#CBR9 Review #50

Trump: The Art of the Deal by Donald J. Trump and Tony Schwartz

I’ve had a library copy of Trump: The Art of the Deal sitting on my coffee table for what feels like forever (like this Administration, am I right?), because I’ve decided that my latest article needs to look at Donald Trump as the prototypical yuppie, before this archetype hit it big in the 1980s and reached its literary apotheosis in Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho (which I reviewed for CBR5 and will be re-reviewing it for CBR9—so excited, you guys, and I don’t mean this ironically). I won’t say much more than that, because I’d like to keep my article as private as possible before it finds a home in an academic journal. But suffice it to say that it meant me having to read the words of Donald Trump 30 years before he spray-tanned us with his “winningness” that would leave Charlie Sheen keeled over in ubermasculine envy.

How do you review a book that was authored by a vainglorious cheat of a man who fooled just over 25% of the United States to vote for him as President of the United States? How do you review a book so dull and poorly written that you desperately wish for Christian Grey to lock you in his playroom and coerce you into poorly-conceived S&M with flatly-written dialogue?

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You don’t.

Instead, let me assure you that reading Trump: The Art of the Deal is a farce and a waste of time. Trump in 1987 puts on a show of being a “family man” and a “great businessman,” when fast-forwarding 30 years shows us the house of cards he has built both professionally and personally, and is now sweeping our entire nation into his self-destructive wake. In the book, he either positions himself as this amazing deals guy or a victim of others’ cheating ways. In no way does he accept the blame for his poor business choices (USFL, anyone?) or the lives he holds accountable, including the low-income tenants whose very security relies upon housing he owns. In short: we have elected an emperor who is gaslighting us into admiring his beautiful clothes when we need instead to hang a calfskin upon his recreant limbs (to borrow from Shakespeare’s King John).

Instead of reading this book, please call your congressional representatives to support affordable healthcare and women’s reproductive rights. Ask your representatives to demand Trump’s tax returns and transparency in his campaign’s dealings with Russia. And resist. Always resist.

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