the face of so much corruption going on in the same room, however this review is not about John Bolton, but this book he has written. Bolton's perspective comes with the assumption he is the smartest person in the room. Everyone else is a dummy, inexperienced, or otherwise lacking the ability to perceive the nature of evil in the world. That may be what he is going for, but he just comes off as a mon ...more
Steven Z.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
In all candor I debated whether to purchase and read John Bolton’s new memoir THE ROOM WHERE IT HAPPENED: A WHITE HOUSE MEMOIR. Apart from stealing the title from a song from the Broadway show “Hamilton” I believe that Bolton’s approach is about maximizing his book royalties rather serving democracy, something he claims he has done throughout his years in government service. By eschewing an appearance before the House Impeachment hearings for his own self-serving interests is rather hypocritical ...more
Seems there are indeed hawks that pick out other hawks' eyes.

I couldn't care less. I never did plan to pay anyway for hawks.

There was a lot of hype when this book first came out. I put in a recommendation with my local library that they purchase the book. When they did purchase it my name was added to the hold list and eventually it became available. I am not sure what the hype was all about. Perhaps this just isn't my genre but I thought it was important due to current events. If Donald Trump was afraid of it what was in it?

John Bolton is full of himself. Probably the only person with a bigger ego is Donald Trump. I
Jun 18, 2020 marked it as spam
Duty! To! Inform!
Too little too late
Please take your book, Mr. Bolton, bend over, and shove it up your ass repeatedly. In hardcover.
Ben Haskett
I don't really read comics, but a quick Google search confirmed that in the Batman comics, Penguin and Joker have been known to team up from time to time. In one instance, they escaped from an asylum or prison or something together, only for Joker to, later, intentionally sabotage the plan of taking Commissioner Gordon hostage. This resulted in a standoff that threw the whole plan into chaos and left Penguin passed out on the floor.

If you can imagine Penguin later writing a memoir about that fi
Jun 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If the controversial administration of a one of the most influential countries in the world is trying to make this book disappear, it is going to be a book that I want to support with my $.
Manuel Antão
Sep 05, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Johnny-Come-Lately : "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir" by John R. Bolton

Trump's support base - like those in Bethel - are violent old men and women who can't cope with change. They grew old knowing that they could be boss without any effort other than getting fat and owning guns. They've taught their kids the same racist tropes that have given them a sense of superiority. Now it's all falling to pieces and they think t
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John Bolton was named National Security Adviser by Donald Trump. He was appointed by President George W. Bush as United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 2005, and served until his appointment expired in December 2006. He was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for playing a major role in exposing Iran's secret plans to develop nuclear weapons. An attorney who has spent ...more

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