Ivanka Trump’s Memoir Reeks of Privilege by the Forward

Ivanka Trump’s Memoir Reeks of Privilege

Image by Getty Images

Ivanka Trump’s been coming even more into the harsh glare of the spotlight now that her father is headed to the Oval Office. Her personal brand has taken a hit, and now her 2009 memoir “The Trump Card” is attracting negative attention from The New Yorker.

Jia Tolentino writes in the magazine that Trump’s attempt at a self-help book contains an inherent contradiction — while she constantly asserts that everyone has the same chance to succeed, she also is forced to acknowledge that she had a leg up, getting started in business through her father’s fortune and connections.

Ivanka Trump’s Memoir Reeks of Privilege

“In business, as in life, nothing is ever handed to you,” she writes in the memoir, but then adds, “Yes, I’ve had the great good fortune to be born into a life of wealth and privilege, with a name to match… Yes, I’ve had every opportunity, every advantage. And yes, I’ve chosen to build my career on a foundation built by my father and grandfather.” But Ivanka Trump somewhow protests, she hasn’t gotten her fortune “by any kind of birthright or foregone conclusion.”

There are other fun tidbits in the book that Tolentino recounts. At one point in the book, Ivanka Trump complains about the fact that she couldn’t sell lemonade because she and her brothers didn’t live in a normal home, but rather in a palatial estate in Connecticut and Trump Tower. “We had no such advantages,” she gripes, recalling that she and her siblings eventually coerced the hired help to buy the lemonade, who “dug deep for their spare change.”

Still, she insists, she and her brothers didn’t attain their positions in their father’s company “by any kind of birthright or foregone conclusion.”

Ivanka Trump’s Memoir Reeks of Privilege

She also praises her father’s gamesmanship as a businessman, recalling that he impressed her with his ability to calm a crowd and get his money’s worth out of others. “You have to be able to look the other guy in the eye and know that there is value in the deal on the other end, too — unless, of course, you’re a one time seller and just going for the gold,” she wrote.

Contact Daniel J. Solomon at solomon@forward.com or on Twitter @DanielJSolomon


Daniel J. Solomon

Daniel J. Solomon is the former Assistant to the Editor/News Writer at the Forward. Originally from Queens, he attended Harvard as an undergraduate, where he wrote his senior thesis on French-Jewish intellectual history. He is excited to have returned to New York after his time in Massachusetts. Daniel’s passions include folk music, cycling, and pointed argument.

Ivanka Trump’s Memoir Reeks of Privilege

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Ivanka Trump’s Memoir Reeks of Privilege

Thank you!

This article has been sent!