Back to Main List
Back to Book List

Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Making Deals

Art of the Deal

Donald Trump




I finished Donald Trump's book The Art of the Deal, an autobiographical account of Trump's real estate projects. Trump says he likes making deals, and he seems to have a kind of genius (or luck) in working with contracts, contractors, government agencies, and so forth. Trump understands how to get people excited by a building project, and uses leverage and persistence to make big things happen.

Trump's father was a manager of low rent apartment buildings in New York, but that scene was a bit physically rough for Trump, so Trump went into building hotels and casinos. He believed in hiring the best people, trusting his instincts, and cutting costs in some ways while spending extra in others. He's practical financially except when he feels he's been wronged, in which case he's willing to fight even if he loses money. I've read Steve Job's biography, and the characters seem similar -- both driven, exacting, visionary, (and very rich).

I've linked to a meme which appears accurate, but I do note that the book was published in 1987 before Trump got his inheritance (and the exact amount is disputed), so it does not necessarily mean Trump lacked business acumen...