The Lost Tycoon is an exhaustive depiction of Trump's scams, cons and lies. Here are just a few take aways:
- Trump used illegal labor from Poland to tear down the old building on the site where Trump Towers would be built. The laborers slept on the construction site, and many were never paid. (And they destroyed the Art Deco statues and grill work in order to meet the construction deadlines. Trump apparently ordered this destruction, despite promising to preserve the statues, etc.)
-Trump Plaza, in Atlantic City, met its state minority contractor quota by listing Mike Tyson as a minority contractor.
- Trump used Damin Aviation to ferry himself and others back and forth to Atlantic City. Joe Weichselbaum headed it up until he was indicted on illegal drug smuggling (Hurt wonders if there was any truth to the rumor that Weichselbaum procured cocaine for Trump's casino high rollers). Then the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) forced Weichselbaum out. Weichselbaum pled guilty and was sent to prison. A year later, Weichselbaum's girlfriend paid $2.35 million for two apartments in Trump Towers, claiming the money was her own. When Weichselbaum was paroled, he moved into the apartments (now a duplex) and told the parole board he was going to be Trump's helicopter consultant.
- In 1989, three of Trump's top Atlantic City executives were killed in a helicopter crash following a meeting with Trump. Upon hearing of their deaths, Trump told a colleague that he couldn't resist milking the deaths for publicity. He then falsely claimed he was supposed to be on that flight.
- Ivana worked hard at Trump's hotels and casinos, despite his constant attempts to belittle her work (during their famous divorce, he once claimed she stayed home and did the laundry).
- The book reports on Ivana's divorce-deposition testimony where she claimed that Trump violently raped her and tore out chunks of her hair because he believed her plastic surgeon had harmed him by performing a poor scalp reduction surgery. He was in great pain, and he blamed Ivana. Ivana disclaims the rape in a letter inserted in the beginning of the book. In it she claims that her use of the term "rape" only meant that Trump was "not loving" to her.
Story after story about Trump's temperament fill this book. Trump seems to have lurched from one temper tantrum to the next, from one lie to the next, from one con to the next. He claimed his wife and children were important to him, but business and money seem to always have been his true love. As set out in this book, there are two constants with regard to Trump's personality: if the truth doesn't suit Trump, he changes it, and he will not tolerate criticism of any kind. This is an important, highly charged expose of Trump's past. Unfortunately, it only covers Trump's life up until the early 1990's. Nonetheless, this is a book that should be read by voters in this election year.
(Although I read a Kindle Unlimited version of this book, as of the date of this review, this version has been pulled by Amazon.)
Hardcover: 447 pages
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc; 1st edition (May 1993)