There's nothing shocking about Bob Woodward's new book

In a few months, Rage will be inexorably forgotten

Bob Woodward.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Getty Images, iStock)

The fact Bob Woodward has written another book about the current occupant of the White House should be greeted with roughly the level of enthusiasm reserved for such annual or semi-annual non-events as the Biennial Conference of the American Hippotherapy Association or the Pro Bowl. I would be tempted to suggest that the latest affectless, indifferently written Woodward volume is a matter of at most seasonal interest, like the early September appearance of Halloween candy in supermarkets, except that unlike the former, Rage is unlikely to bring pleasure to any living American.

This is true with two exceptions. The first is the only class of persons likely to be aware of the book's existence, namely Woodward's fellow journalists and the rapidly aging subset of upper-middle-class white liberals who will purchase and perhaps even read parts of it. In these circles Rage will be feverishly and uncritically discussed and tweeted out in snippets — all five or so pages of a total 480 capable of arousing even minimal if still largely feigned enthusiasm — until it is promptly and inexorably forgotten. (Who now can remember a single thing "reported" in the vast shelf of books he wrote about the administrations of Bill Clinton, the two Bushes, and Barack Obama?) The second is Woodward himself, who can somehow never get over his luck at finding a vindictive FBI agent passed over for promotion willing to give him the time of day. Verily I say, he has his reward.

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Matthew Walther

Matthew Walther is a national correspondent at The Week. His work has also appeared in First Things, The Spectator of London, The Catholic Herald, National Review, and other publications. He is currently writing a biography of the Rev. Montague Summers. He is also a Robert Novak Journalism Fellow.