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Trump: The Art of the Deal

Donald J. Trump

Conversation Starters

By Paul Adams


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First Published in the United States of America 2019

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Table of Contents

Introducing Trump: The Art of the Deal

Discussion Questions

Introducing the Author

Fireside Questions

Quiz Questions

Quiz Answers

Ways to Continue Your Reading

Introducing Trump: The Art of the Deal

TRUMP: THE ART OF THE DEAL IS A BOOK WRITTEN BY Donald Trump and Tony Schwartz. Trump was 40 years old and a successful businessman when the book was published in 1987. It was reportedly the first book that made Trump popular. The book is part biographical and part business advice. It tells Trump's childhood story as a boy growing up in Jamaica Estates, Queens. It relates how Trump worked in Brooklyn and then moved to Manhattan to build The Trump Organization. He develops the Trump Tower and the Grand Hyatt Hotel, renovates the Wollman Rink, among many other projects. Trump shares his secrets to success by outlining the 11 business steps he used, which he learned from The Power of Positive Thinking, the inspirational book written by Norman Vincent Peal. The 11 steps include: 1)Think big; 2) Protect the downside, and the upside will take care of itself; 3) Maximize your options; 4) Know your market; 5) Use your leverage; 6) Enhance your location; 7) Get the word out; 8) Fight back; 9) Deliver the goods; 10) Contain the costs; 11) Have fun.

The first chapter of the book describes Trump at work as he makes calls and deals with business partners. He speaks in the first-person voice as he explains why he does business and how he does it as an art form. He describes how his week goes, from the moment he wakes up at six to the time he ends his day at 6:30 pm. He gives accounts of his business dealings, conversations, phone calls, thoughts and impression about people, events, and situations. He divides these into the hours of the day. The reader is also given a view into his personal life as he relates how he takes calls from his young children during office hours. He tells how his nine-year-old son is insistent in knowing what time he will be coming home and how his then-wife Ivana is capably managing their three homes and the Trump Castle. He also tells about other members of his family, like his sister with whom he consults with on tax issues. He issues a lot of quotable advice about doing business: "Maximize your options; Use your leverage; I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing, pushing…to get what I'm after." He also has interesting anecdotes, like that of his artist friend who showed him how to make $25,000 in a few minutes. He said the artist splashed paint on canvas and told him afterward that he just earned $25,000. Trump explains that collectors don't know the difference between a painting done in two minutes and one that has the painter's heart and soul in it. He thinks many artists are better salesmen than artists. He also tells a story about Jimmy Carter who came to see him in his office asking for a $50 million donation to the Jimmy Carter Library. Trump says a Carter had the guts to ask for such amount of money. He realized that this characteristic of Carter's helped him get elected as president.

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