Book Review: UnPresidented

I recenlty finished reading listening to Jon Sopel’s book, “UnPresidented: Politics, Pandemics and the Race That Trumped All Others” (affiliate link). I have enjoyed Jon’s reporting over the years for the BBC, but this is the first of his books I’ve picked up. I grabbed it as an audio book because I’m a terrible reader. It was narrated by the author, which made it all the more appealing for me as I find Jon pleasing to listen to.

The book is structured much like a diary, with dates and locations for each entry as Jon reports on the events happening in the USA over the last year, from his perspective. It was clearly a very wild ride last year, and this comes across in Jon’s tone as he narrates.

I found the additional detail over and above his BBC broadcasts about events and processes was intriguing. I enjoyed learning about some of the behind doors conversations and events. There’s a bit of broadcast ‘inside baseball’ too which is fun for this podcaster to hear.

I would certainly recommend the book to anyone who might be interested in the British view on the recent US election campaign and COVID response (or lack thereof). There’s also a little of Jon’s personal life, juggling family with travel itineraries and broadcast & podcast commitments.

It was a very easy and enjoyable listen. Much of the content was still very fresh in my mind though being so early in 2021. I could perhaps have benefited from a solid six months break after the election before listening. My personal recollection of the timeline of events was clearly way out of whack though. I was somewhat surprised a few times by the dates given for some significant events. What a wild year huh!?

Maybe grab this book and stash it away for a couple of years, then sit back and recall the madness of 2020 once all this nonsense is over!

UnPresidented: Politics, Pandemics and the Race That Trumped All Others by Jon Sopel - ★★★★☆ 4/5 stars