In this feature of the Washington Watch, WW will primarily recommend books you may find interesting but may also now and then mention a TV program or other things. I welcome your suggestions and your input. What have you been reading or watching that you think WW readers might like?
THIS WILL NOT PASS: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future
by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns
May 3, 2022
The shocking, definitive account of the 2020 election and the first year of the Biden presidency by two New York Times reporters, exposing the deep fissures within both parties as the country approaches a political breaking point.
This is the authoritative account of an eighteen-month crisis in American democracy that will be seared into the country’s political memory for decades to come. With stunning, in-the-room detail, New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns show how both our political parties confronted a series of national traumas, including the coronavirus pandemic, the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and the political brinksmanship of President Biden’s first year in the White House.
From Donald Trump’s assault on the 2020 election and his ongoing campaign of vengeance against his fellow Republicans, to the behind-the-scenes story of Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate and his bitter struggles to unite the Democratic Party, this book exposes the degree to which the two-party system has been strained to the point of disintegration. More than at any time in recent history, the long-established traditions and institutions of American politics are under siege as a set of aging political leaders struggle to hold together a changing country.
Martin and Burns break news on most every page, drawing on hundreds of interviews and never-before-seen documents and recordings from the highest levels of government. The book asks the vitally important (and disturbing) question: can American democracy, as we know it, ever work again?
The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor—the Truth and the Turmoil
by Tina Brown
April 26, 2022
“Never again” became Queen Elizabeth II’s mantra shortly after Princess Diana’s tragic death. More specifically, there could never be “another Diana”—a member of the family whose global popularity upstaged, outshone, and posed an existential threat to the British monarchy.
Picking up where Tina Brown’s masterful The Diana Chronicles left off, The Palace Papers reveals how the royal family reinvented itself after the traumatic years when Diana’s blazing celebrity ripped through the House of Windsor like a comet.
Brown takes readers on a tour de force journey through the scandals, love affairs, power plays, and betrayals that have buffeted the monarchy over the last twenty-five years. We see the Queen’s stoic resolve after the passing of Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother, and Prince Philip, her partner for seven decades, and how she triumphs in her Jubilee years even as family troubles rage around her. Brown explores Prince Charles’s determination to make Camilla Parker Bowles his wife, the tension between William and Harry on “different paths,” the ascend-ance of Kate Middleton, the downfall of Prince Andrew, and Harry and Meghan’s stunning decision to step back as senior royals. Despite the fragile monarchy’s best efforts, “never again” seems fast approaching.
Tina Brown has been observing and chronicling the British monarchy for three decades, and her sweeping account is full of powerful revelations, newly reported details, and searing insight gleaned from remarkable access to royal insiders. Stylish, witty, and erudite, The Palace Papers will irrevocably change how the world perceives and understands the royal family.
I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared
Seth Meyers – Author
Rob Sayegh – Illustrator
March 15, 2022
When you’re a bear who is easily scared, it’s hard to have friends. Fortunately, Bear has one: Rabbit, who is very brave. One day, Rabbit urges Bear to face his fears and embark on an adventure together. However, things don’t entirely go as planned, and the two friends learn the true meaning of bravery.
Equal parts hilarious and touching, this funny tale of adventure, bravery, and daring rescue will both inspire the adventurous spirit in all of us and make us laugh along the way. With the unfailingly witty voice of one of America’s favorite comedians, Seth Meyers’s debut picture book is bound for hilarity history.