Sales of political books hit a record high in 2020, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Unsurprisingly, books about President Trump are driving the trend.
“2020 is on track to be the biggest year for political books since we began tracking U.S. book sales in 2004,” Kristen McLean, executive director of business development at NPD BookScan, told the Journal. With the election approaching, and the first volume of President Obama’s presidential memoirs landing next month, that trend is going nowhere but up.
Leading the pack is Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, the memoir by the president’s niece that is the top bestseller of the year on Amazon. Well-reviewed around the globe, it earned a star from our reviewer, who found it “[d]ripping with snideness, vibrating with rage, and gleaming with clarity—a deeply satisfying read.”
Following it at No. 5 on the Amazon list is The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir by former national security adviser John Bolton. According to the Kirkus review, Bolton revealed a president who is “whiny, self-absorbed, unprepared, and spectacularly ill-informed at every turn—hardly breaking news.”
Bob Woodward’s Rage, published less than a month ago, is at No. 13 on the list. It made headlines with the revelation that the president knew the full dangers of Covid-19 in February, as well as the surprising fact that Trump himself gave the reporter this information. Despite participating in 17 interviews, Trump suspected this would be “a lousy book.” Our reviewer concluded otherwise, awarding it a Kirkus star.
Simon and Schuster published all three of the above titles, as well as Sean Hannity’s more flattering look at the president, Live Free or Die, which has spent nine weeks on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction list since it was released in August.
Jonathan Karp, chief executive of Simon and Schuster, hopefully predicted, “People are going to be reckoning with the legacy and the meaning of Donald Trump for a very long time.”
Marion Winik is a regular Kirkus reviewer and author of The Big Book of the Dead.