Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency

Devil's Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency

by Joshua Green


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The instant #1 New York Times bestseller.

From the reporter who was there at the very beginning comes the revealing inside story of the partnership between Steve Bannon and Donald Trump—the key to understanding the rise of the alt-right, the fall of Hillary Clinton, and the hidden forces that drove the greatest upset in American political history.

Based on dozens of interviews conducted over six years, Green spins the master narrative of the 2016 campaign from its origins in the far fringes of right-wing politics and reality television to its culmination inside Trump’s penthouse on election night.

The shocking elevation of Bannon to head Trump’s flagging presidential campaign on August 17, 2016, hit political Washington like a thunderclap and seemed to signal the meltdown of the Republican Party. Bannon was a bomb-throwing pugilist who’d never run a campaign and was despised by Democrats and Republicans alike. 

Yet Bannon’s hard-edged ethno-nationalism and his elaborate, years-long plot to destroy Hillary Clinton paved the way for Trump’s unlikely victory. Trump became the avatar of a dark but powerful worldview that dominated the airwaves and spoke to voters whom others couldn’t see. Trump’s campaign was the final phase of a populist insurgency that had been building up in America for years, and Bannon, its inscrutable mastermind, believed it was the culmination of a hard-right global uprising that would change the world.

Any study of Trump’s rise to the presidency is unavoidably a study of Bannon. Devil’s Bargain is a tour-de-force telling of the remarkable confluence of circumstances that decided the election, many of them orchestrated by Bannon and his allies, who really did plot a vast, right-wing conspiracy to stop Clinton. To understand Trump's extraordinary rise and Clinton’s fall, you have to weave Trump’s story together with Bannon’s, or else it doesn't make sense.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780735225022
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/18/2017
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 510,841
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Joshua Green is a national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek and a CNN political analyst. Previously, Green was a senior editor of the Atlantic, a weekly political columnist for the Boston Globe, and an editor at the Washington Monthly. He has also written for the New Yorker, Esquire, Vanity Fair, and other publications. Green regularly appears on CNN’s shows, HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher, and PBS’s Washington Week and Frontline.

Read an Excerpt

F***ing unbelievable, Steve Bannon thought, shaking his head in disgust as the “Breaking News” alert raced across the television screens in the Trump Tower war room. It was 7:22 p.m. on Election Night, the polls hadn’t even closed, and yet here was CNN’s Jim Acosta breathlessly touting a damning quote he’d pried out of an anonymous senior Trump adviser: “It will take a miracle for us to win.”

Excerpted from "Devil's Bargain"
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Copyright © 2017 Joshua Green.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 "It Will Take a Miracle" 1

2 "Where's My Steve?" 23

3 Bildungsroman 49

4 "A Dangerous Way to Look at the World" 67

5 Nobody Builds Walls Like Trump 93

6 The Alt-Kochs 119

7 A Rolling Tumbleweed of Wounded Male Id and Aggression 137

8 "The Traffic Is Absolutely Filthy!" 161

9 "Honest Populism" 179

10 Burn Everything Down 199

11 "The FBI Has Learned of the Existence …" 225

Afterword: Kali Yuga 237

Acknowledgments 243

Notes 249

Index 265

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