Advertisement

How to be more like Trump

Book review: Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t MatterScott Adams does a surprisingly good job of explaining his theories, some of which are more than a little eccentric.

879-Win-Bigly-100

Published by Penguin Portfolio, £13.99

Buy at Amazon

Donald Trump's first year in office has certainly been chaotic, but this raises the question of how an apparent buffoon managed to win such as important election in the first place. Win Bigly, by blogger and cartoonist Scott Adams, argues that Trump's success was due to his understanding that how you say things matters far more than what you say.

Advertisement - Article continues below

In particular, Trump used imagery, catchphrases and deliberate exaggeration to connect with voters on an emotional level that most politicians fail to reach, turning what would normally be seen as career-ending gaffes to his advantage.

For example, while pundits spent a lot of time attacking Trump's idea for a wall along the Mexican border, this promise was effective in turning the abstract and complex issue of immigration reform into something concrete.

Worse, by focusing on the details of his scheme, pundits ensured the wider issue remained top of the agenda, helping Trump. A more subtle example was the way in which he defused accusations of racism by making sure, during the last few weeks of the campaign, he was photographed kissing African-American babies.

Adams argues that anybody can become more persuasive by copying such methods. Even setting aside the question of whether one would want to do this, the book has flaws. There is a lot of repetition, and Adams is always keen to remind the reader that he was one of the few who consistently predicted Trump's victory. Some of his other views, such as his idea that we may be living in a computer-generated reality, are more than a little eccentric.

However, he does a surprisingly good job of explaining his theories and he is not afraid to point out Trump's mis-steps. The president's many critics could certainly benefit from reading this contrarian take on what drove his rise to power.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Theatre review: The Visit
Films

Theatre review: The Visit

Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Swiss classic The Visit, transported to 1950s America, poses the question: how much would you kill for?
28 Feb 2020
Six contrarian books for Christmas
Films

Six contrarian books for Christmas

Merryn Somerset Webb picks six of her favourite contrarian books to help you look clever and perhaps win a few arguments over the Christmas dinner tab…
9 Dec 2019
Coming to terms with Anna Sorokin
Films

Coming to terms with Anna Sorokin

My Friend Anna: The true story of the fake heiress of New York CityWilliams is a solid writer who does a good job of explaining how she, and other int…
21 Aug 2019
Book in the news… the inside story of Spain’s tumultuous crisis
Films

Book in the news… the inside story of Spain’s tumultuous crisis

After the Fall Crisis, Recovery and the Making of a New SpainA book that goes beyond politics to offer a deeply sympathetic portrayal of a country.
21 Aug 2019

Most Popular

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag
Toys and gadgets

Eagle Lightweight GT: the reincarnation of the E-type Jag

Jaguar’s classic E-type sports car has been reinvented for the modern age. The result – the Eagle Lightweight GT – is a thing of beauty.
7 Aug 2020
Platinum: the precious metal that looks set to play catch-up with silver and gold
Silver and other precious metals

Platinum: the precious metal that looks set to play catch-up with silver and gold

Gold and silver continue to soar, but there's still time to get in. And there's another precious metal that looks set to go on a bull run too, says Jo…
7 Aug 2020
The MoneyWeek Podcast: how to age well and profit from the “longevity dividend”
Investment strategy

The MoneyWeek Podcast: how to age well and profit from the “longevity dividend”

Merryn talks to economist and author Andrew J Scott and discusses how we can profit from the "longevity dividend" as we live longer; why we need to re…
6 Aug 2020