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Book Review: THE TRUTH ABOUT TRUMP

the-truth-about-trump1

I’m a very smart person. I could give an answer that’s perfect and everything’s fine and nobody would care about it, or I could give an honest answer, which becomes a big story.” – Donald Trump

The Truth About Trump is penned by Michael D’Antonio who was part of a team of journalists from Newsday. He won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting before going on to write acclaimed books, including his most recent, Mortal Sins. He has also written for publications such as Esquire, Sports Illustration and The New York Times Magazine.

Drawing upon exclusive interviews and extensive research, D’Antonio presents a full story on Trump, from his beginning as a businessman to his currently running bizarre presidential campaign. Through the course of the book, he perfectly encapsulates Trump’s success, failures, scandals, triumphs and relentless pursue of money and fame that made Trump the most talked-about man in America to date. He begins the story by narrating one-on-one interview session with Trump. He documents that “[Trump’s] office is like performing a walk-on part in a movie. Flooded with natural light from two sides, the space is as bright as a stage set. The star is an aging leading-man type whose face is so plastic-perfect that he doesn’t seem to have any pores. His elaborate hairdo, glowing, swooping, and sprayed into place, announces his identity.”

It’s true that Donald Trump has been a topic of conversation in America for almost forty years. No one in the world of business – not Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, or Warren Buffett – has been as famous as Trump for as long. D’Antonio notes that, “menace has long been a defining characteristic of the Trump modus operandi. This includes employing very large armed men who pose conspicuously – they all but flex their muscles and flash their weapons – in the waiting room of his office and accompany him when he leaves.”

He highlights an interesting aspect of Trump’s life by talking about the origins of his family fortune and presence in politics. He endeavors to identify the influences and experiences that seem to explain his penchant for bullying, manipulation, deception, and megalomania. He writes that Donald’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry describes her brother as “extremely rebellious” in his youth.  A camp counselor, impressed by young Donald’s “ornery” disposition said to be compelled him to figure out “all the angles” so he could get his own way.

Trump’s multifaceted personality is further highlighted as D’Antonio narrates that, “In his parents’ home, at school, and in the worlds of business and politics, [Trump] has continually asserted his superiority with only the barest hint of doubt. Perhaps nothing in nature is more voracious than this man’s hunger for wealth, fame, and power.” Trump’s career as a businessman, saw the light in 1970s when his name was associated with high-profile real estate developments that made it synonymous with success defined by wealth and luxury. He writes, “Placed on skyscrapers, casinos, and commercial airlines, the name TRUMP (usually spelled in gold-colored, capital letters) became a true personal brand that connected one man to a seemingly endless number of offerings.”

Referencing interviews, documents and decades’ worth of news coverage, D’Antonio further talks about the ability of Trump to master the media and turn publicity into his power. In light of 2016 Presidential Elections, he writes that Donald Trump’s campaign defied the usual kinds of political analysis. It turned into a spectacle of distortion, disjointed speech and a show of man’s hyped-emotional-style. His speeches were devoid of policy details, where “He lacerated other politicians, demonized journalists, and crowed about polls that showed him outpacing his rivals.” It all became the “power of controversy (that’s) never lost on Trump who considered almost every kind of attention beneficial to his public image.”

In all, D’Antonio tries to link the missing link in Trump’s personality for audiences to have holistic view of him, not only as a person but also a politician-slash-businessman. He claims, “[…] Trump’s views and bully persona made him exceedingly popular with people who believed he represented important ideals, especially the American promise of success represented by great wealth.” This book is recommended to political enthusiasts and anyone who wishes to know more about the “Trump-Persona.”

Author: Michael D’Antonio
Price: Rs.995
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Book, New York
Available at Liberty Books

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