Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency
From the reporter who was there at the very beginning comes the revealing inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump—the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right, the fall of Hillary Clinton, and the hidden forces that drove the greatest upset in American political history.
DEVIL’S BARGAIN: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency (Penguin Press: publication date July 18, 2017) by Joshua Green is based on hundreds of interviews conducted over six years. Green spins the master narrative of the 2016 campaign from its origins in the far fringes of right-wing politics and reality television to its culmination inside Trump’s penthouse on election night.
The shocking elevation of Bannon to head Trump’s flagging presidential campaign on August 17, 2016, hit political Washington like a thunderclap and seemed to signal the meltdown of the Republican Party. Bannon was a bomb-throwing pugilist who’d never run a campaign and was despised by Democrats and Republicans alike.
Yet Bannon’s hard-edged ethno-nationalism and his elaborate, years-long plot to destroy Hillary Clinton paved the way for Trump’s unlikely victory. Trump became the avatar of a dark but powerful worldview that dominated the airwaves and spoke to voters whom others couldn’t see. Trump’s campaign was the final phase of a populist insurgency that had been building up in America for years, and Bannon, its inscrutable mastermind, believed it was the culmination of a hard-right global uprising that would change the world.
During the course of his campaign reporting for DEVIL’S BARGAIN, Josh Green had access to many of the key players, from Trump himself, to long hours with Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller, Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, Roger Stone, David Bossie and many more. The book is a tour-de-force telling of the remarkable confluence of circumstances that decided the election. But to understand Trump’s extraordinary rise—and his recent struggles—you have to go all the way back and begin with Steve Bannon, otherwise it simply doesn’t make sense.