In what Simon & Schuster president Jonathan Karp called “a cultural phenomenon,” journalist Bob Woodward’s Fear, an inside look at the White House from the reporter’s perspective, sold 750,000 copies on its first day of release, breaking the New York-based publisher’s record for pre-orders (CNN).
The tell-all book, which relies heavily on interviews from unnamed sources, was released on September 11.
“Simon & Schuster … ordered a ninth printing of the book on the same day it was released, sending the total number of hardcover copies in print surging past 1.15 million,” reported CNBC.
Related on WikiTribune: Q&A: Michael Wolff stands by ‘writerly’ take on Trump’s ‘irregular’ White House
Barnes & Noble said “Fear” has the “fastest sales for an adult title since Harper Lee’s ‘Go Set a Watchman’ was released in July 2015,” according to CNN.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly criticized the book as “fiction.” (Bloomberg)
Among other sensational claims, widely reported last week in U.S. news media, “Fear” asserts that Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, called his boss an “idiot,” and says Defense Secretary James Mattis said Trump had the intelligence “of a fifth- or sixth-grader.”
Both Kelly and Mattis have denied the claims (USA Today). White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said (CNBC) in a statement: “This book is nothing more than fabricated stories, many by former disgruntled employees, told to make the president look bad.”
More reporting on books about President Trump
• How does Bob Woodward’s book compare with Michael Wolff’s 2018 White House expose Fire and Fury?
• How credible are most of the claims in Fear?
• How have other presidents and White Houses dealt with “tell-all” books about their administrations?