THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP by David Cay Johnston

THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP

Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist takes aim at his longtime bête noire, “a modern P.T. Barnum selling tickets to a modern variation of the Feejee Mermaid.”

If you follow the news at all, you’ll know that a number of allegations have recently been raised against GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump—e.g., he played the field outside marriage, refused to pay suppliers and workers for jobs contracted for and completed, lied about his wealth, etc. It’s due in good measure to veteran investigative reporter Johnston (The Fine Print: How Big Companies Use "Plain English" to Rob You Blind, 2012, etc.) that these charges have seen the light of day. Here, without undue breathlessness and certainly without any coyness, he elaborates on those newsworthy sound bites: Trump’s father was arrested at a KKK rally and later accused of profiteering from tax dollars intended to benefit World War II veterans; Trump avoided military service because of a bone spur in his foot, though which foot he cannot recall; Trump is the least generous philanthropist in his tax bracket—and, of course, we don’t know what bracket that might be given his refusal to release those records—but loudly proclaims that he gives away millions. That none of this is shocking news is because Johnston has already done significant work getting these reports out. What is more useful in this account is his connecting dots and establishing patterns, one of which is that Trump has been planning for more than 30 years to run for the presidency, only now pulling together sufficient support to do so. All of this, of course, tempts legal action; as Johnston notes, “Trump spent two years suing author Tim O’Brien and his publisher for writing that his net worth was probably not in the billions, but rather the hundreds of millions. After a court dismissed the case, Trump made it clear that he merely wanted to harass O’Brien, not necessarily win damages.”

Voters ready to pull the trigger one way or another probably won’t be swayed by these revelations, but they are highly damning indeed.

Pub Date: Aug. 2nd, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61219-632-9
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Melville House
Review Posted Online:




BEST BOOKS OF 2016 TO EXPLAIN CURRENT POLITICS:

NonfictionNOBODY by Marc Lamont Hill
by Marc Lamont Hill
NonfictionTHE GUNNING OF AMERICA by Pamela Haag
by Pamela Haag
NonfictionEVICTED by Matthew Desmond
by Matthew Desmond
NonfictionTHANK YOU FOR BEING LATE by Thomas L. Friedman
by Thomas L. Friedman
NonfictionTHE BLACK PRESIDENCY by Michael Eric Dyson
by Michael Eric Dyson

OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for ODESSA SEA
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for TESTIMONY
VERDICT:
BUY IT
Cover art for BORN A CRIME
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for CHAOS
VERDICT:
SKIP IT

MORE BY DAVID CAY JOHNSTON

NonfictionDIVIDED by David Cay Johnston
by David Cay Johnston
NonfictionTHE FINE PRINT by David Cay Johnston
by David Cay Johnston
NonfictionFREE LUNCH by David Cay Johnston
by David Cay Johnston

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionTRUMPNATION by Timothy L. O’Brien
by Timothy L. O’Brien
NonfictionASSHOLES by Aaron James
by Aaron James