In the Before Times, when we’d all walk around bookstores putting our dangerously diseased digits on various tomes without a care in the world, did you notice a recurring phenomenon? It’s been the case for the past few years that the nonfiction sections of any major bookstore are filled with a glut of “Trump era” books – either memoirs from officials, books attempting to psychologize the man himself, or vaguely rant-y polemics that are big on rhetoric but light on substance. What if, hypothetically, you wanted to torture yourself by entering a purgatory-like state in which you read around 150 of those things? That’s what Carlos Lozada – book critic for the Washington Post – did so that you don’t have to.
Today, Jonah speaks with Lozada about how he was able to synthesize the “Trump canon” into a set of identifiable narratives about this moment in American politics, eventually resulting in his own new book, What Were We Thinking: A Brief Intellectual History of the Trump Era.