NPJ Book Review: The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy by Greg Miller


The Apprentice: Trump, Russia and the Subversion of American Democracy by Greg Miller (2018)

My read: This is an autopsy – the brain, heart and soul of a democracy is on the examining table. I thought I knew in part what the “guts” and the “spirit” looked like during the 2016 election… BUT…Miller has caused me to rethink what I am seeing and reading about. This book looks familiar. It’s deeper than its looks, written in layperson’s terms so the general reader gets a glimpse of what’s inside.

Miller, a Pulitzer prize-winning author offers remarkable insights – the ties between Trump and Putin and Russia’s role in the 2016 election and the political machination of politicians, e.g., Senator Mitch O’Connell, etc. (Does the Senate still exist…my question?) And, the implications on nominees to the Supreme Court come into focus. The downstream effect on justice in this country is yet to be fully comprehended. This book causes one to reflect.

Trump’s promises were purposefully vague and a deliberate distortion of the reality and the truth as he saw an opportunity to deepen the political chasms along with his desire to divide and conquer the unwitting and those who felt increasingly disenfranchised. He understood people’s anger with established institutions and he capitalizes on it leaving the masses behind while gorging himself on his personal wealth. The masses continue to turn their cheeks. The president tapped into the darkest of desires and concerns. And Trump understands and appreciates the use of fear, lying, intimidation and bullying tactics.

The  spear-phishing/hacking by Russia  (Trump: “Russia are you listening?) on a naive Democratic party, Hillary Clinton, the political hesitancy of President Obama, the role of Putin and the “children” of Trump – motivated for greater personal wealth and the President’s personal debt to Russia along with the symptomatic Christopher Steele’ dossier are just a few examples with each page offering  a specific or detail carefully researched by the author.

Much of the information in this work is discussed in a variety of magazines, investigative reports, newspapers both here and abroad and watching the news on TV or a computer or other digital technology, etc.  The author organizes the information / knowledge and offers the reader an analytical look into the diseased body of democracy. The cure?

This work is disturbing, thoughtful, well-written/researched and accessible.