Publishing Power

In 2018, Michelle Wolf appeared at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner—and she may have been the last comedian to do so under President Trump. “You pretend like you hate him,” she told reporters. “But he has helped you. He has helped you sell your papers and your books and your TV. You helped create this monster, and now you are profiting off of him.” She wasn’t kidding. The publishing industry has produced more material on Trump than any president before, with books selling in the millions.

John Bolton’s new tell-all, The Room Where It Happened, kicks off what will be a flurry of Trump books coming this summer and fall, including one from Mary Trump, the president’s niece; another from Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, his second national security adviser; and two titles from reporters at the Washington Post, about his impeachment.

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About the numbers CJR counted the number of biographies, White House and campaign memoirs, investigations, and policy examinations published about each president while he served in office. Sources included the Library of Congress, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, Google Books, and Amazon. To determine the best-selling book published about each president during his administration, CJR relied on data from the Publishers Weekly archives, New York Times archives, Nielsen BookScan, and Amazon.

Akintunde Ahmad, Lauren Harris, and Savannah Jacobson are CJR Delacorte Fellows.