it is not a book. It is a muscle-boundnmonologue that has been wrestled by an”collaborator” into a heap of paragraphs,nmost of which begin with “I,”nand all of which are assumed to benfascinating by virtue of the subject’sncelebrity. The volume displays thatndistinctly inert prose found in alln”talked” books. You see, the words justnaren’t there. Donald Trunip is withoutnskill at associating ideas and feelingsnwith words, or words with meanings.nBased on his book, Donald Trump is anless-than-articulate man.nThat the last thing less-than-articulatenpeople should be doing is puttingnout books is of no concern to DonaldnTrump. This is Donald Trump talking,nthe Donald Trump, “America’s mostnglamorous young tycoon.” For publishingnpurposes, he is the entrepreneurialnequivalent of a well-hypednmajor leaguer coming off a championshipnyear. That being the standard, it isnenough that we are privy in The Art ofnthe Deal to a full week, hour-by-hour,nof Trump’s business diary (he declinesninvitations, he drafts a letter, he choosesnChristmas decorations, he drinksnsome juice; he calls Ivan Boesky, hencalls Calvin Klein, he calls JudithnKrantz, he calls his sister). It is enoughnthat we can learn Trump’s thoughts onnthe “genius’.’ of Sylvester Stallone (“anman who is just forty-one years old,nand [has] already created two of thenall-time-great characters. Rocky andnRambo”), his color preferences (“Inhappen to like earth tones. They arenricher and more elegant than primaryncolors”), and his plans for his NewnYork apartment (“What I’m doing isnabout as close as you’re going to get, innthe twentieth century, to the quality ofnVersailles”).nThe effect of this lumpish conceitnvaries. Often it is simply comical. Herenis Trump, a man who believes inngetting things “done right,” relatingnthe personal qualities of those closest tonhim:nI have a father who has alwaysnbeen a rock. . . .n. . . I’m as much of a rock asnmy father.nMy mother is as much of a rocknas my father.n[My wife] also happens to be anrock, just like my mother andnfather.nA Mets outfielder couldn’t have said itnany better. Donald Trump is characterizingnhis family as a bunch of rocks.nWell, as Trump himself says, “I’m anvery practical guy” — so practical thatnhe can make do with one descriptionnfor four loved ones.nTrump is also a busy guy. He’s busynthinking big, really big, monumentallynbig. As big as you can get. Huge. Hisnspecial gift is to be at once “practical”nand grandiose: “To me it’s very simple:nif you’re going to be thinking anyway,nyou might as well think big.” But whatnexactly is “big”? What does it mean?nTrump is ready with an answer: Big isn”a whole different order of magnitude.”n”Think Big” is the first of DonaldnTrump’s 11 “Elements of the Deal,”nthe main insight onto which the othern10 are pasted, like little cutouts fromnevery superficial business book evernwritten. There is Trump’s advice ton”deal from strength,” and his opinionnthat those who question the man ofnboldness and imagination are “life’snlosers,” victims of “jealousy andnenvy.” There is his “key” to selfpromotion,nwhich is “bravado . . .ntruthful hyperbole … an innocentnform of exaggeration,” always effectivenwith people who “may not alwaysnthink big themselves, but … get verynexcited by those who do.” There is hisnrevelation that “I keep a lot of balls innthe air” (big balls, presumably). Best ofnall, there is Trump’s theory of “controllednneurosis.”nThose fortunate enough to possessncontrolled neurosis — which is thenmanifestation of “total focus,” whichnis the secret to thinking big — aren”obsessive, they’re driven, they’rensingleminded and sometimes they’renalmost maniacal. . . . Where othernpeople are paralyzed by neurosis, [successfulnentrepreneurs] are actuallynhelped by it.” By “helped,” Trumpndoes not mean that these men find “anhappier life, or a better life.” He justnmeans that controlled neurosis isn”great when it comes to getting whatnyou want.” But what if what you wantnis “a happier life, or a better life?”nPlease. If that’s your question, you’venobviously lost “total focus.”nDonald Trump’s 11 “Elements ofnthe Deal,” the soul of his entrepreneurialnphilosophy, cover 10 wholenpages of his book. Power-packed asnnnthose pages are, they pale alongsidenTrump’s real contribution to Americannbusiness culture: his book’s title andnthe thinking behind that title. The Artnof the Deal is a brilliant title, thenperfect culmination of a decade ofnbusiness mythmaking. The storiesnabout “fearless innovators” and “marketingnwizards” long ago gave way tonprofiles of business “geniuses.” Finallyneverybody and his brother was a geniusn(including Sylvester Stallone), and itnwas time for a new word, a newnconcept.nDonald Trump has it: the deal asn”art.” “Deals are my art form,” saysnTrump. “Other people paint beautifullynon canvas or write wonderful poetry.nI like making deals, preferably bigndeals. That’s how I get my kicks.” Itnfollows that if Donald Trump considersndealing an art, then DonaldnTrump, dealer par excellence, mustnconsider himself an artist. It furthernfollows that America’s dealheads,nbeing magnets for “truthful hyperbole,”nwill start defining themselves asnartists, too. Making art and gettingnkicks. I told you it wouldn’t be pretty.nThe dealheads are being had, ofncourse, which is what they get fornmoving beyond the simplistic metaphorsnof football. For while DonaldnTrump is happy to present himself as anrole model for would-be big thinkers,nhe does not for a moment expect realncompetition from them — or from anyonenelse. The first message of DonaldnTrump’s book is that Donald Trump isnincomparable. The second message isnthat if Trump is not at all like the rest ofnus he is very democratic about it: henfully supports our right to want to benlike him. He is a staggeringly uniquenindividual who is also a regular guy, anone-of-a-kind business colossus whonproves his humanity by invitingnanyone — everyone — to be impressednby him.nIt is a dual message of egomania andncondescension that could be taken seriouslynonly by compulsive role playersnwith time on their hands. It is a messagenfor dealheads — who are readingnit at this very moment and quiveringnwith artistic resolve: to become morenrock-like, to develop a controlled neurosis,nto avoid the use of primaryncolors. Put them all together, they spelln”a whole different order of magnitude.”nJUIVEI988I41n