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Reviews for This Will Not Pass

by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Newsworthy look at the last months of the Trump White House and the first of the Biden administration.Early in the pages of this hard-hitting account by New York Times reporters Martin and Burns, the Democratic chair of the House Armed Services Committee voices doubt that Donald Trump was interested in or even capable of mounting a coup, adding, my perception is, he is a fucking moron. The events of Jan. 6, 2021, told a different story. Trump had never even bothered to pretend that he governed for all Americans, instead cultivating a reactionary, rural, White base and an ethos within the White House that followed the logic of a protection racket, more or less. That Joe Biden won while Republicans gained seats in Congress speaks to the ineptitude of Trump and company. Still, as the authors observe, Biden has had difficulty shaping a coherent message, some of it perhaps caused by his initial uncertainty about whether his running mate was right for the job. During the primary, write the authors, Biden privately and repeatedly shared versions of a common observation about [Kamala] Harris: She doesnt seem to know who she wants to be. Martin and Burns deliver plenty of news, such as Lindsey Grahams demand that Trump call off the Capitol rioters or face the invocation of the 25th Amendment. The authors also offer nuanced portraits of some of the key players in this saga: Mitch McConnell, ever exercising a political calculus by which he could deem Trump a despicable human being yet twice vote against impeaching him; Kevin McCarthy, so hungry for power that he allowed that Trump bore responsibility for the coup attempt yet rushed to declare fealty to the boss; Lisa Murkowski, who expressed wonder that so many Americans believe the 2020 election was stolen and questions that calculus of McConnells, saying of the impeachment vote, I wish that it had been different.Red meat for politics watchers, unsparing in its depiction of a time of torment. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

New York Times reporters Martin and Burns debut with an impressively sourced and consistently revealing chronicle of America’s “political emergency” in the months between the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and the start of President Biden’s second year in office. To an unusual degree for books covering similar subject matter, the authors get lawmakers, congressional staffers, and campaign operatives from both parties on the record. What emerges is a clear-eyed and often dramatic portrait of two major political parties animated as much by internal divisions as by cross-aisle discord. During the January 6 Capitol insurrection, the authors reveal, the loudest voice demanding President Trump’s impeachment was Republican congresswoman Liz Cheney; meanwhile, her Senate colleague Ted Cruz was rallying other hard-liners to continue opposing certification of the 2020 election, despite the day’s violence. On the Democratic side, the authors spotlight how the tenuous détente between progressives and centrists that helped bring Biden to the White House broke down almost as soon as he took office, dooming his Build Back Better bill and complicating his dynamic with Vice President Kamala Harris. Revelations abound—of Kevin McCarthy’s initial plan to call on Trump to resign after the Capitol riot; of Republican efforts to lure Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema into switching parties—as do sharp character sketches. Politics junkies should consider this required reading. (May)


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Newsworthy look at the last months of the Trump White House and the first of the Biden administration. Early in the pages of this hard-hitting account by New York Times reporters Martin and Burns, the Democratic chair of the House Armed Services Committee voices doubt that Donald Trump was interested in or even capable of mounting a coup, adding, “my perception is, he is a fucking moron.” The events of Jan. 6, 2021, told a different story. Trump had never even bothered to pretend that he governed for all Americans, instead cultivating a reactionary, rural, White base and an ethos within the White House that followed “the logic of a protection racket, more or less.” That Joe Biden won while Republicans gained seats in Congress speaks to the ineptitude of Trump and company. Still, as the authors observe, Biden has had difficulty shaping a coherent message, some of it perhaps caused by his initial uncertainty about whether his running mate was right for the job. “During the primary,” write the authors, “Biden privately and repeatedly shared versions of a common observation about [Kamala] Harris: She doesn’t seem to know who she wants to be.” Martin and Burns deliver plenty of news, such as Lindsey Graham’s demand that Trump call off the Capitol rioters or face the invocation of the 25th Amendment. The authors also offer nuanced portraits of some of the key players in this saga: Mitch McConnell, ever exercising a political calculus by which he could deem Trump a “despicable human being” yet twice vote against impeaching him; Kevin McCarthy, so hungry for power that he allowed that Trump bore responsibility for the coup attempt yet rushed to declare fealty to the boss; Lisa Murkowski, who expressed wonder that so many Americans believe the 2020 election was stolen and questions that calculus of McConnell’s, saying of the impeachment vote, “I wish that it had been different.” Red meat for politics watchers, unsparing in its depiction of a time of torment. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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