Download Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trump's War on the World's Most Powerful Office Audiobook

Unmaking the Presidency: Donald Trumps War on the Worlds Most Powerful Office Audiobook, by Benjamin Wittes Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennessey Narrator: Benjamin Wittes, Susan Hennessey Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2020 ISBN: 9781250261731
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This program is read by the authors.

The definitive account of how Donald Trump has wielded the powers of the American presidency.

The extraordinary authority of the U.S. presidency has no parallel in the democratic world. Today that authority resides in the hands of one man, Donald J. Trump. But rarely if ever has the nature of a president clashed more profoundly with the nature of the office. Unmaking the Presidency tells the story of the confrontation between a person and the institution he almost wholly embodies.

From the moment of his inauguration, Trump has challenged our deepest expectations of the presidency. But what are those expectations, where did they come from, and how great is the damage? As editors of the “invaluable” (The New York Times) Lawfare website, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes have attracted a large audience to their hard-hitting and highly informed commentary on the controversies surrounding the Trump administration. In this audiobook, they situate Trump-era scandals and outrages in the deeper context of the presidency itself. How should we understand the oath of office when it is taken by a man who may not know what it means to preserve, protect, and defend something other than himself? What aspects of Trump are radically different from past presidents and what aspects have historical antecedents? When has he simply built on his predecessors’ misdeeds, and when has he invented categories of misrule entirely his own?

By setting Trump in the light of history, Hennessey and Wittes provide a crucial and durable account of a presidency like no other.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The authors effectively tap a wealth of material, including administration leaks, comments from ex-staffers, and Trump’s own words…As the authors consistently demonstrate, his view of justice is to reward friends and punish enemies…An incisive, frightening picture of a toxic environment in which ‘the presidency…needs a champion.’"

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “For the millions of Americans who feel the very idea of a traditional presidency slipping from their grasp, you are not wrong—and this incisive and insightful book explains the why, the how, and, of course, the who.”


  • “Part catalogue of current events, part historical study…The book’s wealth of factoids and keen insights into Trump’s character provide much food for thought…Thorough, lucidly written.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Hennessey and Wittes assess the Trump presidency as it compares with previous administrations and relates to the writings of founding fathers, such as Alexander Hamilton…This book was completed before the impeachment probe in October 2019 so parts feel outdated. However, serious political readers and presidential studies scholars will derive much from this cogent appraisal.”

    Library Journal

  • A Kirkus Reviews Pick of the Month

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About the Author

Benjamin Wittes is a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Together with Gabriella Blum he directs the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security. He lives in Washington, DC.

About the Narrator

Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes are executive editor and editor in chief of Lawfare. Hennessey is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and CNN contributor; she was previously an attorney at the National Security Agency. Wittes is senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of Law and the Long War and The Future of Violence, among other books.