Ghostwriters are supposed to act like ghosts and not make noise. But Tony Schwartz, who helped pen the super successful Donald Trump autobiography Art of the Deal in 1987, is atoning for what he considers his gravest sin: writing the book.
To do this, he’s speaking out at schools, to the press, and on Twitter—haunting The Donald if you will.
Schwartz is revealing insights gleaned from writing the candidate’s early story. He believes he knows Trump, and he wants everyone else to know too.
The writer is shining a light on the person he met when creating the character that would become Donald Trump in the book, now running for the highest office in the US.
Schwartz has been very vocal about his regrets since June, when he gave the New Yorker a tell-all interview. There, he revealed that his agent calls him Dr. Frankenstein and credits the writer with creating a monster: the myth of Donald Trump, a character who wins everything.
Personally, Schwartz’s accidental influence on this election has raised difficult questions. He is haunted by his decisions.
In an address to the Oxford Union in the UK in October, entitled “Into the belly of the beast: how Donald Trump led me on the path to dharma,” he told the audience he’s been forced to face the rationalizations he made when he wrote the book. Last week, Schwartz visited Stanford University in the US to talk about the same subject. He told the audience, “Writing Trump’s book could create security for my family and free me to do whatever I wanted to do next. How bad could it be?”
The answer is bad apparently. That seemingly practical choice has proven to have “potentially huge consequence,” he says.
Since Schwartz can’t do it all again, he’s sharing what he knows about the presidential candidate, warning the American people of what’s really at stake in this election. For him, this year’s vote is different and especially poignant.
He warns that Trump is not to be trusted. And he has been predicting ugly responses from him.
Schwartz has also confirmed these predictions subsequently.
But Schwartz is being circumspect about the outcome of the election and hasn’t yet made the ultimate prediction on Twitter. Perhaps he’s just wary now, having learned over the years that his words have terrifying power.