A unique approach to the continuing deconstruction of the Trumpian edifice.

PLAINTIFF IN CHIEF

A PORTRAIT OF DONALD TRUMP IN 3,500 LAWSUITS

Another searing exposé of the current president.

Former federal prosecutor Zirin, a “middle-of-the-road Republican,” pieces together a highly damning portrait of Donald Trump as a serial abuser of the law, lifelong liar, perjurer, business fraudster, tax evader, racist, and serial perpetrator of sexual assault. The book is so incriminating not only because of the author’s credentials, but also because the details are grounded in approximately 3,500 lawsuits filed by Trump, against Trump, or, in some instances, cross-filed by the opposing parties. Because litigation generally includes sworn affidavits attesting to accuracy and testimony given under oath if a trial occurs, the author is able to accurately document, page after page, the unbelievably long list of Trump’s exaggerations and outright falsehoods. In fact, the documentation provided by Zirin is impossible to refute, by Trump or anybody else who might take exception to this book (most of whom will ignore the facts anyway). The author began his painstaking research in 2015, soon after Trump announced he would seek the presidency on the Republican Party ballot. Because Zirin had spent his decadeslong law career in New York, he had already formed an impression of Trump as a businessman who lacked respect for the Constitution and the courts. Among other topics, the author focuses on Trump’s ties to organized crime; his business frauds related to hotels, casinos, and residential rental properties; and his phony Trump University. An entire chapter covers litigation related to Trump’s mistreatment of women, including physical assault. In every chapter, Zirin explains how Trump abuses the court system, which is funded by American taxpayers, by filing lawsuits in bad faith. He also targets Trump’s lawyers for their unethical behaviors. Though the author’s writing is not always easy to follow, as he sometimes lapses into lawyerly jargon, his overall message is achingly clear: “All this aberrant behavior would be problematic in a businessman….But the implications of such conduct in a man who is the president…are nothing less than terrifying.”

A unique approach to the continuing deconstruction of the Trumpian edifice.

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20162-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: All Points/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

THE 48 LAWS OF POWER

The authors have created a sort of anti-Book of Virtues in this encyclopedic compendium of the ways and means of power.

Everyone wants power and everyone is in a constant duplicitous game to gain more power at the expense of others, according to Greene, a screenwriter and former editor at Esquire (Elffers, a book packager, designed the volume, with its attractive marginalia). We live today as courtiers once did in royal courts: we must appear civil while attempting to crush all those around us. This power game can be played well or poorly, and in these 48 laws culled from the history and wisdom of the world’s greatest power players are the rules that must be followed to win. These laws boil down to being as ruthless, selfish, manipulative, and deceitful as possible. Each law, however, gets its own chapter: “Conceal Your Intentions,” “Always Say Less Than Necessary,” “Pose as a Friend, Work as a Spy,” and so on. Each chapter is conveniently broken down into sections on what happened to those who transgressed or observed the particular law, the key elements in this law, and ways to defensively reverse this law when it’s used against you. Quotations in the margins amplify the lesson being taught. While compelling in the way an auto accident might be, the book is simply nonsense. Rules often contradict each other. We are told, for instance, to “be conspicuous at all cost,” then told to “behave like others.” More seriously, Greene never really defines “power,” and he merely asserts, rather than offers evidence for, the Hobbesian world of all against all in which he insists we live. The world may be like this at times, but often it isn’t. To ask why this is so would be a far more useful project.

If the authors are serious, this is a silly, distasteful book. If they are not, it’s a brilliant satire.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-670-88146-5

Page Count: 430

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 1998

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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