Get the key ideas from

The Making of Donald Trump

How Donald Trump rose to the pinnacle of power

By David Cay Johnston
13-minute read
Audio available
The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston

The Making of Donald Trump (2016) examines the man behind the highly polished public figure presented to the media – and now the voting public – of America. His thousands of court cases and shady business dealings give a clear picture of the deception and dishonesty that Donald Trump would rather keep out of public view. Now more than ever before, it’s crucial that people know whom they’re dealing with.

  • Anyone interested in politics or social sciences
  • News junkies curious about Trump’s background
  • Readers who are puzzled by Trump’s success

David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist at the New York Times, where he’s been following Trump’s career for over 30 years. He’s also the author of the best-selling books Free Lunch and The Fine Print. He teaches at the Syracuse University College of Law.

Go Premium and get the best of Blinkist

Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. Read or listen to key insights from the world’s best nonfiction.

Upgrade to Premium

What is Blinkist?

The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes. Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read.

Discover
3,000+ top
nonfiction titles

Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts.

Join Blinkist to get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from
Get the key ideas from

The Making of Donald Trump

By David Cay Johnston
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
Upgrade to Premium Read or listen now
The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston
Synopsis

The Making of Donald Trump (2016) examines the man behind the highly polished public figure presented to the media – and now the voting public – of America. His thousands of court cases and shady business dealings give a clear picture of the deception and dishonesty that Donald Trump would rather keep out of public view. Now more than ever before, it’s crucial that people know whom they’re dealing with.

Key idea 1 of 8

Donald Trump has manipulated the media to help create a fictionalized version of himself.

If you’re wondering how Trump attracted so many voters in 2016, it’s important to look at the public image he constructed. He’s positioned himself as a savior, a sort of modern Midas with the ability to step in and turn any project into gold.

Trump has a deep understanding of the media’s workings, preferences and weaknesses. Because of this understanding, he has been able to craft a public image that has captured the public imagination.

Many journalists work under strict deadlines, which don’t always allow for in-depth research. Trump is keenly aware of this weakness, which is why he feeds the media ready-to-print stories, complete with images that support his agenda.

He’s had years of practice at this, and the stories he delivers are often full of deception.

In the 1970s, for instance, he agreed to a lawsuit settlement that forced him to accept non-white tenants in his New York apartments. But when he spoke to the press, he spun the story to emphasize that he didn’t have to admit any guilt in the “minor settlement.”

And in June of 2015, when Trump announced his presidential campaign, it already looked like a success; the auditorium at Trump Tower was filled with young people cheering enthusiastically. Yet this was a carefully staged event for the press. Many of the participants were extras who had been hired for $50 to smile and clap.

Trump’s history of media deception even includes him posing as fictional people within his organization during phone interviews to plant favorable stories that cast him in a positive light.

In 1980, he called the New York Times pretending to be “John Baron,” the vice president of The Trump Organization. He then attempted to dispel the rumors about a work of art that had gone missing at one of his construction sites, in the hopes of preventing a scandal.

Years later, this time with People magazine, he claimed to be an assistant named “John Miller.” As Miller, Trump told the reporter that his boss – that is, Donald Trump – was unable to give an interview due to so many beautiful celebrities, such as Madonna and Kim Basinger, also vying for his attention.

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

Key ideas in this title

Upgrade to continue Read or listen now

No time to
read?

Pssst. Sign up to your secret to success: key ideas from top nonfiction in just 15 minutes.
Created with Sketch.