Here’s a reposted review of Harry Hurt III’s book, Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump. It was originally posted in 1993, but I reviewed it on April 28, 2017. It appears here as/is.
I was determined to finish my latest book last night, even though we had a brief power outage. I have been reading Lost Tycoon: The Many Lives of Donald J. Trump for ages. There was a time when I used to breeze through books in a matter of days, but this one took forever. So last night, I pushed through and got the thing read. Written by Harry Hurt III, Lost Tycoon was originally published in 1993, long before anyone in the world would know the horror of President Trump. Although it took me a long time to get through it, Hurt’s book offers a telling look at the man who would be the United States’ 45th president. And yes, according to this book, he was every bit as much of an asshole in the 80s and 90s as he is today.
I happened to discover Hurt’s book back in February, less than a month after Trump’s inauguration. I read an article that mentioned Lost Tycoon. In it, there was an anecdote about how Mr. Trump, pussy grabber extraordinaire, was recovering from a painful hair replacement surgery. Trump’s then wife, Ivana, had suggested the surgeon. He had done good work on her own aesthetic work. But Mr. Trump was reportedly in agony after the procedure and he allegedly became so enraged at Ivana that he raped her and pulled out chunks of her own hair. Then, as she sat sobbing after her husband defiled her, Trump asked “Did it hurt?”
The story about Trump’s violence toward Ivana came from their divorce proceedings. Although the story is clearly depicting Trump as a violent sex criminal, Ivana only calls it “rape” in that he wasn’t “loving” to her. As I understand it, this wording is due to Trump’s concern over his image. But according to Hurt in story after story, Trump is interested only in conquests. According to Hurt, he lies and mistreats women, including his second wife, Marla Maples. Stories about Trump’s affair with Maples figure prominently in Lost Tycoon. Granted, she is depicted as a homewrecking bimbo, but she and Trump also weathered their share of storms. And we’ve seen how he treats Melania, too.
Aside from stories about how Trump treats women (and how he lies about the ones he’s dated, like Carla Bruni Tedeschi), Lost Tycoon offers plenty of sordid tales about Trump’s shady business dealings and famous arrogance. Twenty-four years after this book was published, I can see that Trump hasn’t changed. While what I was reading may have seemed scandalous to the point of tabloidesque in 1993, in 2017, I can see that Hurt’s depiction of the future president is dead on.
Harry Hurt III is an award winning journalist who has worked for The New York Times and Newsweek. He clearly did extensive research for this book. It’s well-written and packed with astonishing tales about Trump and his family, giving readers an interesting look at him when he was a younger man. Naturally, because this was written in the 90s, you won’t read about Melania or Barron Trump or even Tiffany Trump, Marla Maples’ daughter with the president. What this book offers is a glance at what was coming. I was a young woman in 1993 and I distinctly remember the headlines about the Trump love triangle, as well as Trump’s tycoon business deals, much of which was built on other people’s money.
Toward the end of the book, there’s even a story about how Trump tried to keep heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson out of prison for raping nineteen year old Desiree Washington. Hurt writes that Trump tried to broker a deal in which Tyson would set up a fund for rape victims. The author alleges that Trump was really thinking of himself and his own issues with sexual assault.
By contrast, in 1991, Trump’s then 79 year old mother, Mary, was mugged by a sixteen year old kid who had skipped school. The kid had knocked down Mrs. Trump, causing her to suffer a broken hip. She spent time in the hospital and Trump was reportedly “incensed” about it, wanting the kid to go to prison. I agree, the kid should have been punished, but so should have Mike Tyson, right? A 44 year old black maintenance man who happened to witness the mugging caught the teenaged criminal and held him for the police. Trump invited him to dinner with him and Marla Maples. The future president smiled for cameras as he thanked the man for helping his mother, but he did nothing to help the guy with better work opportunities, something that the man needed and Trump could have easily provided.
Although it took me way too long to finish this book, I do think it’s worthwhile reading. This man is now our president and it’s scary as hell (ETA: Thank God he was not re-elected). Maybe that’s why I took so long to get through Lost Tycoon. The future looks bleak.
As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.