Friday, May 04, 2018

Book Review - Trump: The Art Of The Deal

While going through some news a couple of days back, I came over the news article on a US team visiting China for trade negotiations. These talks have been necessitated due to the mutual embargoes US and then China placed on trade from each other. In line with Donald Trump's many other statements, actions and policies which fly in the face of conventional procedures and wisdom, the unilateral move by US in March to impose trade sanctions on China had left most analysts dumbfounded.
This, coupled with his anti immigration policies around restricting the H1-B visas and the associated restrictions on the EAD (Employment Authorisation Document), which are supposed to hit the Indian IT workforce hard piqued my interest. A simple question arose: why is this guy, Donald Trump, who was much vilified by US media during the elections and afterwards, able to take such an unconventional decision? (It is only recently that the negative PR he receives has started going down, and he is getting mainstream credence, due to the possibility of North Korea's denuclearization).

Going through the list of books that could help me here, I zeroed down on Trump: The Art of the Deal since he is has credits for the book, and it would contain information to his business and personal lifestyle. The guys at Amazon delivered the book quickly, and as soon as I got my hands on it, I was lost in reading it. The book has 14 chapters. It begins by recounting a week in his office (~1980's), where he gives out details of business calls he has made and received, and a gist of each of those calls. Now this is a very fascinating chapter, not because its about Donald Trump, but because it offers an example of the topmost guys at the foodchain spend their time doing business. As a lay person, I've never come across anything similar - which describes how a top executive works day in day out, with much juicy details in there. From the second chapter onwards, he starts talking about his business principles, and his business dealings. Some of his observations regarding politicians and rich people are spot on. Though the book has a solid start, I found the book to become unceremonious slowly with time. There is a lot of talk about business transactions, some of which could point be thoughtful of as boastful, and bordering on bullying.
In any case, I found the book a good read, some of the incidents it narrated were really insightful (not about Trump, but the wealthy folks per se). I think it is  definitely something worth checking out. Overall rating: 4.5/5  

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