American Nero: The History of the Destruction of the Rule of Law, and Why Trump Is the Worst Offender

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About the Author

Richard Painter, a Republican, worked in the George W. Bush Administration as associate counsel to the President in the White House Counsel's office from February 2005 to July of 2007. His specialties are government ethics, business ethics, and lawyers' ethics. Since Donald Trump began his run for the presidency in 2016, Painter has been an outspoken critic of candidate Trump and President Trump, appearing frequently on such popular cable news stations as CNN and MSNBC. The author of two books, he has also appeared on NPR's All Things Considered and recently was a guest on The Bill Maher Show. Norman Eisen, President Barack Obama's ethics chief, described Painter as the Number 1 scholar in the country on government ethics. Painter, like the President, has a dedicated and faithful Twitter following.

Peter Golenbock, a graduate of NYU Law School, has written 65 books, ten of which have been New York Times bestsellers. In addition to his best sellers about sports and with sports figures, he has also written Presumed Guilty with Jose Baez, the attorney for Casey Anthony, The Chairman, written with Jim Greer, the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, and In The Country of Brooklyn, a book about the liberal strain emanating from there.


A quintessential book! Usually, political experts do not understand or appreciate enough of the psychological domain, and psychological experts enough of the political domain, for the two areas to meet. This has proven a debilitating deficiency in the era of Donald Trump. Richard Painter and Peter Golenbock take an important step to correcting this . . . Through parallels with this sick presidency, they issue a stark warning before we go the same route as two other empires that collapsed, both more established and longer in duration than we so far, because of a leader's psychological defects.

--Bandy X. Lee, professor at Yale School of Medicine and editor of The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

Whenever Richard Painter appears in public to offer his lacerating opinions on Donald Trump's unethical actions, I stop to listen. In this revealing book, Richard Painter and Peter Golenbock place those sharp opinions in a fascinating historical context.

--David Maraniss, author of The Red Scare and My Father