August 29, 2016

The Making of Donald Trump is on the New York Times Best Sellers List for the third week running


IMG_0725-2Yet more good news on The Making of Donald Trumpit’s now enjoying its third straight week on the New York Times Best Seller List!

Are we surprised? We’re not surprised. We started with David Cay Johnston, an author who’s won awards for his dogged tax journalism and who’s known Donald Trump since 1988. He did a huge amount of research into Trump’s early years and past business dealings, and then wrote them up with what you might call “the best words” — a clear, carefully-cited, just-the-facts account.

Johnston has surely been enjoying the book’s success, along with a wave of appreciation from media and political commentators writing about the Man Who Would Be King. Mother Jones magazine’s Trump Files column has three times this week made use of Johnston’s reporting: once to discuss the time Trump cut off health care to a sickly infant nephew to settle a score against his parents (“Classy.”) in a piece by Natalie Schreyer, once to tell the story of the time Trump was unable to name a single one of the Trump University professors he claimed to have hand-picked for the notorious dumpster-fire-masquerading-as-a-for-profit-education-initiative (“Terrific people. Terrific brains. Successful.”) in a piece by Max J. Rosenthal, and again, in another piece by Rosenthal, to consider Trump’s historic difficulties being honest about his casinos. The book was recommended by the Independent’s Brad Davies, while Kirkus Reviews labeled it “a can’t-miss, fabulous book,” and told their readers to “buy it!”

And none other than the great Michiko Kakutani praised him this week in the New York Times, writing:

“The Making of Donald Trump” by David Cay Johnston — a former reporter for The New York Times who has written extensively about Mr. Trump — zeros in on Mr. Trump’s business practices, arguing that while he presents himself as “a modern Midas,” much “of what he touches” has often turned “to dross.” Mr. Johnston, who has followed the real estate impresario for nearly three decades, offers a searing indictment of his business practices and creative accounting. He examines Mr. Trump’s taste for debt, what associates have described as his startling capacity for recklessness, multiple corporate bankruptcies, dealings with reputed mobsters and accusations of fraud.

Meanwhile, Johnston decided to hold a signing of the book in Rochester, New York, near his home (local media was suitably chuffed). Turns out his neighbors were pretty eager to hear what he might have to say:

And in the midst of all of this, somehow—because David Cay Johnston is a guy who finds time for all of this around his work as a professional journalist—he also wrote a terrific piece about the Trump campaign for the Daily Beast:

We learned something extraordinarily valuable last week about Donald Trump’s qualifications to be president when, in the words of oh so many news reports, there was another shake-up of his tiny campaign team. Sadly, most all of the breaking news reports and initial opinion columns missed it.
The gist of news reports concerned the firing of one campaign manager—who evidently had been an unregistered, deceptive and highly paid foreign agent for a Moscow-leaning Ukraine government—and the hiring of a new one, the overseer of a fringe website that makes up fantastical “news” reports which Trump regards as factual.

The widely reported significance: Trump was blowing off the Republican establishment and retaining inexperienced enablers who would, as the saying goes, let Trump be Trump.

Continue reading here.

As for the question of whether David Cay Johnston ever sleeps — when we find out, we’ll let you know. Meantime, you can order his book here.