Review: The Art of the Deal

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Just in time for the inauguration, I finished Trump’s first book, Trump: The Art of the Deal, which is a fascinating read — even, or perhaps especially, if you aren’t a fan of the man. Anyone who has read this book should not be surprised in the least by the way Trump ran his campaign because he ran it the way he runs businesses.

I Do it to do it. Deals are my art form.

The first part of the book focuses on a near-real time telling of Trump’s week, broken up into blow-by-blow paragraphs covering the important stuff. This is an amazing insight into the man’s mind — and again, reflects on how he ran the campaign, and thus far, the transition. Past being prologue, we can expect his presidency to run the same way.

It can also be a bit of a lesson in life: Trump constantly talks about going with your gut, your instincts, and going for the best deal possible. He talks about sticking up for yourself if you know you are right, even if it’s a pain and everyone else tells you not to (this is specifically highlighted when he discusses many lawsuits — the sort of trash he was hit with during the campaign — and how he didn’t back down when he knew he was right). It’s fascinating mindset type talk, even without using that term or attempting to be a book about mindset.

Think Big

Through out the book Trump talks about this: Think Big. He says, “If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” Which — why not? Why limit ourselves?

Through out this part of the book, and to a lesser extent the rest, he talks about how to make those deals. This is more than just examples of his own, but a lengthy instruction on how to do it — and in any arena in life, I can see how at least a majority of his advice would help.

“I don’t mind controversy.” — No Kidding, right?

I could quote from the book and reference every little deal, but I’d rather readers check out the book than read my second-hand version of it. I’ll hit the highlights to keep this under a thousand words:

A few of the more interesting deals he discusses are: all of the work that went into Trump Tower (the first one), and the balancing act he had to perform to get every single aspect of the Tower in motion — and in motion at once. He spun a lot of plates to get that building put up. Dealing with the New York City government was awful, terrible, and above all, slow. Government acts slowly.

He also covers the Wollman Rink, which to this day is an astounding feat. It took the government years to get nothing done, wasting money, and Trump was able to eventually complete it himself — on time, under budget. He discusses this in great length, and it shows how he may look at running government, now that he is going to be president. He’s got a unique perspective on the way it functions and the lack of accountability in civil service.

He also touches on his involvement in the USFL, and the way the NFL handled their competition — and it gives one a new point of view about the tax haven that is the “non-profit” NFL. It’s really too bad there isn’t a competitor, because that might solve some of the problems facing football right now.

I recommend that everyone read this book, whether or not they like Trump. Even if you hate him, it will at least help you understand him.