Turnaround’s Top Trumps

At Turnaround it is our great privilege to represent some of the foremost radical publishers from around the world. It didn’t seem possible that he could win, but when Trump came to power these publishers rose to the peculiar challenges brought on by the most preposterous White House incumbent imaginable, producing a wealth of books – from the humorous to the combatant, from the reflective to the rallying.

Ahead of the UK visit, and planned anti-Trump protests this week, we handily round-up the essential reading on the spectacle that is the 45th U.S. President. Trump is not just a problem for the US to deal with, his election and what have followed have impacted everyday life for millions of people all around the world, and are already a grim portent of worse to come.


Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth (Regan Arts, 9781682450796, p/b, £13.99)

Wayne Barrett’s classic book was re-printed in 2016 with a new introduction about Trump’s  presidential campaign. Barrett reveals the truth behind the mogul’s wheelings and dealings. Instead of the canny businessman that Trump claims in his own books, Barrett explores how Trump exploited his father’s connections to finance and grease his first major deals. Barrett’s biography takes us from the days of Donald’s youth to his brash entry into the real estate market, and to the back room deals behind his New York, Atlantic City and Florida projects. Barrett paints an intimate portrait of Trump himself.


The Making of Donald Trump (Melville House, 9781612196589, p/b, £9.99)

In the culmination of nearly thirty years of reporting on Donald Trump, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter David Cay Johnston takes a revealingly close look at the mogul’s rise to power and prominence.

Included is a thorough look at Trump’s numerous ties to organized crime, his history of litigation, his family background including his father’s involvement with the Ku Klux Klan, his philandering, a close look at his actual skill in running casinos, constructing buildings and managing real estate, his numerous bankruptcies, and the questionable nature of his actual wealth. This damning and accurate portrayal of Trump is a must-read, giving insight into the 45th President.


Trump: A Graphic Biography (Seven Stories Press, 9781609807580, p/b, £9.99)

In this 2016 graphic biography of Donald Trump, political cartoonist Ted Rall considers Trump to be “a bit of an accidental authoritarian, perhaps even an accidental proto-fascist.” So where did this man come from? Here Trump’s life story is told, going all the way back to his origins growing up a rich kid in the NY suburbs. Rall shows how Trump taps into a longing among many Americans for a strongman. He doesn’t make many promises; his supporters don’t expect many. He’ll Make America Great Again. Somehow. Trust me, he says. And they did…


The Month Before Trump (Dewi Lewis, 9781911306337, h/b, £26)

In the month before the 2016 presidential election New Zealand photographer Harvey Benge spent time in San Francisco and New York making the images in this book. In many ways these 59 photographs represent a time capsule – places, people and scraps of visual information – that is an affectionate and sometimes critical look at this mash up of a society that in October 2016 was at an existential watershed. This work does not pretend to be an objective look at America, it is simply Benge’s subjective view. The images are filtered through Benge’s own sensibilities, formed by his country’s own brand of politics where socialism is embraced and not a dirty word. And, of course, the states of California and New York present just one aspect of what it means to be an American.


Trump’s ABC (Fantagraphics, 9781683960782, h/b, £12.99)

One Clinton, two Bushes, and an Obama were mere warm-ups for a President who is truly worthy of Ann Telnaes’ excoriating satirical skills. The election of Donald Trump has inspired Telnaes to chronicles the high points (or low points, if there’s a difference) of Donald Trump’s first six months in office. Written in a sing-songy rhyme and drawn in her beguilingly impeccable ink line, each page is a miniature critique and expose of Donald Trump and his janissaries, poltroons, and dissemblers, illustrating his public policies, his personal defects, his ethical dysfunction, and the consequences of his Presidency on the lives of Americans – in a format that is cleverly designed to reflect the commander-in-chief’s attention span and mental level.


Trump on the Couch (Avery, 9780735220324 , h/b, £19.99)

No president in the history of the United States has inspired more alarm and confusion than President Donald Trump. How can he behave so callously and irresponsibly? Does he pose a true danger to his country? In answer, noted psychoanalyst Justin A. Frank takes a deep dive into the psyche of the president. Using observations gained from a close study of Trump’s patterns of thought, action, and communication, Dr. Frank gives us a full portrait of the man who is arguably the most psychologically damaged president America has ever had.


Amongst the Liberal Elite (Powerhouse, 9781576879054, h/b, £16.99)

Getting woke is hard. It takes more than listening to NPR on our daily commutes and reading Jon Stewart’s Twitter feed in bed while we sip craft beer from artisanal glassware made by at-risk women on another continent to make us global citizens. Based on the successful McSweeney’s column, Amongst the Liberal Elite takes readers on a cross-country road trip with Alex and Michael, endearing romantic partners whose voices will resonate with fans of shows such as Portlandia, Parks and Recreation, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver.

Published October 2018.


What We Do Now: Standing Up For Your Values in Trump’s America (Melville House, 9781612196596, p/b, £12.99)

In response to Trump’s shocking election win and imminent inauguration, Melville House has pulled together a timely and essential ‘ instant book’. What We Do Now collects short essays by leading 27 progressives in which they suggest what they think people can do in their respective areas of expertise in the wake of the election crisis. It is a powerful call for standing up for what you believe in and provides hope in an era of uncertainty and a constructive notion about how to simply move forward.


U.S. Politics in an Age of Uncertainty: Resisting Trump (Haymarket Books, 9781608468539, p/b, £13.99)

Takes on the measure of the Democratic Party and mainstream liberal organisations, which have shown themselves to be completely inadequate in addressing the key questions facing working people today. Sharon Smith, Mike Davis, Charlie Post, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, and other prominent socialist thinkers and activists provide concrete strategies for fighting against Trump.


The Constitution Demands It: The Case For the Impeachment of Donald Trump (Melville House, 9781612197630, p/b, £14.99)

Three veteran constitutional attorneys say there’s no way around it: The Constitution demands that Donald Trump must be impeached. And in clear language using compelling logic rooted firmly in the Constitution, they detail why the time to start is now – not in the indefinite future after criminal investigations have ended. Citing charges such as accepting illegal payments from foreign governments, using government agencies to persecute political enemies, obstructing justice, abusing the pardon power, and the undermining freedom of the press, they provide the factual and legal basis for eight articles of impeachment.

Published August 2018.


To the Ramparts (Seven Stories, 9781609808471, h/b, £17.99)

Nader brings together the outrages of the Trump administration with the key flaws and failures of the previous administrations – both Republican and Democratic – that have
led our nation to its current precipice. It’s all in the details and Ralph Nader knows them all. Trump didn’t come out of nowhere. Bush and Obama led the way. Writing as a Washington, DC, activist and people’s advocate for over fifty years, Nader shows how Trump’s crimes and misdemeanors followed the path of no resistance of the Obama, Bush and Clinton regimes, which ushered in the extreme rise of corporate power and the abandonment of the poor and middle classes.


Trump / Russia: A Definitive History (Melville House, 9781612197395, h/b, £17.99)

Trump / Russia reveals, in damning detail after damning detail, the crystal-clear story of Donald Trump’s collusion with Russia. Veteran Associated Press reporter Seth Hettena diligently tracks the ongoing history of interaction between Trump and his associates with Russian politicians, mobsters, developers, black marketeers, and financiers. With extensive new reporting it includes some tantalising deep-dives on stories that have only been hinted at so far, such as the truth about Trump and allegations of secretly-recorded sex in Moscow’s most expensive hotel rooms.


Creeping Fascism: Brexit, Trump, and the Rise of the Far Right (Public Reading Room, 9780995535237, p/b, £12)

A tide of racism, nationalism, and authoritarianism is sweeping the world: from Donald Trump in the United States to Marine Le Pen in France, from Nigel Farage in Britain to Norbert Hofer in Austria. With the world economy hobbled by debt and stagnation, society being torn apart by austerity and inequality, and a political system paralysed by corporate power, support for the Far Right is surging. This book is an urgent call to arms. It seeks to rally the Left around a vital historic task: the immediate building of an international mass movement to stop the rise of fascism.

9781608468584Why Bad Government Happens to Good People (Haymarket Books, 9781608468584, p/b, £12.99)

A sharp witted indictment of the US’s broken political system, and a democratic, emancipatory vision for a socialist alternative. The election of Donald Trump has sent the United States and the world into uncharted waters, with a bigoted, petty man-child at the head of the planet’s most powerful empire. Danny Katch indicts the hollowness of the US political system that led to Trump’s rise and puts forward a vision for a real alternative: a democracy that works for the people.

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