Donald Trump has already repudiated Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power, a book by Washington Post reporters, Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher.
Kranish and Fisher have culled dozens of articles from Post reporters and others, as well as spent 20 interview hours with Trump to create this unauthorized biography. The book begins with his 2008 travel to Scotland to visit the house in which his mother grew up. He went inside and spent a total of 97 seconds.
Trump Revealed also provides vignettes of his childhood exploits. A next door neighbor tells the story of how she briefly left her toddler in the yard, and returned to find a six year old Trump throwing rocks at her baby.
Trump himself recounts a story about how he punched a teacher, and gave him a black eye. On the teacher’s deathbed in a hospice he heard that Trump was considering running for President and said, “When that kid was ten, even then he was a little shit.”
Surprisingly, Trump describes himself as “aggressive.” When he was growing up, Westside Story was a Broadway hit. He and his friend liked to pretend they were gang members mimicking the play, and they begin to buy knives. “At first the knives they used were six inches long, but they graduated to eleven-inch blades as they became more daring.” Soon after this event, Trump was sent to military boarding school.
Even though, we’ve heard some of these stories, and facts and figures many times in the last few months, Kranish and Fisher’s prose in Trump Revealed is chockfull of illustrative images and is, at times, powerful. The recounting of his childhood escapades, the string of his disastrous business failings and unpaid bills, as well as his propensity for lawsuits, might be enough to make some supporters change their minds.
However, since there’s very little written about Trump’s family, there’s an obvious lack of transparency about his life. Most of the stories in the press are the fodder of the family drama, or ones he manufactured. It makes the line between real and deception murky. When people try to dig in, he’s a master at distracting those who believe in him. He won’t disclose his tax returns. No one seems to remember him at Wharton.
As pointed out in the book, despite his countless insults, his financial instability, that most of the Republican Party has rejected him, defense experts have called him a threat to national security, that most of his business endeavors have fizzled, and his understanding of foreign policy and the global economy is non-existent, people still bask in his shadow, blindly, and follow him like the Pied Piper.
It’s clear Trump has a talent for picking a mark. His attitude is obviously all’s fair in business and politics. This time, as the Republican Presidential Candidate, he’s going for the high stakes and making his mark America. Let’s hope he fails at this as well.