Trump Books Keep Coming, and Readers Can’t Stop Buying


Thomas Spence, president of Regnery Publishing, which publishes conservative titles, said political books usually perform better when they can rail against the opposition in power. But the Trump years have been good for Regnery.

“We’ve had a lot of successes,” Mr. Spence said.

The boom times have extended beyond dishy memoirs and firebrand defenders. Even the Constitution has sold unusually well. Sales of that document are up 40 percent over the same period during former President Barack Obama’s second term. And the Mueller report, which was public domain and available online for free, sold hundreds of thousands of copies when publishers released their own editions.

“Negative, positive, left, right — this last three or four years has lifted all boats,” said Robert B. Barnett, a Washington lawyer who brokers major book deals on both sides of the aisle.

Real-time political books detailing the inner workings of an administration have been a popular genre for decades, dating back to the Eisenhower era. But the volume of titles, and the audience for them, has surged in recent years. With the rise of partisan-inflected cable news, and the growing polarization of the media and the public beginning in the 1990s, when scandals surrounding the Clintons fueled fury on the right and defensive tactics on the left, publishers started releasing more partisan books in an effort to appeal to readers across the political spectrum.

The subgenres that have emerged — books that praise the president, books that criticize him, White House memoirs, journalistic narratives — have taken off to an unprecedented degree under Mr. Trump, said Jon Meacham, a presidential biographer and the author of books about Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, Franklin Roosevelt and George H.W. Bush.

“Trump has heightened the interest in politics, for good and for ill,” he said. “It’s an inherently dramatic moment, it’s tribally fierce, it’s urgent, so there is this amazing appetite for all things political.”



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