Generous Orthodoxy  




Monday, July 18, 2016

Donald Trump's ghostwriter speaks out

Possibly the most important article yet about Donald Trump comes from Jane Mayer in this week's New Yorker.  Ms. Mayer conducted extensive interviews with Tony Schwartz, the man who ghostwrote The Art of the Deal and made a great deal of money in his share of the royalties for it. He spent a year with Trump in order to produce the fabulously successful book, and is now deeply repentant for his part in promoting its putative author. Toward the end of the article, Ms. Mayer writes,

Trump approached Schwartz about writing a sequel, for which Trump had been offered a seven-figure advance. This time, however, he offered Schwartz only a third of the profits. He pointed out that, because the advance was much bigger, the payout would be, too. But Schwartz said no. Feeling deeply alienated, he instead wrote a book called “What Really Matters,” about the search for meaning in life. After working with Trump, Schwartz writes, he felt a “gnawing emptiness” and became a “seeker,” longing to “be connected to something timeless and essential, more real.”
Schwartz told me that he has decided to pledge all royalties from sales of “The Art of the Deal” in 2016 to pointedly chosen charities: the National Immigration Law Center, Human Rights Watch, the Center for the Victims of Torture, the National Immigration Forum, and the Tahirih Justice Center. He doesn’t feel that the gesture absolves him. “I’ll carry this until the end of my life,” he said. “There’s no righting it. But I like the idea that, the more copies that ‘The Art of the Deal’ sells, the more money I can donate to the people whose rights Trump seeks to abridge.”