A rollicking spoof by classically trained actor Baldwin (Nevertheless, 2017), who has made considerable hay in the past year as the foremost Donald Trump impersonator, and Spy magazine co-founder Andersen (Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, 2017, etc.).
Teaming up with photographer Mark Seliger, who captures Baldwin in all his pouty-lower-lip majesty, the authors serve up a withering sendup of Trump, the aggressively repetitive “Me” of the title. Despite that brace of partners, without breaking persona, Baldwin/Trump insists that this memoir, “unlike my many previous excellent Trump books, which were typed up by subcontractors who interviewed me, is being created 100 percent by me.” Of course it is, just as Trump created all his wealth single-handedly—and, in any event, “what ‘professional writer’ could I trust to understand and truly love Trump?” It’s a good question. Baldwin/Trump charts his seemingly out-of-the-blue political rise to his close friendship with the much-despised Roy Cohn, who “was my mentor, and I was his John F. Kennedy, if Joseph Kennedy had been gay and Jewish and his son had been Protestant.” The lessons of the master stuck: make sure to get prenups and postnups, to get paid by the book and not the word (take that, publishers!), and to control the narrative about the rise from uptown bully to being “officially equal to or better than John F. Kennedy, George Washington, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln, all of the Roosevelts.” The cumulative effect of the book, sad to say, is a bit depressing, for it captures its putative author in all his solipsistic, preening self-regard, all his insistence on his genius (“I mean, I’m a smart guy, graduated Wharton top of my class”), and all his nutty conspiracy theories. It’s all a bit much. But then, so is everything else about this president.
Sure to be a hot gag-gift item inside the Beltway—and to provoke angry tweets from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.