A straightforward biography of the billionaire Republican presidential hopeful.
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist D’Antonio (Mortal Sins: Sex, Crime, and the Era of Catholic Scandal, 2013) scrutinizes the life of Donald Trump in a portrait that’s consistently even-keeled and neither applauds nor particularly vilifies the billionaire businessman. Drawing heavily on a sizable archive of previously published media (as well as 10 hours with the man himself), the author paints Trump in much the same light as his public persona allows: he is an egotistical, self-absorbed, successful business tycoon and undoubtedly the “most recognized businessperson of our time.” The author writes of Trump’s “relentless pursuit of profit,” which began as he came of age in 1970s-era Manhattan after assuming control of his father Fred’s real estate development firm. Time spent at a military academy also molded his temperament and workhorse discipline. Appeasing his indulgences for sex with scores of beautiful women and garnering a reputation for being a ruthless property owner, Trump as always demonstrated a narcissistic braggadocio and hubris, which permeates much of this biography. He’s shrewd and he knows it, and he even takes full credit for the rejuvenation of midtown Manhattan in the late 1970s. Commentary from his ex-wives, son Donald Jr., and a slew of business associates all further confirm The Donald’s lofty hierarchal status as a prolific author, reality TV star, and surprisingly popular political candidate. The past catches up with the present in the book’s final chapter, which offers more refreshing personal perspectives. Even though Trump excommunicated D’Antonio early on for entertaining the opinions of detractors, the author still manages to produce careful, solid spadework in presenting Trump’s life and entrepreneurial legacy through the achievements, failures, and self-promotional salesmanship that continue to captivate media outlets today.
An evenhandedly written and aptly timed glimpse of the man behind the mogul.