An insightful and terrifying account of the global crisis through social media.

Twitter is an ideal medium for appealing to any supposed “silent majority”. It is completely democratic. Anyone can join, at no cost. There are no restrictions and no filtering (except in rare extreme cases). Twitter allows a candidate to appeal at a personal level to anyone who is against anything and make him or her feel like part of a vast shared community without having to meet or even acknowledge any of its other members.

Many people have said I'm the world's greatest writer of 140character sentences.

3:50 PM – 21 Jul 2014

“I think that maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter.”

“Twitter is a wonderful thing for me, because I get the word out… I might not be here talking to you right now as President if I didn’t have an honest way of getting the word out.”

Donald Trump to Fox News, 15 March 2017


Reviews for How Trump Thinks

‘[a] hilarious yet frightening book’

The West Australian

‘Oborne and Roberts’s book is a service to scholars’

Meghan O'Rourke, The Guardian

‘This is the best thing I have read about Donald Trump’

Andrew Gimson, ConservativeHome

‘Watching Trump recover from successive disgraces and fiascos, Oborne and Roberts marvel at his capacity to deflect blame. His defiant game of bluff depends on attributing his own infractions to others. The man who currently rails against “fake news” and its lack of accredited sources long ago mastered the same sleight of hand.’

Peter Conrad, The Guardian

'[As Oborne and Roberts note in their] incisive introduction to this carefully annotated, chronological anthology of Trump’s tweets: “Twitter allows a candidate to appeal at a personal level to anyone who is against anything and make him or her feel like part of a vast shared community without having to meet or even acknowledge any of its other members."

'Trump “viscerally understood the power of this new medium to simplify complex ideas, to remove nuance and subtext and, above all, to remove any boundary between assertion and fact”. He is the first politician to have grasped that it can create a world of belief impervious to reality.

'There have been derisive collections of Trump’s blurts before … But reading through this para-scholarly presentation of his texts … changes your perception of them. They don’t seem merely preposterous any more.

'The editorial annotations patiently explain the vindictiveness, the inconsistencies, the baseless claims, the way Trump never answers challenges but instead attacks the challenger. But they also note the development of his style, arguing that it was in summer 2011 that he “discovered the unique Twitter voice that would take him to the White House six years later”, with such imperatives as: “Wake up America — China is eating our lunch.”'

The Evening Standard

‘… In an introduction that usefully seeks to historicise his success, Oborne and Roberts argue that Twitter helped Trump, who had long toyed with running for president, bring populism back to the forefront in the United States, mobilising disgruntled citizens against the Washington establishment. It enabled him to appeal directly to a modern-day “silent majority” fed up with both political parties, while trading on his celebrity and supposed business skills. Indeed the most significant aspect of his populism, they contend, was “the reinvention of political communication through Twitter”’

Meghan O'Rourke, The Guardian


How Trump Thinks is out in now hardback and ebook.

The most unusual feature of Donald Trump's nationalist and populist campaign for the presidency of the USA was his obsessive use of Twitter. Like other social media, this form of communication has often been assumed to encourage the dissemination of liberal values and the circulation of facts. Trump's tweets, by contrast, formed a constant stream of provocations, insults, conspiracy theories, 'alternative facts' and outright lies. And they helped him win power.

Peter Oborne, author of The Rise of Political Lying and Not The Chilcot Report, analyses Trump's incendiary mendacity in all its bewildering guises, and shows how this fusion of entertainment and cunningly-crafted propaganda has destabilized the world's most powerful democracy.