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Trump: The Art of the Deal Mass Market Paperback – December 28, 2004

4.4 out of 5 stars 1,715 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This boastful, boyishly disarming, thoroughly engaging personal history offers an inside look at aspects of financing, development and construction in big-time New York real estate. "I don't do it for the money," maintains Trump, the son of a Queens realtor who, at age 27, bought and transfigured the colossal Hotel Commodore at Grand Central Terminal. Now 40, he has built, among other projects, and owns outright, Fifth Avenue's retail and residential Trump Tower (where he occupies a double-triplex suite); owns and operates Trump's Castle, a casino in Atlantic City; is arguably the most visible young man on Manhattan's celebrity circuit ("Governor Cuomo calls. . . . dinner at St. Patrick's Cathedral. . . . I call back Judith Krantz"); and is currently developing a controversial 100-acre West Side "Television City" project that is planned to include the world's tallest building. For those who would do likewise, Trump articulates his secrets for success: imagination, persistence, skill at "juggling provisional commitments" (e.g., for land or lease options, bank financing, zoning approval, tax abatement, etc.) and most crucial of all, a true trader's instinct. 135,000 printing; first serial to New York magazine and Vanity Fair; Fortune Book Club main selection; BOMC alternate. (December
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Library Journal

This is a fascinating book because it is incredible. At the age of 41, Trump, the son of a Queens, New York, developer of moderate-income apartment houses, presides over a vast real estate empire with assets in the billions. Trump's world is composed of an endless series of deals and ventures, most of them monumentally successful from his point of view. The book is less an autobiography than an hour-by-hour recapitulation of how Trump spends his time plus a few lessons for those who would do the same. Trump seems to be a clever entrepreneur and exhibitionist. There should be requests aplenty for this. A.J. Anderson, G.S.L.I.S., Simmons Coll., Boston
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (December 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345479173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345479174
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,715 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Hefele on March 9, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Trump, who believes that excess can be a virtue, is as American as Manhattan's skyline," wrote George Will in the 1980's. Regardless of whether you think Donald Trump as a symbol of American success, or you think he's an annoying, chest-pounding egomaniac with bad hair, this book will show you what it took for him to build up his empire. The book shows Trump doing what he does best -- boldly making big deals -- during the "greed is good" decade of the 1980's. I found it interesting to see how much of his current empire he had built up before his 40th birthday, and to understand how he pulled off various deals.
The majority of the book is a swashbuckling, detailed history of his biggest projects. He talks about all the details, from negotiating with landholders, arguing about zoning with city officials, lining up contractors, interviewing architects, dealing with partners in various projects, negotiating with banks to line up financing, and the like.
Trump also devotes a couple chapters to his background. He was the son of a successful developer of rent-controlled & low-income housing in Queens and Brooklyn, NY. He was a mischievous, aggressive kid (he once punched a teacher), and was sent military school during his high-school years. He started college at Fordham in the Bronx, NY, to be close to home, but then then transferred to the Wharton Business School (at the University of Pennsylvania) because he liked its entrepreneurial emphasis. Shortly after college, he worked with his father to buy a troubled apartment complex in Cincinnati, which he fixed it up and sold for a multi-million dollar profit.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Donald Trump has become arguably the world's best-known real-estate icon. He has undoubtedly worked hard for the honor. Trump routinely wakes up at 6AM, at which time he reads the morning papers before arriving to work by 9AM. He'll make anywhere from 50 to 100 phone calls daily, and will hold a dozen or so impromptu 15-minute meetings throughout the day. But Trump's work ethic is only part of the reason why he has come to define the quintessential real estate mogul.

Donald Trump provides for our benefit his eleven Trump Cards of success. They include thinking big, protecting the downside, maximizing options, knowing your market, using leverage, enhancing your location, getting the word out through a public relations/marketing campaign, fighting back, delivering the goods, controlling costs, and having fun. Yet even these Trump Cards fail to fully illuminate what it is that makes Trump so successful.

A great deal of Trump's success can be traced back to his father who built and sold homes throughout New York City, most prominently in Jamaica Estates. Donald would learn on the job from a young age about managing costs and putting together a working symphony of various real estate professionals. After transferring from Fordham University to the University of Pennsylvania to complete his undergraduate degree in business administration, Donald and his father bought Swifton Village in 1968, a 1200-unit FHA apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio. While the scope of a 1200-unit apartment complex may seem unfathomable to many, for Donald it was just the beginning. These formative years convinced Trump to look beyond NYC and take the next progressive step, which for him was to develop commercial real estate in Manhattan and later casinos in Atlantic City.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is not a how-to book for deal making or negotiation. This book is more autobiographical. Each chapter covers a different deal, which were mostly in the 1980s. To learn from this will require some reading between the lines and some extrapolation.
With the exception of the first couple chapters, which talk about his early years, each chapter goes into some detail about a different deal, like the USFL and Trump Plaza. Trump talks about some negotiations, licensing, and construction. Reading about the steps behind each deal has some benefit if you are patient and read carefully.
Unfortunately, you need to understand the time, New York/New Jersey, and Trump to get this information. Since the information is from the 80s, it is a bit dated. Also, if you are not familiar with New York or New Jersey, many of his references (which are oftentimes just the streets involved) will mean nothing to you. Trump also does a lot of name-dropping. If you are not from the area, then most of the names will mean nothing (with the exception of some of the USFL players he mentions).
I would rate this book higher if it wasn't so dated. If you are familiar with the area and time covered in the book, then this can be helpful.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before picking up this book, I knew next to nothing about Donald Trump. I've never been interested in celebrity gossip. All I knew about Trump was that he is a billionaire who had made his fortune in real estate and that he is something of a celebrity. I knew that he has his share of fans and critics, but I was neither of them. In other words, I had no preconceived notions about that man.

After reading this book, I formed a positive image of him, but I also acknowledge that I should read something written by his critics to form a balanced opinion. However, what I think about Donald Trump as a person is not all that important because Art of the Deal is not about Donald Trump per se. Those who are looking for Trump's biography or who hope that he will reveal in this book some juicy details about his private life will be disappointed. The Art of the Deal starts with one short chapter about his life, and then it goes on to talk about his various business endeavors. Nor does the book say much about his private life. Not that there is much to talk about. From what I read, he is a workaholic and consummate professional who does not have much in terms of private life.

Be also advised that the Art of the Deal came out in 1987. If you want information about what was happening with Donald Trump in the past 26 years, look elsewhere.

So just what exactly is this book about? It's about his business projects, as well as his business and life philosophy. Each chapter tells the story of one of his more grandiose projects.

I have little interest in business and none whatsoever in real estate, but, nevertheless, I did find the book to be very interesting.
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