Magazine July 27, 2020, Issue

John Bolton’s Memoir and the Necessity of Strategic Vision

Copies of John Bolton’s book, The Room Where It Happened, on display at a Barnes and Noble bookstore in New York, June 23, 2020 (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir, by John Bolton (Simon & Schuster, 592 pp., $32.50)

The Room Where it Happened is the most important White House memoir yet to emerge from the Trump administration, in no small part because John Bolton is the most consequential conservative yet to leave the administration on bad terms. It will be challenging reading for Trump supporters, and not just the many who have rarely disagreed with Bolton about anything. It is a story of two good Americans who proved almost perfectly incompatible as teammates, each overly sensitive to the other’s flaws, and blind to his virtues.

Bolton served as national-security adviser to President Trump from April 2018 to September 2019,

This article appears as “A Bad Match” in the July 27, 2020, print edition of National Review.

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Mario Loyola — Mr. Loyola, a former White House speechwriter and environmental adviser, is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

In This Issue

A Defense of America

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Most Popular

U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More
U.S.

Systemic Racism? Make Them Prove It.

I  worked in the criminal-justice system for a quarter century. It is run, day-to-day, by the crème de la crème of graduates from America’s top law schools. Those institutions wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves and proclaim it for all the world to hear. In their offhand rhetoric — ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Replacing Ginsburg

While we did not agree with many of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views about the Constitution or the judicial function, we never doubted her industry, dedication, gumption, civility, or patriotism. We send our condolences to all who mourn her passing. Justice Ginsburg almost certainly had more fans than any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Replacing Ginsburg

While we did not agree with many of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views about the Constitution or the judicial function, we never doubted her industry, dedication, gumption, civility, or patriotism. We send our condolences to all who mourn her passing. Justice Ginsburg almost certainly had more fans than any ... Read More

Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow

Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes? Chico Marx in Duck Soup (1933) The long-rising blue tide that has colored American politics and values may have crested, but it could still have enough momentum to make it through the election year. Even if Trump is somehow reelected, the wielders of power and ... Read More

Blue Today, Bluer Tomorrow

Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes? Chico Marx in Duck Soup (1933) The long-rising blue tide that has colored American politics and values may have crested, but it could still have enough momentum to make it through the election year. Even if Trump is somehow reelected, the wielders of power and ... Read More