The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America

The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America

The inside story of the battle to control Congress and the unsparing fight for advantage in the 2018 midterm elections With control of both the House and Senate up for grabs in 2018 and the direction of the nation resting on the outcome, never has a more savage, unrelenting fight been waged in the raptor cage that is the U.S. congress. From the torrid struggle between the...

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Title:The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America
Author:Jake Sherman
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The Hill to Die On: The Battle for Congress and the Future of Trump's America Reviews

  • Jim Mullin

    If there had ever been a doubt in my mind about Congressional term limits this book confirms the necessity. The book covers the activities in the House of Representatives from 2016 through 2018. The authors relate a fascinating tale of the twists and turns of the new majority Republicans attempting to interface with President Trump along with pushing their legislation though the now minority Democratic party. For me it was a page turner, a hard to put down, and very well written

    account of accept

    If there had ever been a doubt in my mind about Congressional term limits this book confirms the necessity. The book covers the activities in the House of Representatives from 2016 through 2018. The authors relate a fascinating tale of the twists and turns of the new majority Republicans attempting to interface with President Trump along with pushing their legislation though the now minority Democratic party. For me it was a page turner, a hard to put down, and very well written

    account of accepted indolence, corruption, selfishness and complete disregard of their electorates bidding's except for a very few in both parties. I asked myself why do we continue to vote these nimrods into office and almost never hold them accountable year after year?

  • Rebecca

    Overall Rating: 9.5/10 (5/5 stars)

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Wow; this book is absolutely incredible. As I venture into adulthood, I’m finding nonfiction more and more interesting rather than just slugging through each book for school. This book is right up my alley too, having worked at the DNC in the fall of 2018. I love the nitty-gritty of politics, and that is exactly what this book gave me. For anyone who watches the news and wonders what things are real

    Overall Rating: 9.5/10 (5/5 stars)

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    Wow; this book is absolutely incredible. As I venture into adulthood, I’m finding nonfiction more and more interesting rather than just slugging through each book for school. This book is right up my alley too, having worked at the DNC in the fall of 2018. I love the nitty-gritty of politics, and that is exactly what this book gave me. For anyone who watches the news and wonders what things are really like in Congress behind the scenes, this book is for them. Regardless of one’s background in politics, The Hill to Die On provides new learning experiences and frankly a thrilling read. I enjoyed every chapter of this book and am very impressed with the flow and readability of a book that covers such a confusing time period.

    What I particularly loved about this book is that it has the potential to appeal to a wide variety of audiences. I always either have two struggles reading political books. The first is that it is too pandering to those who know nothing about politics, and therefore it is slightly boring for me to read, and at best I am left with wanting to learn so much more. The second is that it is way too complicated and boring for even myself, let alone just an average voter, and I am left wishing for the book to end. I did not face either of these struggles while reading this book. There is enough explanation and backstory for a casual citizen to really enjoy reading it, and enough terminology in there for me and others who have worked in the political field to dig a little deeper into a hole with which we are already familiar. I recommended this book to my family, who only got involved in politics when I did, because the readability is quite remarkable. I guarantee you that anyone reading this post could pick up this book and find something unexpected, an explanation for something they never understood, and a deeper understanding of something they remember from the 2018 election cycle. Palmer and Sherman prove themselves to be excellent storytellers.

    Another thing that fascinated me about this book is just how engrossed I was in the story. I almost wrote plot there, because it almost feels like something an author would make up. It reads like an engrossing political thriller. This is certainly partially because the political situation is quite ridiculous, but it also shows the talents of Sherman and Palmer. The pacing is fantastic in this work, with time taken to address high profile issues and things that never make it to the press alike. My one complaint about The Hill to Die On is that sometimes the focus is unclear, and the “cast of characters” can be overwhelming. However, the book does a good job at the end of making sure readers know where each of the main individuals Palmer and Sherman focus on end up. Where politics has no beginning and end, Palmer and Sherman chose a definitive beginning and end in order to create one cohesive narrative, making the read even more enjoyable.

    Overall: If you hate political books, this is the book for you. If you love political books, this is also the book for you. That seems to be impossible, but the talents of Palmer and Sherman create a completely readable and flowing narrative that allows each reader, regardless of political affiliation or background, to immerse themselves into the story of an historic election.

  • Kinksrock

    This book is a view of the first two years of Trump's term (first term, and I'm hoping only term) from the perspective of Congress. It is at times gripping, at other times fun, and at other times frustrating. I was most frustrated when reading about the times that congressmen from both sides wanted to work together but were prevented from doing so by the leadership.

    One criticism: There are so many congressmen and congresswoman -- obviously not as many senators but still a lot -- that it often be

    This book is a view of the first two years of Trump's term (first term, and I'm hoping only term) from the perspective of Congress. It is at times gripping, at other times fun, and at other times frustrating. I was most frustrated when reading about the times that congressmen from both sides wanted to work together but were prevented from doing so by the leadership.

    One criticism: There are so many congressmen and congresswoman -- obviously not as many senators but still a lot -- that it often became hard to remember everyone. I had to check the index many times to see when the first mention of someone was to remind myself. This book could have used a glossary of names with short summaries about each people.

  • Bill Manzi

    Another look at the first half of the Trump Administration, but this time from the perspective of Congress. The authors appear to have been granted access to some key Congressional leaders from both parties, leveraging that access to produce a work that will likely confirm some of the worst public perceptions of the Congress.

    The book is not Trump dominated, but most certainly shows how the interactions with the President are handled by Congress, and how Trump (and staff) himself managed the Con

    Another look at the first half of the Trump Administration, but this time from the perspective of Congress. The authors appear to have been granted access to some key Congressional leaders from both parties, leveraging that access to produce a work that will likely confirm some of the worst public perceptions of the Congress.

    The book is not Trump dominated, but most certainly shows how the interactions with the President are handled by Congress, and how Trump (and staff) himself managed the Congressional process. It is not a pretty picture for any of the players involved, even when some measure of success is achieved. The book extends beyond Trump, allowing us to see how the GOP leadership race played out after Speaker Paul Ryan announced his retirement, giving us a close view of the attempt by Steve Scalise to find a way to bump off Kevin McCarthy. Nancy Pelosi fighting off the insurgent effort to replace her as the Democratic leader is covered, and she comes off as a master, while the insurgents do not look so good. The battle for control of Congress, won by the Pelosi led Democrats, is covered extensively. In that coverage we get a good look at the Joe Crowley- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Democratic primary, and how Crowley, interested in leadership of the Democratic caucus, never saw the train coming that took him out of Congress. The role of money, and how it is allocated, and its importance in shaping the races, is shown clearly.

    The leadership races, and the battle for control of Congress, is not all that the authors look at. The important legislative battles that brought us the government shutdown, the GOP passed tax bill, Supreme Court nominations, and the rather unique Trump method of dealing with Congress are all covered. Paul Ryan’s exasperation, and frustration, come through clearly on that front. Ryan, as Speaker, had to deal with the dynamic of the GOP Freedom Caucus, which wreaked all sorts of havoc on Ryan and GOP leadership. Trump back dooring the Speaker on multiple occasions by dealing directly with Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows of the Freedom Caucus created all sorts of problems for the GOP leadership. Trump’s fundamental miscalculation, against all GOP advice, on forcing the government shutdown, and then being forced to capitulate to Nancy Pelosi, is covered in some detail. The response to the shutdown, and the out of touch nature of Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, is highlighted. The coverage of Kushner is unflattering, to say the least. Not sure how it could be otherwise, as this guy is a walking train wreck, with little or no self awareness. Here are some of the Kushner gems from the book.

    “It was at this point that Kushner got more involved in trying to solve the shutdown. He seemed to view himself as uniquely qualified to break legislative logjams, although there was scant evidence that that was the case. Kushner had played a central role in passing a bipartisan criminal-justice reform bill, and appeared to relish his work on that front. But, to longtime aides on Capitol Hill, this wasn’t the triumph he seemed to think it was, since Democrats were always yearning to rewrite the nation’s incarceration laws. Just before the shutdown set in, Kushner told Ryan, McCarthy, and Scalise that he wasn’t focused on the immigration standoff because he was “distracted with criminal justice reform.” But now that reform was done, he expected to make short work of it. I’m on it, he told Ryan. I can quickly fix it.”

    Sherman, Jake. The Hill to Die On (p. 389). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

    Of course Kushner solved nothing, but his self importance and self delusion are astounding.

    “When Sen. John McCain visited the White House early in the administration, he was in the midst of telling Trump about military procurement reform, a longtime passion, when Kushner interjected. “Don’t worry, Senator McCain. We’re going to change the way the entire government works,” Kushner said without a hint of irony. “Good luck, son,” McCain responded.”

    Sherman, Jake. The Hill to Die On (p. 48). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

    Kushner was also convinced he could solve the issue of immigration, constantly telling people that a big deal was possible. Never mind not understanding his negotiating partner, Kushner did not even grasp the actual position of his own team. Kushner’s involvement in immigration talks ended like everything he touches ends. With recriminations, bad blood, and of course no deal.

    “Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sessions, which happened over the first weekend of 2019, did not bear much fruit. Participants were struck by how many aides the White House had gathered—more than fifty, by several estimates—which made the sessions un-conducive to deal cutting. Kushner began speaking more regularly in these meetings. In one, he marveled at the fact that it costs the government $750 per day to keep an undocumented child in the United States. They might as well put them up at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, he quipped. He also said he was bringing a businessman’s mind-set to the border talks. The border needed more money because people were trying to cross it more often, he said. He brushed aside concerns about cost, and said the federal government should spend whatever it needs on security. The meetings left Democrats and Republicans alike bewildered. How, they thought, could they come to a deal with a White House that was so scattershot in its thinking? How could the president put his trust in a neophyte like Kushner?”

    Sherman, Jake. The Hill to Die On (pp. 392-393). Crown/Archetype. Kindle Edition.

    I enjoyed the book, and I do recommend it. The authors garbled what a “pocket veto” is, but aside from that minor complaint the book is another look at the first couple of years of the Trump Administration from a different vantage point, and contributes to understanding some of the forces pulling the political system apart. It does not always take new ground, but certainly gives more detail than you will get from reading Politico, where the authors write a daily newsletter.

  • Debra Robert

    It’s a great book if you want to understand Congress, especially in recent years. Since I follow politics closely, some was just a review of everything that went on up to the Government Shutdown.

    I didn’t know about all the perks they get, all the back-dealings, inner works and outright lying to put out a message. Also, how much Trump really doesn’t know and how he frustrates all, especially his allies.

    It’s all very sad and difficult to take. Not sure why I wanted to read it!

  • Chris Sosa

    "The Hill to Die On" is a well-reported and serviceable account of recent congressional history. There's unfortunately little in the way of analytical insight as the authors opt instead for a narrative play-by-play of events with which political watchers are already familiar. But readers who haven't followed the daily reporting closely will enjoy this book.

    (Note: Jake Sherman's narration sounds like it's playing at double-speed. I've never heard a narrator speak so fast. The publisher should adj

    "The Hill to Die On" is a well-reported and serviceable account of recent congressional history. There's unfortunately little in the way of analytical insight as the authors opt instead for a narrative play-by-play of events with which political watchers are already familiar. But readers who haven't followed the daily reporting closely will enjoy this book.

    (Note: Jake Sherman's narration sounds like it's playing at double-speed. I've never heard a narrator speak so fast. The publisher should adjust the audio.)

  • Catherine

    This could easily be four stars; I’ve just read too many current politics books recently. This one takes an inside look at Washington DC by two Politico legislative reporters, rehashing the 2016 presidential primaries and general election, and concluding in early 2019. Parts of it were fun to relive; other parts gave me a little political PTSD. Some interesting insider tidbits, like which congressional representatives sit near each other in chambers.

  • Travis

    The book purports to tell the story of Congress during the Trump Administration. Generally, each chapter tells a different story of a legislative or policy battle that took place, with a few recurring characters in focus, typically House and, to a lesser extent, Senate leadership.

    My hypothesis with this book is that the authors, in the course of their day jobs, got a bunch of "scoops" that either didn't make it into Playbook or were embargoed by sources for a book. They then decided to use the

    The book purports to tell the story of Congress during the Trump Administration. Generally, each chapter tells a different story of a legislative or policy battle that took place, with a few recurring characters in focus, typically House and, to a lesser extent, Senate leadership.

    My hypothesis with this book is that the authors, in the course of their day jobs, got a bunch of "scoops" that either didn't make it into Playbook or were embargoed by sources for a book. They then decided to use the book as a vehicle for the scoops, filling in the narrative around it.

    The problem with this for me was that 90% of the book seemed to just be re-telling what has been in Politico over the past 2 years, with behind-the-scenes details at totally random times, while leaving out all sorts of meaningful details and unanswered questions. So they will start telling a story, then give have a bunch of quotes from one behind-the-scenes meeting (presumably 1 of hundreds), and then give virtually no details or color on other events that were much more important to the story.

    Putting this another way, instead of deciding "here's the story we want to tell, let's go do some reporting and find answers to hard questions to really tell the story"... instead, the book feels like "here are some random tidbits people told us, let's tell a book about them"... and, while some of the tidbits are interesting, they are not quite enough to carry a book.

    For someone with a casual interest in politics who doesn't follow the news on a daily basis, this could be an interesting book. For me, who was working in Congress during the years the book took place and sort of lived these events, it was a bit of a disappointment. Considering the 2 authors both have quite busy day jobs, and didn't really appear to take much time off to write this book, this probably shouldn't have been a surprise.

  • Ellen

    As a history specifically of Republican congressional leaders, this is fairly thorough and hits all the gossip buttons. As a chronicle of the midterm elections it's disappointing, and some of the moments chosen as hallmarks of Congress during this time are bizarre. I'm biased of course but there was a lot more to the 2018 cycle than what Paul Ryan was doing, and hopefully another book will capture that.

  • Beattie

    The President is notorious for not paying attention to details but according to a new book, even when he was writing during a meeting, he wasn’t taking notes. Politico's Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer join Lawrence to discuss their new book and what it reveals about the Trump White House and the President’s own party.

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