‘The election happened’, remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. ‘And then there was radio silence’. Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them. Michael Lewis’s narrative takes us into the engine rooms of a government under attack by its own leaders.