December 1, 2016

Poor Ivanka! Jia Tolentino on The Trump Card


“In business, as in life, nothing is ever handed to you.” ---Ivanka Trump

“In business, as in life, nothing is ever handed to you.” —Ivanka Trump

There’s certainly no reason to read Ivanka Trump’s self-help book The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life (October, 2009), or her forthcoming Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success (March, 2017), but Jia Tolentino’s terrific write-up (send-up?) for the New Yorker is great.

The Trump Card, Tolentino suggests, is remarkable for its willful perversion of logic (the apple doesn’t fall far…) and for its being a chilling harbinger, back in 2009, of what was to come:

For my money, though, the book’s most revealing remark arrives after Ivanka recalls a boxing match in Atlantic City, in which Mike Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks in ninety-one seconds. The crowd, having paid a lot of money and expecting more action, grew angry. Donald Trump got into the ring to calm them down, impressing his seven-year-old daughter. “That electric night in Atlantic City made me realize that it isn’t enough to win a transaction,” she writes, all these years later. “You have to be able to look the other guy in the eye and know that there is value in the deal on the other end, too — unless, of course, you’re a onetime seller and just going for the gold.”

Thus far, no remorseful, Tony Schwartz-like character has come forward as Ivanka’s co-author. Back in June, Schwartz lamented his contributions to Donald Trump’s The Art of the Deal in a conversation with Jane Mayer: “I put lipstick on a pig,” he said. “I genuinely believe that if Trump wins and gets the nuclear codes there is an excellent possibility it will lead to the end of civilization.”

A cool thing to read again, fewer than eight weeks before President-Elect Trump’s inauguration.



Taylor Sperry is a former Melville House editor.