The year 2018 was a big one for political nonfiction — including exposés from prominent journalists and tell-alls from former administration officials.
Many topped The New York Times’ nonfiction bestseller list.
It was an unusual year, partly because so many people leaving the White House early in the Trump administration already have written books. But the tone of these books also contributes: While there have been related books written during other presidencies, they generally focus on the lead-up to the White House — not the current state inside.
Wolff’s Fire And Fury set the tone early in the year for a slew of former staffer tell-alls, such as Unhinged.
Meanwhile, James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty made some shocking, early comparisons with the mafia families he had prosecuted previously in his career. Comey hoped his book would change people’s minds about what President Trump was up to — but his book was politicized from the start. It became ammunition for all sides.
There were a string of books on authoritarianism this year, too. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright published Fascism: A Warning, which focuses its sights on Eastern Europe, North Korea, Turkey and Russia. And How Democracies Die by Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt suggests America’s democracy also is in danger.
The year 2019 promises to bring more excitement in the political nonfiction world, with tell-alls by former Trump staffer Cliff Sims, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — as well as a memoir by Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. — all on track to enter a crowded field of nonfiction before spring.