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What Trump's office says about him

By Kashmira Gande

Images of Mr Trump's office in Trump Towers, New York, show that the wall beside his large desk is decorated with The Nathan Hale patriot Award musket; an America's Cup yachting foundation award; the Tree of Life humanitarian award from the Jewish National Fund in 1983; and his Sholom humanitarian award from the Jewish community.

Elsewhere in the room are magazine covers which Mr Trump has appeared on — including Fortune, GQ, and a 1990 copy of Playboy. On his desk stacked with papers are copies of Unprecedented, the CNN book on his shock US election victory in 2016, as well as an image of his father.

Tristan Bridges, a sociologist at the The College at Brockport, State University of New York, has visited numerous man caves, and spoken to the men behind them to try to pinpoint what they say about their owners, as well as gender politics and relationships in the home.

“Donald Trump’s office is dominated by him in every respect. It appears as if it is designed to intimidate,” he says after studying images of Mr Trump’s office.

“His room allows him to say ‘As a man with so many talents, I could have taken any path.

“It is unfortunate that I couldn’t lead multiple lives’,” says Dr Bridges.

Dr Bridges adds that the businessman appears to have arranged his space in order to confront those who he invites in with evidence that he is a “renaissance man”.

“From the space he looks well-read,” he says.

Commenting on the piles of papers on Mr Trump’s desk, Dr Bridges adds: “It is interesting to want your space to look that messy. I think Donald Trump likes to be known as someone who can juggle an endless number of balls, so he has wants a space that looks like that.

“And someone meeting him has very little space to use for themselves.”

As for huge desk and large office chair, these set Mr Trump above those who come to meet him but also look like furniture from a high-end men’s club, adds Dr Bridges. This is in line with Mr Trump’s characteristic conspicuous shows of wealth.

The copy of Playboy, argues Dr Bridges, plays with the idea of a man cave as an evolved bachelor pad, usually seen in a domestic space.

“Man caves are more of a space about fantasy than anything in particular. They are a way for men to imagine what their lives could have been.”

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