Culture Magazine

Ezra Klein Interviews Elizabeth Drew About Trump

By Bbenzon @bbenzon
This is a superb interview. Well worth listening two, all 73 minutes of it.

Elizabeth Drew is the author of Washington Journal, one of my favorite books about Watergate. Drew covered the story as a reporter for the New Yorker, and the book emerges from the real-time, journalistic diary she kept amidst the chaos. As such, it does something no other Watergate book does: tells the story not as a tidy tale with a clear beginning and inevitable end, but as an experience thick with confusion, rumors, alarm, and half-truths.
Of late, I've heard a lot of people comparing the early days of Donald Trump's administration — with the strange scandals around Russia, the fast resignation of Trump's national Security Advisor, and the mounting pressure for investigation — with Watergate. And so I asked Drew, who is now a writer at the New York Review of Books, to provide some perspective on whether that comparison makes sense, and how to think about the Trump scandals that are unfolding, slowly and haltingly, right now.
Books: -Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America
-Andrew Schlesinger’s The Age of Jackson
Drew emphasizes that, whatever Trump is, it's something we've not seen before, so comparisons with Watergate are of relatively little value. Her sense is that it, whatever it is, can't be sustained for four years. But she's unwilling to speculate about what will bring it to a stop. We've got to let it unfold. Not that we should be passive, but simply that we cannot prejudge how to act and react. It's a new phenomenon.

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