Trump: the Art of the (book) deal

Now that “The Apprentice” (which was a guilty pleasure of mine) is off the air, I decided to re-read The Donald’s old book “The Art of the Deal” as well as his new release “How to Get Rich.” Trump is a fascinating and dynamic character, one that regardless of whether you love him or hate him you know he’s not to be ignored.

The Art of the Deal was a fantastic read– probably the most interesting book I’ve read in years. I had read it before, of course… but I’ve had over a decade of serial entrepreneurship under my belt since the last time I picked it up, so I was able to relate to its content in a much more personal way. It is an amazingly brash book, and I’m stunned at how willing he was to tell it like it is. He named names where I wouldn’t have, and really doesn’t pull any punches. I couldn’t put it down. If you haven’t read it, or even if you DID read it in the late 80’s you owe it to yourself to pick it up– you’ll learn something and have a good time doing it.

His newer book, “How to Get Rich,” however, was a bit of a disappointment. I have tremendous respect for Trump– not just for what he’s managed to accomplish, but because of the grace with which he faced near bankruptcy. (To hear him tell it, there was a point in the early nineties where he passed a bum sleeping on the street and realized that the bum had a net worth 8 billion dollars greater than his own. You thought YOUR business was deep in debt?) I really was hoping for a book that told the story of his recovery, but what I got was more of an instructional tome that really didn’t have much value. It’s worth reading if you have the time, but there are better books on how to make money. Trump attempts to give career advice despite never having worked for someone– it’s a bit hard to take at times. It’s not that it was a bad book, it just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. (i.e. more narrative.) Maybe someday he’ll write the book I want to read, but I think it just may be a point in his life he doesn’t wish to re-live.