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Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America

Unabridged Audio Book

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Maggie Haberman

17 Hours 22 Minutes

Penguin Audio

October 2022

Audio Book Summary

The instant #1 New York Times bestseller.

“This is the book Trump fears most.” - Axios

“Will be a primary source about the most vexing president in American history for years to come.” - Joe Klein, The New York Times

'A uniquely illuminating portrait.' - Sean Wilentz, The Washington Post

“[A] monumental look at Donald Trump and his presidency.” — David Shribman, Los Angeles Times

From the Pulitzer-Prize-winning New York Times reporter who has defined Donald J. Trump's presidency like no other journalist, Confidence Man is a magnificent and disturbing reckoning that chronicles his life and its meaning from his rise in New York City to his tortured post-presidency.

Few journalists working today have covered Donald Trump more extensively than Maggie Haberman. And few understand him and his motivations better. Now, demonstrating her majestic command of this story, Haberman reveals in full the depth of her understanding of the 45th president himself, and of what the Trump phenomenon means.

Interviews with hundreds of sources and numerous interviews over the years with Trump himself portray a complicated and often contradictory historical figure. Capable of kindness but relying on casual cruelty as it suits his purposes.  Pugnacious. Insecure. Lonely. Vindictive. Menacing. Smarter than his critics contend and colder and more calculating than his allies believe. A man who embedded himself in popular culture, galvanizing support for a run for high office that he began preliminary spadework for 30 years ago, to ultimately become a president who pushed American democracy to the brink.

The through-line of Trump’s life and his presidency is the enduring question of what is in it for him or what he needs to say to survive short increments of time in the pursuit of his own interests.    

Confidence Man is also, inevitably, about the world that produced such a singular character, giving rise to his career and becoming his first stage. It is also about a series of relentlessly transactional relationships. The ones that shaped him most were with girlfriends and wives, with Roy Cohn, with George Steinbrenner, with Mike Tyson and Don King and Roger Stone, with city and state politicians like Robert Morgenthau and Rudy Giuliani, with business partners, with prosecutors, with the media, and with the employees who toiled inside what they commonly called amongst themselves the “Trump Disorganization.”  

That world informed the one that Trump tried to recreate while in the White House. All of Trump’s behavior as President had echoes in what came before.  In this revelatory and newsmaking book, Haberman brings together the events of his life into a single mesmerizing work. It is the definitive account of one of the most norms-shattering and consequential eras in American political history.

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  • Anonymous

    Absolutely a work of mindless rubbish - the author is simply attempting to seek attention for herself, a desperate grasp at relevance and fame without thought given to the facts about President Donald J. Trump over the Fake News. May this work be dismissed to the trash bin of history.

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  • Doreen B.

    I love how people hate Donald Trump sooo much… they have to purchase a book to wallow in the hate.

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  • Rachel W.

    Brilliantly presented portrait of a vapid huckster who ended up as president. Old school, just-the-facts-ma’am reporting at its finest. And I loved the NYC politics historical context. Thank you, Maggie. We need more like you.

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  • Anonymous

    An up close, in depth look at a modern day megalomaniac.

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  • George G.

    I have read over three dozen books about former President Trump. This is the best one documenting the historical record for future historians to know what really happened. Thank you Maggie Haberman for your service.

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  • Elizabeth W.

    Utter garbage as one can expect from Haberman, a desperate attempt to stay relevant.

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  • Anonymous

    This is a well written, fascinating journey that analyzes the events and people that shaped the complicated man who became our 45th president.

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  • Edward A.

    Thorough and illuminating picture of our 45th President’s tenure and tantrums.

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  • Susan B.

    A very good listen! Will listen to this book again!

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  • Stacey O.

    Not much new to hear about but enjoyed the chronological order of his chaos.

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