The Party acts as the initiator and generator of ideas, the organizer and guiding force and, I would say, the guarantor of perestroika. . . . In 1917, Lenin said: "Having started a revolution we must go all the way." The same is true for perestroika: the Party will go all the way. -- Mikhail Gorbachev in "Perestroika"

Frankly, I'm not too big on parties, because I can't stand small talk. Unfortunately, they're part of doing business, so I find myself going to more than I'd like -- and then trying hard to leave early. -- Donald Trump in "Trump"

As human beings, they couldn't be more different. One is a power-mad egomaniac. The other is modest and philosophical. One loves glitz and escorts a vulgar, social-climbing wife. The other is a natty but tasteful dresser with an elegant, witty spouse. One claims to be a Republican, but is courted by Democrats. The other claims to be a Socialist, but is courted by Republicans. One makes no secret of his hunger for world domination. The other aspires only to universal peace and the betterment of mankind. One is a great New York real estate developer, the other merely leader of the Soviet Union. But Donald Trump and Mikhail Gorbachev have something in common: a book to peddle.

In fact, "Perestroika: The Art of the Deal" and "Trump: New Thinking for Our Country and the World" (or is it the other way around?) have a lot in common. Both are written in that chatty, first-person mode so popular these days, full of personal revelation and cracker-barrel philosophy. Trump: "I've always had a personal thing about cleanliness, but I also believe it's a very good investment." Gorbachev: "To do something better, you must work an extra bit harder. I like this phrase: working an extra bit harder. For me it is not just a slogan, but a habitual state of mind."

Both authors draw on their own past to illustrate their philosophies of life. Trump describes borrowing his younger brother's building blocks, promising to return them, and then not doing it. He nostalgically recalls youthful hours spent poring over "listings of FHA foreclosures."

Gorbachev, discussing the wisdom of Lenin, says, "I shall adduce my own experience to corroborate this point," and goes on to describe a "gala session" at which "I referred to Lenin's tenets on the need for taking into account the requirements of objective economic laws, on planning and cost accounting," and so on. "The audience enthusiastically supported this reference to Lenin's ideas," he reports modestly. Lenin is undoubtedly the inspiration for a chapter heading: "On to Full Cost Accounting!"

Both books are of special interest on the subject of negotiations. Trump says: "My style of deal-making is quite simple and straightforward. I aim very high, and then I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing to get what I'm after." Gorbachev's philosophy couldn't be more different. "We must tackle problems in a spirit of cooperation rather than animosity," he recommends, although he notes -- rather patronizingly, I thought -- that "emotional outbursts are an inevitable part of any complicated endeavor."

Although Trump is eager to appear tough and Gorbachev is eager to appear sweet, both are vain enough to temper these images with contrary anecdotes. In 1986, Trump confesses, he went to pay his last respects to an elderly fellow zillionaire, even though "I happened to have an extremely important business meeting in my office on the day of his funeral in Chicago." The meeting could not be rescheduled! But "I have no regrets."

By sheer coincidence, a dramatic highlight of Gorbachev's book was occurring about the same time. It seems that certain elements were pressuring our hero to cancel the 27th Party Congress. "Of course, the Congress could have been postponed," he concedes. "This opinion was persistently expressed. {But} a point of view which, in my opinion, most accorded with the situation -- that we should hold the Congress on schedule and draw all healthy forces of society into the preparation for it -- ultimately prevailed." Plucky Mikhail.

When it comes to bitchiness -- a key ingredient of any best-selling memoir, as their publishers surely told them -- Gorbachev goes for the hammer while Trump wields a delicate sickle. Gorbo on Khrushchev's "We will bury you" speech: "probably the most hackneyed statement by a Soviet leader in the West." Trump on another developer: "Abe has always been considered difficult. But I like him and his family a lot."

On the other hand, Gorbachev's book offers tantalizing you-are-there dialogue in actual script form, like this:

Mikhail Gorbachev {to an American tourist}: Have you encountered even one instance of a disrespectful attitude toward Americans during your stay?

D. Padula: No, though a man in the street once asked me, when would there be peace? I told him I hoped peace would come soon.

Mikhail Gorbachev: This is very interesting information.

Well, maybe David Mamet can work on it for the screenplay.