The Art of Her Deal: The Untold Story of Melania Trump

Mary Jordan. Simon & Schuster, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-982113-40-7
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. (June)
Reviewed on : 06/16/2020
Release date: 06/16/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-1391-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-1389-0
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