The 10 books you need to read to understand Donald Trump’s 2016 election victory

The fourth in a series of worthwhile readings on the rise of Trump

1. The Art of the Deal

More people should have read Trump’s own statement on how he thought about negotiation.

2. How to Win Like Trump

My own contribution. Learn the nine secrets that helped Trump become the most powerful man in the world. Structured as a self-help book giving practical insight into the new realities of modern persuasion.

3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Scott Adams, consistently interesting on Trump’s rise, talks about Robert Cialdini’s classic a lot, with good reason. A top fund manager I met at a fancy dinner once told me he uses this book as an intelligence test. Smart people have read it. Luckily, we both had. Cialdini has a new book called Pre-suasion, also thought-provoking. For more reading on persuasion, see Adams’ own persuasion reading list. Ericksonian hypnosis and narrative transportation are rewarding internet rabbit holes.

4. Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

Cialdini’s latest, an intriguing addition looking at what you can do to set up conditions that will favour your persuasive case.

5. MAGA Mindset

Controversial new media superstar Mike Cernovich took a punt ahead of the election result, using Trump to extend his own “mindset” brand.

6. Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World where Facts Don’t Matter

Scott Adams’ new book on persuasion and the 2016 election will be unmissable when it hits bookshops in October. For now, his more general self-help book slash memoir How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big has many good things in it.

7. Understanding Trump

Newt Gingrich’s big attempt at Trumpology is available for pre-order now, and will be out in June. Another big player with an interesting insider’s take.

8. Electing Trump

Newt Gingrich’s collection of material on Trump written over the election campaign — available now as an ebook.

9. The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium

Martin Gurri’s powerful book, actually written before Trump’s rise, remains one of the best guides to the wider cultural and technological trends in play. Not a comforting read, but an essential one.

10. Righteous Indignation

If Andrew Breitbart hadn’t died young, we would be calling 2016 the Breitbart election. With his heir to the Breitbart empire now President Trump’s right-hand man, Andrew Breitbart’s ghost was a key player in an election where the battle was often between new media and old.

Read them all. But if you only have time to read one book, pick one that is short, funny and wise. I recommend How To Win Like Trump.

NB: these are Amazon affiliate links. I only recommend books I am serious about, but if you buy books through these links, I get a tiny amount of revenue in return to help feed my own reading habit. Many thanks, and happy reading!

Try the other articles in this series:

Best Articles on Trump of 2015

Best Articles on Trump of 2016

Best Articles on Trump of 2017 (so far)