The Art of the Impossible

The Art of the Impossible -- Steven Kates

The Art of the Impossible is now out in the world and can be bought on line either here in Australia or anywhere at all here at The Book Depository with free shipping worldwide.

I thought originally that the aim should be to have the book available for Christmas but for a variety of reasons, including that nothing was settled until the Electoral College met in December, it has taken until now. But at the time, I had not even read the book myself, had only brought the posts together. Now I have read the book – four times or perhaps even five – and I no longer think of it as a book that will have only immediate interest. This is truly a book for the long haul. These are some of its features.

First, it is almost entirely about Donald Trump. The first post is from July 2015 which was a long time before anything had settled, but even before I had seen or heard a word from him or about him, I was absolutely on the same page. That very first post – Politics is what you can get away with – is about the disastrous presidency of Barack Obama, the corruption of the American political system and the destructive impulses of the American media. Nothing Trump would say during the entire election period was not something I had not already said myself, whether about border protection, migration or economic mismanagement. Everything Trump has said is what I have said. You will therefore find here the most sympathetic account of his rise to the presidency available from any source. No one, and I do mean no one, has been as onside and from so early on as I have been. I won’t say there weren’t nerves to settle and issues to bed down, but no one was as primed to see the policies put forward by Trump as I was.

Second, it is what I call a “blog history” and I think it’s the first of its kind. The entire book is made up of the blog posts I had written contemporary with all of the events described. In its own way, it is a new kind of history, in the way that the Anglo Saxon Chronicle may have been a new kind of history in its own time. Things would happen, and as is fitting with a blog, I would partly report on what I had read about or seen and partly give my own reaction and write up my own perspectives. The book is therefore entirely an historical account that describes events as they happened. But its more than just a series of events. Each of these events comes with a series of comments that puts these events into the perspective of someone who understands things in a way almost identically with the way they would have been seen by Trump himself. When I did the survey on “Who Should I Vote For?” my overlap with Trump was 94%.

Third, my own education and then my entire career has been inside of a political economic framework, with a large part of my area of study, both then and now, in political philosophy. I am a classical conservative and I knew another one when I saw him. I instantly recognised Donald Trump as a kindred spirit. I was never in the slightest doubt that he was and is a conservative in the proper meaning of the word. He seeks to conserve what is best but accepts the need for change but only after careful assessment. I had also worked as the Chief Economist for Australia’s largest and most representative business association and knew the crucial importance of leaving things to the market and limiting as much as possible the role of government, both in relation to regulation and expenditure.

Fourth, the events as they happened are all there. The book takes you back to each of the major moments during the campaign. Even better is that each of these moments is described without the benefit of hindsight. Each moment is looked at right then so there is a sense even now of following everything along. It therefore has the feel of a documentary rather than the views of someone who already knows what’s going to happen. You are there. You are right in the midst of things. Small events become larger events and important markers along the way – remember Michelle Fields, for example? You are right back in the midst of the campaign where these things are again happening right before your eyes just as they happened then.

Finally, I think this is an historical record that could only have been written at the time and can never be re-produced again. I think this is part of what gives it a feeling of contemporary relevance since you can no longer go back to the moment to remember how things felt and the uncertainties that were in the air. This record however take you back to the very moment when these events were first being experienced, when they were the present and not, as they now are in the past. It is the only book I have written that I feel might still be worth looking at in a hundred years, and not only right now, which I also think. If you would like to relive the American election almost day by day there is no better way to do it.

And on top of everything else, it will help you understand why Donald Trump won the election and how fortunate we are that he did.

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16 Responses to The Art of the Impossible

  1. srr

    Thank you for this important book, Mr Kate’s, and better that it’s not ‘fir Christmas’, as there are more than a few people who need it for an, “I told you so!”, gift 😉

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    Congrats Steve! You were right, as was Don Surber whose blog I’ve been reading for many years.
    His two books on the same subject are doing well so I hope yours does the same.
    Maybe someone can smuggle a copy into ABC HQ in Ultimo. Should act like a stink bomb, with Greens fleeing out all the doors and windows.

  3. Chris

    Maybe someone can smuggle a copy into ABC HQ in Ultimo. Should act like a stink bomb, with Greens fleeing out all the doors and windows.

    Wrap it in a smallpox-infected blanket, as postulated by Peanut Head.

  4. B Shaw

    That’s good news. Connor accepted my money weeks ago.

  5. Comments on Steve Kates’s Post Following the Election at Catallaxy

    pbw: Congratulations Steve! The scorn heaped on Trump on this site is a reflection of just how monumental a victory he has achieved: against the Democrats, the media, and the Republicans. Your own vision and commitment has been well and truly vindicated.

    Ubique: Steve, you were great during the whole campaign and right on the money. Thank you for your insights and superb commentary and coverage which were more relevant and accurate than anything published or broadcast anywhere in Australia.

    Dash: Love it. Was looking forward to this post and it didn’t disappoint.

    politichix: Thank you for your uncompromised view of things. You have been almost the ONLY one who got it. Respect…

    Anne: Kudos to this Mensch, Steve Kates! More than half the populations of Western Nations will never know or understand the importance of this day, November 8th, 2016.

    deplorable goatjam: Nice work Steve… It was a magnificent victory for us all.

    cui bono: Well done Steve. You had a thought through view and stuck to it. Many of your critics flitted about, driven by the latest MSM outrage of the day.

    JamesK: Congrats to Steve Kates for his steadfast faith in The Donald I thought it was a bad mistake by the Republican primary electorate primarily on the basis that he couldn’t win. I was wrong. I am ecstatically happy about that I was wrong.

    Hey Steve, what about srr and Gunner. Didnt they merit a guernsey?

  6. Steve Kates

    These were comments made only on the day at the time attached to the final post.

  7. King Koala

    Donald Trump won because he tackled the most important issue head on -immigration. Everything else is secondary.

  8. Tel

    Shhhh, don’t mention the Wall.

    I slipped up once or twice but I think I got away with it.

  9. Mitch M.

    Shhhh, don’t mention the Wall.

    The building of the Wall occupies a number of episodes of Arrested Development. At least now I know where Trump got the idea from.

  10. Malcolm

    The last thing I want to read is a hagiography of Donald Trump and that’s what this is since Steve Kates says

    You will therefore find here the most sympathetic account of his rise to the presidency available from any source

    I want a dispassionate writing about Trump not some crazed worshiper account. And if Steve Kates thinks he and Trump are on the same wavelength he has gone mad. Trump is no classical liberal. He couldn’t even pronounce Say let alone apply Say.

    No I won’t be reading this book – I’ve got many better things to do.

  11. Gab

    Well done, Steve. Hope you make tons of sales.

  12. C.L.

    Brilliant idea. Well done.

  13. danger mouse

    Don’t read it, Malcom. You might learn something.

    Well done Steve. Hope you’ll sign my copy in Singapore one day.

  14. kc

    King Koala I think “drain the swamp” was an amazing message, Make America Great Again resonated and personally think draining the swamp was an even bigger issue than immigration. But, saying that I’m over here, not in the USA.

  15. Carl Chapman

    Could you distribute a soft copy version, such as ePub, please? It would keep costs down and would be more convenient to read. If not, I’ll buy the paperback version.

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