Non-Fiction Review: Art of the Deal by Donald Trump with Tony Schwartz

It’s not what you think

From what we get from the mainstream media, you might be led to think that Donald Trump is the devil incarnate. Whether this is justified or not, the book has nothing to do with his personal politics whatsoever. Nor is it a complete biography of his personal life. It’s not even a self-analysis of who Donald Trump is deep inside.

What it is about

It’s basically three things: what his day-to-day life as a businessman is like, some life lessons he’s learned from his real estate business, and some of his accomplishments in putting up buildings throughout the country.

All of this is flavored with his love of negotiating contracts. In other words, it’s about the “Art of the Deal.”

His main concern in the book is to uphold his reputation as a world-class businessman. According to him, New York City is a place of “killers” when it comes to making deals and getting the job done. And he wants to show us that he’s a winner right up there with the big boys.

Some of the weaknesses of the book

It’s interesting to see how his life lessons are demonstrated in a real life setting like creating buildings in Manhattan. And some of his tips like “thinking big” or having “raw persistence” are certainly things all of us can use. But for those who are hoping to become rich just by reading this book will probably be disappointed.

As far as a how-to book, it’s not a step by step outline on how to be successful in business or real estate. And neither is it a confessional tell-all, but I think you already knew that. Rather, it’s somewhere in between.

How to use the book

My opinion is that “Art of the Deal” is best used as a motivational book. Obviously, Trump is a successful person whether you believe he’s a millionaire or billionaire. The evidence of his success stands all over the country. So if you’re interested in how the mindset of a successful winner works, this book may be for you.

In relation to his campaign and Presidency

Reading the book, you get a better sense of why Trump says and does the things he does. For instance, he talks about his battle with former mayor of New York City, Ed Koch, on the building of a skating rink there. Reading that section of the book is very reminiscent of his public conflicts with Hillary Clinton.


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