Friday, January 27, 2017

New York Times on Trump's Book "The Art of the Deal": "Makes One Believe in the American Dream Again"

When Trump's book The Art of the Deal was published in the 1980s, the New York Times said of the book: "Trump makes one believe for a moment in the American dream again."

From the New York Times:

He describes his major deals - the West Side train yards he bought from Penn Central, the building of the Grand Hyatt Hotel on East 42d Street, Trump Tower, Trump Parc, his Atlantic City properties, his involvement in the United States Football League and his rescue of the Wollman Rink in Central Park. 
Mr. Trump makes it all sound so simple. Think big. Be persistent. Maximize your options. Have fun. 
Oddly enough, Mr. Trump's display of ego is not offensive to the reader. As one reads along, one takes inventory of certain qualities one might dislike about him, or at least the version of these qualities that appear in this book. He's more interested in the rich element of Manhattan than he is in the poor. He prefers new money to old. He lacks refined taste. He was unpleasant when young - a cocky, aggressive cutup who had to be sent to military school to learn discipline. 
Yet for none of these qualities can you really blame Mr. Trump. He is the first to call attention to them. He makes no pretense to the contrary. He is proud to be at play in the fields of American free enterprise, looking for every loophole in the law and edge on his competitors he can possibly get. 
He writes, ''I always take calls from my kids, no matter what I'm doing,'' as if this somehow made him remarkable. In a similarly patronizing vein, he observes of a woman who works for him: ''I like to tell her that she must be a very tough woman to live with. The truth is I get a great kick out of her.'' 
Yet such lapses are few and far between. 
The more important fact is that he arouses one's sense of wonder at the imagination and self-invention it must have taken to leap from his father's shoulders and reach for the deals that he did. Jay Gatsby lives, without romance and without the usual tragic flaws. The secret really seems to be hard work, thorough preparation, detailed knowledge, careful planning, tight organization, strong leadership, dogged persistence, controlled energy, good instincts and the genetic ability to deal. 
Mr. Trump makes one believe for a moment in the American dream again. 
It's like a fairy tale.

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