Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Walter A. McDougall: On Trump

Walter A. McDougall

My old Berkeley professor of American history, Walter A. McDougall, has an article ("Art of the Doge?" January 6, 2017) in FPRI's American Review of Books, Blogs, and Bull. In this article, McDougall asks an interesting question, namely, does the President-Elect have a distinct operational code?

McDougall goes to an interesting place in search of an answer:
Might Donald Trump's modus operandi derive from his lifetime as an entrepreneur? In fact, he has already given us a candid answer which nearly all journalists and pundits have curiously ignored. It can be found in Trump: The Art of the Deal, his 1987 autobiography. Its ghostwriter, Tony Schwartz, now regrets his role in massaging the man's image but does not disavow the book's contents, which telegraphed 30 years ago Trump's startling, successful leap into politics.
McDougall also notes that Trump was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth:
The first chapter, a chronicle of one typically busy week, highlights an act of charity he performed and goes on to mention how much he relies on female executives. The chapter on his childhood combats the assumption that he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth by describing his father's rise from poverty in the gritty construction business, the hard work he had to do as a child, and his four years in military school. That he once thought of trying to make it in Hollywood anticipates his later stardom on television. That he scoffed at public relations firms and pollsters while hyping his ability to manipulate the media anticipates his unorthodox political campaign 30 years later.
The rest of the article has similarly interesting observations to share.



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