Okay, so I put down my measley $14.99 and paid into Michael Wolff’s retirement fund. Reader, I bought a Kindle edition of ‘Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House’ and started to read it rightaway.
I did the deed on January 5, the book’s publication date, which had been brought forward four days to defy Donald Trump’s menacing threats and also, frankly, to cash in on the current worldwide publicity boost.
As a very wise member of the Twitterati commented, “If the president hadn’t made such a big deal about ‘Fire & Fury’, I wouldn’t have bothered with it. I would’ve thought, ‘Oh. Another book about the POTUS. Whatever.’ Thanks, Mr Trump, for bringing it to everybody’s attention & makin it the #1 selling book in the world. Clever.”
That tweet is spot on.
Had Mr Trump not thrown a fit about Steve Bannon’s comments about his son Don Jr’s “treasonous” behaviour, Michael Wolff’s book would’ve stirred up some attention, sold reasonably well, been discussed on TV shows, radio call-ins and podcasts and that’s it.
But in just a few hours on January 4, Mr Trump singlehandedly propelled the book to #1 on Amazon’s bestseller list.
With Mr Trump’s penchant for profits, I briefly wondered if he had shares (through a front company or a nominee account or some such) in Henry Holt & Co, the 150-year-old publishing house that has struck gold with Wolff’s book.
After all, Henry Holt & Co is a New York firm. Donald Trump is a New York creature. One of Henry Holt’s founders, Frederick Leypoldt, was German-American. So was Fredrick Trump, the 45th US president’s grandfather. Could the two Fredricks have been linked in any way, I wondered, over-excited I’m sure by Wolff’s prose (cocksure, dead sure, readable).
How to explain President Trump’s push to sell ‘Fire and Fury’ “bigly” without getting anything from it?
Enervated by such excitement, I had to take a brief rest and read the news instead. It was a great deal less stirring, I can tell you.