"Even before Giuliani’s most recent incarnation, I had been spending a lot of time thinking about him for a book I’m writing about New York in the 1980s, a sort of sequel to my earlier history of the city in the 1970s. To me, the answer to the question ‘What happened to Rudy?’ had come to seem obvious: Nothing. Rather, Giuliani’s latest role — as the president’s letting-it-all-hang-out, unabashedly dishonest personal lawyer and shadow secretary of state — is more like a culmination, the purest expression of Rudyism yet. What has changed is that Giuliani’s style has become the dominant mode of American — and, really, global — politics."
"Trump’s problem is not so much what he’s done, but how he’s done it. I decided at the start that I wanted to profile him by describing his deals — not his lifestyle or his personality. After getting to know him, I realized that his deals are his life. He once told me: 'I won’t make a deal just to make a profit. It has to have flair.' Another Manhattan developer said it differently: 'Trump won’t do a deal unless there’s something extra — a kind of moral larceny — in it. He’s not satisfied with a profit. He has to take something more. Otherwise, there’s no thrill.'"
"He was the first reporter who took Donald Trump seriously. An old-school, pen-and-paper, document-driven, sourced-up investigative ace for the Village Voice in New York, Wayne Barrett nailed the aspiring real estate developer... 'Donald Trump,' he wrote, in January of 1979, 'is a user of other users' ... The credo of the indefatigable Barrett: “the exposure of the plunderers, the steerers, the wirepullers, the bosses, the brokers, the campaign fixers and takers. … Stew, percolate, pester, track, burrow, besiege, confront, damage, level. Care."