In this “scrupulously reported biography” (NPR) Jordan documents how Melania Trump had discussing being First Lady nearly two decades before she landed in the White House and how she encouraged her husband to enter the race for president.
Based on interviews with more than one hundred people in five countries, The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump is “an extraordinary work” (Salon) that draws an unprecedented portrait of the first lady. We see that behind the scenes Melania Trump is not only part of President Trump’s inner circle, but for some key decisions she has been his single most influential advisor.
Jordan interviewed key people in Melania's close circle who speak publicly for the first time and uncovered never-before-seen photos and tapes of the tall woman with “tiger eyes,” as a judge in an early modeling contest said. The Art of Her Deal shows Melania’s ascent from a modest life, tracing her journey from childhood under a communist dictator to her complicated relationship with Donald Trump. The picture that emerges is “that the first lady is not a pawn but a player... and a woman able to get what she wants from one of the most powerful and transparently vain men in the world” (NPR).
And while it is her husband who became famous for the phrase “the art of the deal,” this is the story of the art of her deal.
In this brisk and largely flattering biography, Washington Post reporter Jordan (coauthor, Hope: A Memoir of Survival in Cleveland) portrays first lady Melania Trump as "independent, highly focused, and acutely aware of her own power and when to deploy it." Contrary to reports that Melania didn't want her husband to run for president and cried the night he was elected, she was actually one of the few people in Trump's inner circle who believed he could win, Jordan writes, and had an influential role in key decisions such as selecting Mike Pence for vice president. Jordan tracks Melania's journey from the former Yugoslavia (present-day Slovenia), where she was born Melanija Knavs in 1970, to modeling gigs in Milan and Paris, where she "stayed away from the drugs and hard party scene" and "left few traces," and New York, where she starred in a Camel Light ad campaign before meeting Trump sometime in 1998 (accounts of precisely when and where vary). Though some anecdotes strain plausibility, especially the claim (based on a third-hand source) that Melania told Trump she was angry about the Access Hollywood tape leak because it meant he might have lost the election "for us," others (including tensions with stepdaughter Ivanka Trump and the securing of improved prenup terms before relocating to the White House in June 2017) ring true. This detailed yet credulous account adds depth to the prevailing portrait of Melania as merely an "elegant accessory" to her husband.
Roger L. Myers
Another good book extraordinary reading . I have enjoyed and learned so much about Mrs. Trump and the people around her. A great lady and a great First Lady.