Review of It's Even Worse Than You Think

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

It's Even Worse Than You Think book summary


8 Overall

9 Importance

8 Innovation

8 Style


Prominent journalist David Cay Johnston is no fan of President Donald Trump, and in this study, the Pulitzer Prize winner levies a variety of harsh criticisms against the unconventional occupant of the Oval Office. Johnston asserts that Trump profits from his position by charging the Secret Service full price to stay at the president’s properties, staffs his administration with unqualified appointees and has forsaken the working-class voters and veterans he vowed he would champion. Johnston also alleges that Trump has committed income tax fraud. As a reporter, Johnston is known for scoring big scoops, such as securing part of a tax return filed by Trump, who has flouted convention by refusing to release tax documents. Johnston covers important territory, although his strident tone is unlikely to win converts. Trump haters will love this work, but Trump’s supporters will wave off Johnston’s work as fake news from a big-government liberal, and note that Johnston is far likelier to appear as a guest on lefty MSNBC than on the conservative Fox News.

About the Author

David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author. His previous books include The Making of Donald Trump, Divided and Perfectly Legal.


Johnston argues that Trump is possessed of “a sad need for attention and, preferably, public adoration.” All presidents are narcissistic to some degree, of course, but Johnston insists that Trump presents something entirely new – he’s the first White House occupant to place his own fragile ego above any national interest or public priority, Johnston argues. Throughout this book, Johnston focuses on the constant inconsistencies between Trump’s public pronouncements and his actions. And he also routinely reminds readers of the character question – in Johnston’s telling, Trump is a draft-dodging, tax-avoiding miscreant, one who as an unscrupled businessman stiffed banks for billions and ripped off the credulous customers who thought Trump University would teach them to become wealthy like the company’s namesake. Critiquing Trump in unfavorable terms is becoming its own publishing genre, as titles like Fire and Fury and Trumpocracy attest. This work stands out thanks to Johnston’s dogged document dives.

A few of Johnston’s main points:

Comment on this recommendation

More on this topic

Customers who read this also read

More by category