I’m a long-time fan of Philip Gibson’s #Hash Tag Histories. The previous offerings have been events in history conveyed via social media postings, mainly Twitter. Donald Trump’s War is the most recent of Gibson’s books, but with a startling difference. Instead of a past event, Gibson takes a speculative look at the future, the future of Donald Trump’s presidency, and given Trump’s fascination with tweeting, it is hopefully not predictive.
The author starts with a fact; 18 days before the inauguration, Trump tweeted that North Korea’s claims to have tested a missile capable of reaching the United States was ‘fake,’ and it ‘wouldn’t happen.’ From this point, it’s all (hopefully) fiction. Shortly after assuming office, Trump is advised by his national security staff that North Korea has, in fact, successfully tested a long-range missile. He must now decide what to do. Through a series of national security meetings interspersed with Trump’s tweets, we’re introduced to his administration’s national security decision making process. What unfolds is eerie, and eerily credible. Gibson has nailed each of the personalities based on what we know of them at present, and as someone who has participated in such for a in the past, I found it uncomfortably easy to imagine just such conversations taking place.
One can only hope that Gibson is not as good at predicting the future as he is at portraying the past.
I give this #Hash Tag History five stars.