My new book, ROUGH BEAST: Who Donald Trump Really Is, What He’ll Do If Re-Elected, and Why Democracy Must Prevail, is now available in paperback and ebook on Amazon. Bookstores can order via Ingram Spark.

Audiobook is coming soon.


Who is the real Donald Trump? A serial liar with long ties to both organized crime and the Kremlin. A corrupt demagogue whom most historians consider the worst U.S. president of all time. And, most urgently, a vengeful wannabe dictator whose re-election would end American democracy. In this short and necessary volume, Dirty Rubles author Greg Olear presents the facts about FPOTUS: who he is, what he plans to do, and why the country cannot survive a second Trump term. Donald Trump is a Rough Beast. America is slouching towards dictatorship.


As readable as it is horrifying, Greg Olear’s Rough Beast bathes the reader in unassailable facts about the presumptive Republican nominee. Some info is new, but sadly for the health of American democracy, most was extracted from the giant garbage heap of misinformation that’s kept us in a state of confusion. But here they are, in one convenient, breezy tome: the countless crimes committed, duly reported, prosecuted, and then frequently forgotten over the past four decades; the bad actors and miserable sycophants in the man's orbit; and the Apocalypse-can't-come-fast-enough, Jesus-hates-you right-wingers hitching their wagons to his dark star. 

Olear could have stopped there but he didn't. Instead, he methodically details the diabolical plan Trump’s supporters are poised to unleash with a second presidency—faithfully told through their own words—a hell-and- brimstone vision of a Christofascist America in which no one is free. “This is real. This is not a drill. Avoid reading this very necessary book at freedom’s peril.”

—Rachel Slade, author of Into the Raging Sea and Making It In America

Rough Beast is an important reminder of who Trump is and what the stakes really are in the 2024 election. People have short memories for how chaotic the first term was, and a limited understanding of how a second term will be far better organized, and squarely aimed at ending our democracy and the loss of civil rights it entails. Rough Beast lays out in detail who, and what, the US would be bringing back into office, and the picture should frighten anyone who isn't going to directly benefit from theocratic autocracy.

—Brynn Tannehill, author of American Fascism: How the GOP is Subverting Democracy

If Donald Trump wins a second term in office, it won't be at all like his first—it will be much, much worse. As Greg Olear shows with bracing clarity in Rough Beast, Trump is a criminal who is desperate for power and revenge. Trump is running for dictator and the 2024 election might be the nation's last.

—Jennifer Mercieca, author of Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump

Greg Olear’s voice—informed, erudite, outraged, lyrical and concise—is the necessary antidote to Steve Bannon’s ‘flood the zone with sh*t’ MAGA chaos communications strategy. Buy, read, and share this book wherever the madness of Trump’s first term has left memory holes.”

—Nina Burleigh, author of Virus and The Trump Women: Part of the Deal

Rough Beast is a great ride that blends what you think you know about Donald Trump with what you must know for American freedom to survive the 2024 election. Greg Olear’s storytelling sparkles with illuminating insights about the would-be dictator and why Trump is no ordinary tale of political ambition and corruption. This book is made for anyone who cares about our future or their fate: Olear makes compelling case after case about why voting against Trump is the only good option we have. But the details Olear curates are not some boring lecture about Putin’s mark or the horrors of the pandemic—Rough Beast is a truly enjoyable read, despite the darkness of its subject, not just Trump but the nightmare policies that his loyalists are plotting through Project 2025.

This book reads like a great conversation with a funny and brilliant friend, regaling you with tales that help you see our world more clearly. And, in the end, Olear’s optimism that we will prevail—that we must—wins out just when you need inspiration the most. With only a few months before the most important election in our lifetime, I will be giving this book as gifts for Christmas in July. It’s a fast read and a must-read, a great and important work that makes sense of it all.

—Lisa Graves, executive director of True North Research & host of “Grave Injustice”

Just the facts ma’am. That’s what you’ll get in Greg Olear’s exceptional follow up to Dirty Rubles. A comprehensive guide and breakdown to the past present and future of the GOP and the Trump administration, Rough Beast serves as a as an explainer and a warning. At no point does Olear succumb to conspiracy theories or dive down rabbit holes. Rough Beast is just the facts; all indisputably verified and documented. Written in an easy conversational style, it never feels as dense as it is, but by the time you’re finished reading it, you will also be an expert in everything from GOP money laundering to Supreme Court capture to Project 2025. Be brave and dive into this terrifying look into the possibilities and inevitabilities if we don’t prevail in 2024.

—Aja Raden, author of Stoned and The Truth About Lies

Launched on 1 November 2019, PREVAIL is a regular column about politics, history, national security, foreign affairs, organized crime, dirty money, global corruption, the fight for democracy—and, on Sundays, poetry and literature. It’s also a weekly podcast that drops every Friday, part of the MSW Media network.

Columns run on PREVAIL every Tuesday and Friday, with Friday’s column being a supplement to the podcast. On the weekend, “Sunday Pages” is a departure from the ugly world of fighting the fascists. I share poems, novel excerpts, and more.

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Formal bio:

Greg Olear (@gregolear) is the L.A. Times-bestselling author of the novels Totally Killer (2009), Fathermucker (2011), and Empress (2022), as well as Success Stories of a Failure Analyst (2023) and 2018’s Dirty Rubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia, which Salon called “required reading for all Americans.” His first two novels have been translated into other languages and have been optioned for screen.

His work has appeared at Dame Magazine, Slate, Medium, the Huffington Post, Newsweek, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, and his now-defunct arts and culture site, The Weeklings.

A graduate of Georgetown University, he lives in New York with his wife, their two kids, and their three cats.

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PREVAIL is a regular column about politics, history, national security, foreign affairs, organized crime, dirty money, global corruption, the fight for democracy—and, on Sundays, poetry and literature.


Author of "#DirtyRubles: An Introduction to Trump/Russia" (2018). #WhoOwnsKavanaugh #WeShallPrevail
Zarina Zabrisky is an award-winning American author of five books published internationally, including the novel "We, Monsters" and three short story collections, and journalist. Currently, she reports on the Russian war in Ukraine.
A dad. A citizen. A voter.
a professional who has spent the last four decades studying Russia, and 20 years living & working there.
I plead the 5th.