The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir Audiobook, by John Bolton Play Audiobook Sample

The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir Audiobook

The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir Audiobook, by John Bolton Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: John Bolton, Robert Petkoff Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 14.33 hours at 1.5x Speed 10.75 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: June 2020 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781797112404

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

83:48 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

01:01 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

51:51 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Other Audiobooks Written by John Bolton: > View All...

Publisher Description


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 Bolton has produced a precise rendering of his days in and around the Oval Office. What Bolton saw astonished him: a President for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation. “I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by reelection calculations,” he writes. In fact, he argues that the House committed impeachment malpractice by keeping their prosecution focused narrowly on Ukraine when Trump’s Ukraine-like transgressions existed across the full range of his foreign policy—and Bolton documents exactly what those were, and attempts by him and others in the Administration to raise alarms about them.

He shows a President addicted to chaos, who embraced our enemies and spurned our friends, and was deeply suspicious of his own government. In Bolton’s telling, all this helped put Trump on the bizarre road to impeachment. “The differences between this presidency and previous ones I had served were stunning,” writes Bolton, who worked for Reagan, Bush 41, and Bush 43. He discovered a President who thought foreign policy is like closing a real estate deal—about personal relationships, made-for-TV showmanship, and advancing his own interests. As a result, the US lost an opportunity to confront its deepening threats, and in cases like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea ended up in a more vulnerable place.

Bolton’s account starts with his long march to the West Wing as Trump and others woo him for the National Security job. The minute he lands, he has to deal with Syria’s chemical attack on the city of Douma, and the crises after that never stop. As he writes in the opening pages, “If you don’t like turmoil, uncertainty, and risk—all the while being constantly overwhelmed with information, decisions to be made, and sheer amount of work—and enlivened by international and domestic personality and ego conflicts beyond description, try something else.”

The turmoil, conflicts, and egos are all there—from the upheaval in Venezuela, to the erratic and manipulative moves of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, to the showdowns at the G7 summits, the calculated warmongering by Iran, the crazy plan to bring the Taliban to Camp David, and the placating of an authoritarian China that ultimately exposed the world to its lethal lies. But this seasoned public servant also has a great eye for the Washington inside game, and his story is full of wit and wry humor about how he saw it played.

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"Good read shows how one person tries to control everything, he is a total failure. You don’t like it therefore I will destroy you, He should be removed at all cost. I could go on but you already heard the stories. Cheers"

— Steve (5 out of 5 stars)


  • “A scathing and revelatory account…indispensable, jaw-dropping, and specific.”

    — New Yorker
  • “A book full of damning details.”

    — The Economist (London)
  • “A knockout punch.”

    — Washington Post
  • “The latest tell-all—or, at any rate, tell-some—indictment of a dysfunctional presidency…More confirmation of malfeasance than fresh news, but the message is clear: voter beware.”

    — Kirkus Reviews
  • “Lacerating…Bolton harps on his foreign policy pet peeves…[and] on Trump’s vindictiveness, erraticism, and habit of forming competitive ‘bromances’ with authoritarian leaders.”

    — Publishers Weekly
  • “There aren’t a lot of surprises in former National Security Advisor John Bolton’s book, at least as far as headline stories go…Still, it’s enlightening to read about these shocking decisions with voice-over commentary from an eyewitness. In addition, though, there are a few depressing surprises: President Trump taking advantage of the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi to divert attention from Ivanka’s use of a personal email server (Hello, Hillary!), and his giving support to Chinese leader Xi Jinping to build concentration camps for the minority Muslim Uighurs.”

    — Booklist


  • A #1 bestseller in Books
  • #1 New York Times bestseller
  • New York Times Bestseller in Audio
  • An iBooks bestseller in Audiobooks

The Room Where It Happened Listener Reviews

Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 (3.00)
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Narration: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 (4.00)
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Story: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 (3.00)
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3 Stars: 1
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  • Overall Performance: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Narration Rating: 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Story Rating: 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5

    — none, 1/10/2021

About John Bolton

John Bolton is the former National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump. He served as the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2005 to 2006. He has spent many years of his career in public service and held high-level positions in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. He is also an attorney and was in private practice in Washington, DC, from 1974 to 2018, except when he was in government service. He was born in Baltimore in 1948, graduated with a BA, summa cum laude, from Yale College, and received his JD from Yale Law School.

About Robert Petkoff

Robert Petkoff is an actor and audiobook narrator who has won a prestigious Audie Award and multiple AudioFile Earphones Awards. He has appeared on Chappelle’s Show, Law & Order, and Quantum Leap. His Broadway credits include Sir Robin in Spamalot, Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof, and Tateh in Ragtime.