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Summary

The Sunday Times top 10 best seller

The New York Times number one best seller

The storming of the Capitol on 6 January 2021 revealed the transition from President Trump to President Biden to be one of the most dangerous periods in American history, with the result of the election called into question by the sitting president.

But, as internationally best-selling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. At the highest level of the US military, secret action was taken to prevent Trump from possibly starting a war.

Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the centre of the turmoil, resulting in a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink. They take listeners deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened. Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history.

It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency, revealing the background to his controversial decision to leave Afghanistan. He took office faced with the challenges of a lifetime: dealing with the continuing deadly pandemic and its crushing economic impact, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president. ‘We have much to do in this winter of peril,’ Biden declared at his inauguration.

Peril is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another. The culmination of Bob Woodward’s best-selling trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with Fear and Rage, it is an essential book for anyone wanting to understand this tumultuous period.

©2021 Bob Woodward and Robert Costa (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, UK

What listeners say about Peril

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Not worth it

I am. It a Trump nor Biden supporter. In this book it is very one sided, Biden amazing throughout. The book is not really about what it says it is. Failed to get much from it at all.

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Dull polemic

Trump is the baddie. Biden is the goodie. That's all there is to it.

9 people found this helpful

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Lost it's way by Chapter 65

Struggled to finish the book. By the last 2 hours the whole pacing and dynamic of the writing had been lost. I think tbis was because the writers had lost the reporters objectivitity and didn't want to admit that their side made mistakes too. If you want an example of how partisan American life has become then I think this book is an example. Not so much in content although that is alarming in itself but also in style.

5 people found this helpful

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Entertaining but not as thorough as usual

I thoroughly enjoyed the first two Woodward books on Trump. This book returns to some of the themes included there - for example unelected officials seeking to thwart the will of the elected President. In the first book it was Gary Cohn ducking and diving to avoid withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this, the equivalent is General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs. His conversation with Nancy Pelosi are the big revelation, at least for those of us outside the USA.

Beyond the role of the military - and no one does a character study the way Woodward does - the events of 6th January have been covered repeatedly in many other books and there’s little new that this study adds. The way Trump treats his subordinates, the way he demeans, insults, seeks to bully, praise and wheedle all as methods of control, are very firmly on record.

After January 20th the book turns to the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (the coverage here could have been taken wholesale from the New Yorker; conservative Democrats from West Virginia are conservative, Republicans are prepared to hold the government hostage, shocker) and the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The latter was looked at superficially, in my view. It relives media coverage and comments made publicly at the time, with only sporadic insights into the private conversations of President Biden and the other key players - which is something Woodward usually excels at.

I enjoyed it, for sure, but Woodward has done much, much better work.

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As if you were there

This narrative has an amazing fly-on-the wall character, you are really there with all the different personalities including their typical expletives!
The best book on Trump, Biden and the transition and a serious warning for the future.

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Poor performance.

The reader’s style is really very annoying. Intonation is all wrong. It’s been the same across all 3 titles.

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Superb

Excellent book. Could not leave it down. American system seems to be designed for another era.




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Very interesting and scary at times

The opening was very frightening if not entirely unexpected. I expected a little more in the way of story regarding Trump, as he’s the one who put the whole world at risk. Still an enjoyable listen.

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insightful

very interesting look at events and inner workings of USA politics. Not usually reported in mainstream media.

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A little to late….

I am disappointed that so many of the details weren’t made public if not for the royalties this great book will generate but, st the same time, even these great journalists put there interests above their country.
This man could and should have been stopped earlier and he still continues with his BS because of delayed action of letting the people know the truth at all instances.
Excellent book though!

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 26-04-22

"It's the court of public opinion that matters."

More in depth investigative journalism from Bob Woodward of Watergate fame, this time revealing the insiders story of the year leading up to the US election in which Biden defeated the Bush attempt at a second term of office and the immediate aftermath. From the copious quantity of news coverage, I had thought I knew it all. I was wrong. This fascinating account of behind the scenes shenanigans is, at times, quite terrifying in it's implications.

Well written and expertly read by narrator, Robert Petkoff, this is one to read for anyone with an interest in the politics of rule and survival, of the power of social media, lies and bullying, and the terrors of what could happen if a psychopathic personality rules one of the most powerful nations in the world. Definitely recommended.