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The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815-1914
Richard J. Evans
Progress: 219/928 pages
Young Wilhelm: The Kaiser's Early Life, 1859-1888
John C. G. Röhl
Progress: 229/1016 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 89 out of 492 pages.

Trump: The Deals and the Downfall - Wayne Barrett

Given that Donald Trump is now the likely Republican nominee (thanks for that, Republicans!), I decided to read a biography of The Donald, which is providing some interesting insights. Here are a few of the ones I've encountered so far: 


"Over the years, during his many media interviews and elsewhere, he loosely referred to mere acquaintances as "friends" if they were prominent enough. But those who knew him best said he had virtually no real friends--because, in his own view, no one was actually worthy of his trust."


"Donald berated [his wife Ivana] scornfully in front of her staff--first at the Castle and later, at the Plaza. Though she had achieved revenue gains at her casino, inducing some of Donald's casino advisers to taunt him with the suggestion that it be renamed Ivana's Castle, he had decided abruptly in the spring of 1988 that she was through as president. Tales of her tearful departure--and scenes of his patronizing humiliation of her--were recounted by Ivana loyalists years later. "I don't need this, some woman crying," he reportedly said at her farewell ceremony. "I need somebody strong in here." After she left distraught, he'd reached her on a speakerphone while he met with her top executives in a Castle conference and insisted that she "say hello" to everyone, evoking another deluge."


"Fitzsimmons had been developing grander plans as well. He believed that Donald could become President. It was a notion the golden boy himself had begun toying with at least as early as 1985, when New York state Republican chairman George Clark visited with him at Trump Tower to try to talk him into running for governor. "Have you ever thought about running for high public office?" Clark asked. Donald replied without a smile: "Yes. President of the United States." By the end of 1987, he'd advanced this almost eerie ambition with a well-timed appearance in New Hampshire and the formation of a nascent Trump-for-President committee. "This is a serious test of the political waters," his top casino executive, Steve Hyde, said at the time. "if things shake out, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he decided to do it." Donald continued conscientiously planting the seeds, talking about the presidency quite seriously in wide-ranging interviews and buying full-page ads on national political issues."