Here is Victor Davis Hanson writing about Conrad Black’s new book Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other:
Conrad Black’s erudite biography of Donald J. Trump is different from the usual in mediis rebus accounts of first-year presidents. He avoids the Bob Woodward fly-on-the-wall unattributed anecdote, and “they say” gossip mongering. Nor is the book a rush-to-publish product from former insiders of the Trump campaign or administration. Instead, Black, a prolific and insightful historian, adopts the annalistic method in carefully tracing Trump’s earliest years in business through his various commercial misadventures, financial recoveries, and sometimes wild antics. Black’s aim is to illustrate how much of what Trump has done since announcing his presidential candidacy in summer 2015 is hardly mysterious. Instead, Trump’s methods are fully explicable by what he has always done in the past—in the sometimes troubling, but more often reassuring, sense.
Black is neither a hagiographer nor an ankle-biter. He seeks to understand Trump within the three prominent landscapes in which Americans had come to know their new president: politics, the celebrity world, and the cannibalistic arena of high-stakes Manhattan real estate and finance. Of the three, Black is most jaded about the anti-Trump hysteria within the first two, not because the real estate business is inherently a nobler profession, but because it more often lacks the moral preening and hypocrisies of both the beltway and tabloids. The result is an argument that the first president to have neither prior political nor military service nevertheless has his own demonstrable skill sets that are making his presidency far more dynamic than either his critics or supporters quite imagined. Black’s unspoken assumption is that it is more difficult to build a skyscraper in Manhattan than to be a career politician or an evening news reader.
Read more: American Greatness