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Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  22 reviews
A comprehensive analysis of Donald Trump's legal history reveals his temperament, methods, character, and morality.

Unlike all previous presidents who held distinguished positions in government or the military prior to entering office, Donald Trump's political worldview was molded in the courtroom. He sees law not as a system of rules to be obeyed and ethical ideals to be
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by All Points Books
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Start your review of Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
For a president who enjoys boasting about the vastness of—well—everything, it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump has been part of an audacious number of lawsuits. The roughly 3,500 cases themselves are as varied as Trump’s business schemes. It’s a wild ride, stemming all the way back to a 1973 case for housing discrimination to the pre-presidential Trump University class action lawsuit and every defamation case in-between.

Author James Zirin, a former federal prosecutor, manages to stri
Diane Hernandez
Sep 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
President Trump has been involved in over 3,500 lawsuits throughout the years. That makes him the Plaintiff in Chief. But what else does that tell us about him?

By all accounts, young Donald wanted to be like his father—rich and aggressive. Fred Trump lied obsessively about everything. He believed that the law didn’t apply to him or his mobster friends. However, he was partial to suing people defensively to prevent someone from doing something he didn’t like even if it was perfectly legal and eve
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Collects a boatload of data about Trump’s business practices supported by citations to books, newspaper articles, and magazine pieces. A former federal prosecutor and a trial lawyer for fifty years, Zirn, a self-proclaimed lifelong middle-of-the-road Republican, crafts a case that Trump has used the threat of lawsuits and the legal process itself to dominate those who stood in his way or otherwise displeased him. Zirn says that early on Trump fell under the influence of Roy Cohn, who represented ...more
Cristie Underwood
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Wow! After reading this book, I wonder how Donald Trump even got to be the nominee, let alone President. He was the subject of numerous lawsuits, but the one common denominator was his ability to not be impacted by them. He has a way of coming out unscathed while others take the fall for him. Every American needs to read this.
Mannie Liscum
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Is James Zirin’s “Plaintiff In Chief” a critique of Donald J. Trump? Certainly. Is it a critique of his political policies or partisanship? Not in the least. Zirin presents a clearheaded narrative that examines the litigative history of Donald Trump, private and public citizen. This is a story of a mans litigious nature, one that paints an all too disturbing portrait of obsessive narcissism, hunger for power and control, and a dark retributive personality. Donald Trump has spent much of his adul ...more
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a book that will get opposing reactions, depending on what political perspective the reader has. That is I am sure a given that the writer and reader will know up front. Having said that, I really liked it. It was obviously well researched. And it is also very timely give our current political environment.

For those who are likeminded to the author, most of the content will not surprise and a lot of it is summarizing material that has been expounded on by many others over the last few yea
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In “Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits” which I received through Goodreads Giveaways James D. Zirin draws a well-documented portrait of a President, whose professional history, character and morality have been shaped by litigation including housing discrimination in 1973, to a University class action lawsuit, and sexual misconduct. Involved in more than 3500 lawsuits, it is clear no one is immune in his sphere of influence, not lawyers, architects, dentists or even ...more
Brian Ferguson
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, all the above are true. If, at all, you've been wondering whether Trump is reality or bad dream or whether he possibly might not be, if his audacity and unabashed obnoxiousness are in fact brilliantly calculated political "genius" perhaps disguising boundless benevolence for downtrodden and meritorious alike, you can rest assured. This beautifully detailed, thoroughly cited and researched work and account, documents that he has always been like he is, abusive, duplicitous and damaging to i ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Plaintiff in Chief's subtitle tells you the gist of the book. The author contemplates how, when, why, in what circumstances that Trump has sued or has been sued. In this portrait we see basically the same habits he has brought to his current job - bluster, deception, and inability to admit wrong, etc. You will learn very little that you don't already know by paying attention to him for these last few years. I did find fascinating the pre-Donald history of the Trumps. Basically, he's one of many; ...more
Hans Voorn
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As other reviewers have stated, depending on your political leanings, you will disparage or applaud this book. However, this is no unnamed source, no high level administration speaking on the condition of anonymity; these are legal records and court cases - actually facts. It leaves one with a picture of a man-child bullying his way through life, successful by way of threatening and intimidating, denying everything and behaving, well, like he does in the White House. Well written and shockingly ...more
Jun 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Zirin’s premise held so much promise that was, sadly, lost in the execution. It was, after all, supposed to be a lawyer’s deep-dive analysis into Trump’s many, many lawsuits. What we got, however, is a superficial gloss on already well known, previously reported cases. There was no additional work, fresh perspective, or useful insight. Finally, although I am no fan of Trump, I found that the constant stream of digs, asides, and speculation put the coffin nail in any sense of coherent narrative. ...more
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Gotta stop reading about this piece of...always feel like I need to take a shower after reading about him. Nothing really new if you have been paying attention to the news for the past few years, but Zirin does a pretty good job of gathering a lot of info into one place. Just more evidence, as if more was needed, about what a terrible human being he is. Unbelievable.
Marko Mladenovich
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Zirin clearly had ten things to research and fact check on every page. I wish more people would reference DT's history of law suits because they define him as a man and businessman. Reading this book was very educational, but totally exhausting. ...more
Heather Bennett
Dec 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plaintiff in Chief of course will irritate some people depending on what political side you are. Many people don't listen to facts or the constitution anymore. This is a well written book and the author has done their research. ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When the history is written on this president it will show a dark chapter in American History once more. His legacy will not be good. A real blow to his ego.
Nicole Marble
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Law suits by Trump are just mean to to bankrupt the opponent. Fascinating read!
Dan Cotter
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book does a deep dive into the suits President Trump has been engaged in for years.
Michael Bell
Oct 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
This is one of almost 30 books that show how terrible a President Donald Trump really is. The numerous lies and terrible policy decisions make for sad reading material.
PottWab Regional Library
Nov 13, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2019-new
Frank Brennan
Oct 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Frankly rather boring. Didn't really add anything to the dialogue about America's Greatest Con man. ...more
Peter Z.
Sep 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Victoria Lee
Dec 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
I found this to be both surprisingly entertaining and deeply unsettling — such a fascinating dive into the mentality of what is sure to be the most controversial president in US history. Glad to have read this!
Esteban Woo Kee
rated it liked it
Oct 29, 2019
kathleen gibney
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Jun 13, 2020
Kelly Paige
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Apr 21, 2020
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Sep 24, 2022
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Jun 10, 2021
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May 25, 2020
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Aug 18, 2021
Mary Ellen Meehan
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Dec 02, 2019
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JAMES D. ZIRIN a former Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he served in the Criminal Division under the legendary Robert Morganthau. His writing has appeared in major periodicals such as Forbes, the LA Times, the London Times, the Washington Times, the Nation, and the New York Law Journal. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A graduate of ...more

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