similar to the version published on Monday, May 31, 2004 in The
If you're captivated by Trump, you've gotta
get his book.
opinions, observations, anecdotes and gossip from The Donald.
BY RICHARD PACHTER
How to Get Rich. Donald J. Trump and Meredith McIver. Random House.
272 pages. (available in a variety of formats).
Fresh off the mega-successful television "reality" series,
"The Apprentice," The Donald offers his sage wisdom to
the masses in print and by audio.
I've never met or heard of anyone getting rich by reading a book,
although I guess it's possible.
Regardless, it hasn't halted an endless parade of
executives and entrepreneurs from writing (or causing to be written)
tracts relating their life stories, worldviews, philosophies and
more. Apparently believing that their successes are replicable,
they freely offer oodles of advice on every aspect of life and business.
So too, does Trump. He is a walking, living, breathing brand, projecting
the middle class dream of wealth.
His new book is mis-titled. Though he freely dispenses a melange
of platitudes, opinions, observations, anecdotes, gossip and more,
the effect is more entertaining than enlightening. Though he indulges
in much mock-profundity, little is revealed of his inner life (except,
perhaps, that's he's a big Neil
Young fan and doesn't like to shake hands because it's unsanitary).
Trump's prose style (or, more likely, his collaborator's) is breezy,
but bombastic, with lots of superlatives and absolutes. Also, petty
slights or disloyalties by politicians (Mario Cuomo) or TV personalities
(Joy Behar) are recounted with precision. Of course, friends and
cronies are praised to the heavens; Everyman Entertainer Regis Philbin
is a master of his craft, and incessantly sycophantic Larry King
is a "sharp interviewer." Yeah, right
And almost every Trump employee seems to be name-checked in this
book. I lost count after 100, though some received the literary
equivalent of a back slap several times (but who's counting?).
Yet, despite the ceaseless self-abuse and endless promotion of his
properties (all named The Trump this or The Trump that), The Donald
manages to come off as an OK guy. Pompous, a bit of a blowhard and
an equal opportunity vulgarian, he nonetheless fulfills his self-made
image as a populist rich guy guided by common sense.
For example, he advises: "Find a receptionist who can speak
English. We had a breathtaking European beauty out front who could
easily rival Ingrid Bergman in her heyday, but I discovered that
her ability to recognize well-known people in the United States
was limited to myself and maybe President Bush. She wasn't so familiar
with the likes of Hugh Grant, Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner,
Jack Welch, Paul Anka, Mohamed Al Fayed, Regis Philbin, or Tony
Bennett. Their calls never got through to me and their
names were placed on her 'psycho list.' But you should have seen
her. What a knockout. She's since moved on to better career opportunities,
but we'll never forget her. Neither will anyone who ever called
in. Or tried to."
edition is read by actor Barry Bostwick, whose lead role in
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" might have helped prepare
him for playing Trump, which he carries off with appropriately campy
abandon and not an ounce of seriousness.
If you're seeking a thoughtful lesson in wealth creation and entrepreneurship,
look elsewhere, but if you're one of the millions of viewers captivated
by Trump's persona, gravity-defying hair or swaggering spirit, have
I got a deal
Like business books? Join the club.