Below, I've paraphrased pieces of a NY Times book review, a biography. As you read the bullet points below, start considering the person in the bio they're talking about:
* He's regarded by many as a self-obsessed "clown" with [an] "impulsive style."
* He's often described as an egomaniac who "only loves himself," a narcissist with a taste for self-dramatization.
* He has a "characteristic fondness for superlatives."
* His manic speeches and penchant for taking all-or-nothing risks raised questions about his capacity for self-control, even his sanity.
* He's got a "keen eye for the strengths and weaknesses of other people” and an ability to “instantaneously analyze and exploit situations."
* He uses the latest technology to spread his message.
* A former colleague wrote that he "was so thoroughly untruthful that he could no longer recognize the difference between lies and truth."
* His writings have been described as a "swamp of lies, distortions, innuendoes, half-truths and real facts."
* He's an effective orator and actor, adept at assuming various masks and feeding off the energy of his audiences.
* He "adapts the content of his speeches to suit the tastes of his lower-middle-class, nationalist-conservative, ethnic-chauvinist and anti-Semitic listeners."
* He peppers his speeches with coarse phrases and put-downs of hecklers.
* He foments chaos by playing to crowds’ fears and resentments.
* He offers himself as the visionary leader who could restore law and order.
* He promises "to lead [his country] to a new era of national greatness,” though he's typically vague about his actual plans.
* He often harks back to a golden age for his country, "[painting] the present day in hues that are all the darker. Everywhere you looked now, there's only decline and decay."
* His repertoire of topics, is limited, and reading his speeches, "it seems amazing that he attracted larger and larger audiences" with "repeated mantra-like phrases" consisting largely of "accusations, vows of revenge and promises for the future."
* He virtually wrote the modern playbook on demagoguery, arguing that propaganda must appeal to the emotions — not the reasoning powers — of the crowd.
* He benefitted from a variety "of crises that he was able to exploit cleverly and unscrupulously." In addition to economic woes and unemployment, there's been an "erosion of the political center" and a growing resentment of the elites.
* The unwillingness of existing political parties to compromise had contributed to a perception of government dysfunction, and the belief of his supporters that the country needed "a man of iron" who could shake things up.
* His ascension has been aided and abetted by the naïveté of domestic adversaries who failed to appreciate his ruthlessness and tenacity, and by foreign statesmen who believed they could control his aggression.
* Some critics underestimate the man and his popularity, while others dismiss him as a celebrity, a repellent but fascinating "evening’s entertainment."
Know who they're talking about? Here's the book review so you can see if you're correct: http://nyti.ms/2d7K3o5
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