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Bob Woodward's 'Fear' Sells Without Fear, 8 Lakh Copies Sold on First Day as Trump Cries Foul

Woodward's book follows a string of other best-selling accounts on the Trump administration. Like many of the other books, Trump took offense to "Fear" and sought to discredit it and its author.

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Updated:September 13, 2018, 6:29 PM IST
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Bob Woodward's 'Fear' Sells Without Fear, 8 Lakh Copies Sold on First Day as Trump Cries Foul
Seen here is Bob Woodward sitting amid copies of his new book on Trump administration 'Fear'.
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New Delhi: While US President Donald Trump dismissed veteran journalist Bob Woodward’s book as a “joke”, readers seemed undeterred as more than 750,000 copies of the White House exposé sold in America in just one day, according to a report by The Guardian.

“Bob Woodward’s Fear is selling with the force of a cultural phenomenon, in extraordinary numbers across the board, in hardcover, ebook, and audio editions,” said the publishers of the daily.

“Based on immense pre-publication and ongoing interest, the reading public clearly has an enormous appetite for what we believe, as Woodward says, is ‘a pivot point in history’,” The Guardian said.

The US chain bookstore Barnes & Noble said that the investigation by veteran reporter Woodward, who broke the story of the Watergate scandal with his Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein, was its fastest-growing adult title since Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman was published in July 2014.

“Fear had amazing first-day sales and is in high demand across our stores and online,” said Barnes & Noble’s Liz Harwell. “We haven’t seen an adult title sell this quickly in over three years, and are working with S&S to keep our shelves stocked to meet what we expect will be continued demand.”

Fear, based on hundreds of hours of interviews, details a White House in chaos. Defending his position, Trump took to Twitter on Monday and said, “Just another assault against me, in a barrage of assaults, using now disproven unnamed and anonymous sources. Many have already come forward to say the quotes by them, like the book, are fiction. Dem[ocrat]s can’t stand losing. I’ll write the real book!”

Woodward recounted some of the evidence he had for his sources in the book, which provided an unflattering behind-the-scenes look at the Trump administration during its critical moments.

"The deal was I would interview somebody, they would be a confidential source," Woodward said during an interview with CNN host Anderson Cooper. "I know who they are, they're describing specific events."

"Often there are diaries, or notes, or documents supporting it," Woodward added.

Woodward described his process for getting current and former officials to divulge details of their experiences in the Trump administration: "A couple of times people would say 'I wanna go off the record,'" Woodward said. "And I said 'no’.”

Woodward's book follows a string of other best-selling accounts on the Trump administration. Like many of the other books, Trump took offense to "Fear" and sought to discredit it and its author.

"The Woodward book is a scam," Trump tweeted on Friday. "I don't talk the way I am quoted. If I did I would not have been elected President. These quotes were made up. The author uses every trick in the book to demean and belittle."

But Woodward, a Washington Post journalist best known for his work uncovering the Watergate scandal, disputed Trump's allegations and said he has evidence to show he did indeed speak to current and former Trump administration officials for the book.

"When somebody looks at this in 20, or 30, or 40 years, boxes of recordings and documents, they will see that this was very carefully done," Woodward said. "I can argue with a straight face that an ardent Trump supporter would read this and have to pause. Because whether you like Trump or don't like Trump, it's a management issue."

Some of the claims in the book include Trump making pointed remarks, such as "mentally retarded" and "dumb Southerner. In one instance, Trump reportedly mocked Attorney General Jeff Sessions' southern twang behind his back.

"He couldn't even be a one-person country lawyer down in Alabama," Trump said, according to Woodward's book.
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