A Rosetta Stone for understanding Donald Trump's style, mindset, and every action, made up of over one hundred interviews with his closest associates and adversaries over the last 15 years.
To his critics, Donald Trump is an impulsive, undisciplined crackpot who accidentally lucked into the presidency. But in The Method to the Madness, reporters Allen Salkin and Aaron Short reveal that nothing could be further from the truth. This objective, nonpartisan oral history shows that Trump had carefully planned his bid for the presidency since he launched what many considered to be a joke candidacy in 1999.
Between 2000 and 2015, when he announced his candidacy in the lobby of Trump Tower, he was able to identify an unserved political constituency, hone a persuasive message that appealed to their needs, and deliver it effectively, despite intense media opposition.
Through candid conversations with more than 100 subjects close to the President, Salkin and Short make the case that Donald Trump’s ostensibly erratic approach to politics is consistent with his carefully honed personal and professional style of information gathering, opinion seed-planting, and conclusion sharing. His business, media, and political dealings from this era serve as a guide for understanding the man, his mindset, and his every action.
The Method to the Madness is an accessible and unbiased oral history that brings readers into the private rooms where decisions are made, confidences are broken, strong words fly, and not all eye-witnesses see the same scene in quite the same way. Full of scoops both large and small, this is the first book to bring Trump, the politician, into focus.
In this entertaining oral history, reporters Salkin and Short ask readers to accept an unconventional conclusion: that Donald Trump's rise to the presidency was "diligently" planned. A fixture on TV and in New York gossip columns, Trump had often floated the idea of running for president but few ever took him seriously. In fact, the authors argue, Trump spent decades "puzzling out" politics, and waiting for the right "window of opportunity." In 1999, Trump nearly challenged Pat Buchanan for the 2000 Reform Party nomination, an aborted effort that they say first showcased Trump's raw political instincts (he branded Buchanan a "Hitler lover"). He also weighed a run for governor in New York in 2014. Trump's window of opportunity finally opened with the 2016 election. Buoyed by his TV celebrity ("The Apprentice recast him for the masses"); the rise of alt-right media outlets ("misinformation spread more quickly"); plummeting trust in government; and, of course, Trump's unique prowess on Twitter ("there's nothing wishy-washy about Donald Trump"), the stars had finally aligned for Trump and his brand of tribal politics. Stitching together extracts from more than 100 sources, this is a rollicking, insightful look at the political crucible in which the Trump presidency was forged.