Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man

by Mary L. Trump Ph.D.

Hardcover, 2020

Publication

Simon & Schuster (2020), Edition: 1, 240 pages

Description

"In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric. Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, New York, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald. A firsthand witness to countless holiday meals and interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s." --book jacket.… (more)

Media reviews

The sins of the father loom large too in Too Much and Never Enough by Mary Trump (Simon & Schuster), a fascinating memoir from the US president's niece that sheds a very prescient light on his refusal to quit the White House. The author's own father, Donald’s brother Freddy, was the eldest son of
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the family; in her telling, Donald and Freddy's father, Fred Trump Sr, was a sociopath who pitted his children cruelly against each other. Eventually Freddy Jr is deemed the loser, not fit to inherit the family business, and brutally rejected. Donald steps up, but never forgets the lesson that failure equals ostracism. From then on everything he touches must always be terrific, amazing, the best it could be.
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4 more
But the most interesting assessments she offers are reserved for those inside the “institutions,” the people who might have saved us and certainly have not, from the nuclear family, to the Trump businesses, to New York’s bankers and powerful elites, to Bill Barr, Mike Pompeo, and Jared
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Kushner. They all knew and know that the emperor has no clothes, even as they devote their last shreds of dignity to effusive praise of his ermine trim and jaunty crown.... As she concludes, his sociopathy “reminds me that Donald isn’t really the problem at all.” That makes hers something other than the 15th book about the fathoms-deep pathologies of Donald Trump: It is the first real reckoning with all those who “caused the darkness.”
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“Too Much and Never Enough” is a deftly written account of cross-generational trauma, but it is also suffused by an almost desperate sadness — sadness in the stories it tells and sadness in the telling, too. Mary Trump brings to this account the insider perspective of a family member, the
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observational and analytical abilities of a clinical psychologist and the writing talent of a former graduate student in comparative literature. But she also brings the grudges of estrangement.
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Writing with the sharp eye of a perpetual outsider in her own family, Trump presents a melancholic portrait of their complicity in her uncle's worst behaviors. Readers who despair for President Trump's ability to lead the country out of its current crises will have their worst suspicions confirmed.
“It felt,” she writes, “as though 62,979,636 voters had chosen to turn this country into a macro version of my malignantly dysfunctional family.” ... And it goes on, coming to a head in the unbelievable story of Fred Trump’s will. Does Mary Trump, Ph.D., have an ax to grind? Sure. So do
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we all. Dripping with snideness, vibrating with rage, and gleaming with clarity—a deeply satisfying read.
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User reviews

LibraryThing member Cariola
Finished the audio version in 2 days. I'm not going to post the usual review here because I know some of you probably support Trump, and we have enough divisiveness in this country already. Mary Trump has written a compelling book, one that, while extremely critical of her uncle, is also somewhat
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compassionate in that she understands what shaped him into the man he became. When you read about his father, Fred Trump, you will understand why we have seen so little empathy for the victims of COVID-19, why he lies, why he seeks revenge on his enemies, why everyone is either a winner or a loser, and more. It's the combination of Mary Trump's insider position as a member of the Trump family and her training as a clinical psychologist that makes her book so fascinating. And the epilogue is both chilling and devastating. As she says, in a family like this, one becomes either a victim or an abuser, and that "family" mentality seems to have rubbed off onto a lot of Americans.
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LibraryThing member TooBusyReading
This is quick read but it goes a long way toward explaining #45. It does not excuse his behavior, but it does explain what in credibly dysfunctional family he had, and he is continuing the tradition.

Is this book sour grapes? Perhaps. But I don't doubt that most of it, if not all of it, is true. I
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have watched enough of the president to know how he reacts, how badly he behaves, how everything is about him with absolutely no empathy for others. Mentally ill? I've thought that for a long time, and I don't think I'm wrong. However, it is very interesting to read it from his niece's perspective. And I feel so sorry for Mary's father, having gotten the short end of the stick in the family dynamics.

If you have ever wondered “What the heck??” this goes a long way towards answering that question.
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LibraryThing member LisCarey
Mary Trump, niece of Donald Trump, has written a short, highly readable, interesting, and informative book about her uncle. It's about how damaged parents raised even more damaged children, especially the "favorite," Donald himself.

It's not a political exposé. You will be disappointed if that's
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what you're looking for.

Donald was the fourth of five children, and the second of three sons, of Fred Trump and Mary Anne Trump. He was two years old, and his brother Robert, the one recently buried from the White House, was only nine months old, when their mother became very ill and was suddenly hospitalized. It was months before she recovered, to the extent that she did, and in the interim, Fred didn't bother to parent the kids at all; that was Mary Anne's job. It was not his job, even when she wasn't available to do it.

However good a parent Mary Anne Trump may have been before this illness, she was much less able to be an effective parent afterward. Mary Trump, based on what her aunts, father, and possibly her uncles told her, says that Mary Anne was the type of mother who used her children to comfort herself, rather than comforting them.

Fred Trump pitted his sons, especially Freddy and Donald, against each other.

Donald, even as a toddler, was seeing his elder brother, Freddy, abused and neglected due to not having the "killer" traits that Fred was determined his son should have.

Donald learned fear watching the abuse of his brother, and learned ruthlessness and disregard for anyone but himself as he hid his fear and was rewarded for even his worst behavior.

There are parts of this book that resonate very strongly with me, relating to, let me be clearly, childhood experiences that were not nearly so bad and parents that were not nearly so damaged themselves, but which nevertheless have some resemblances.

Some reviews complain that Mary Trump shows some empathy for Donald. Of course she does; she's a clinical psychologist, and unlike Donald, she's a normal human being who does have empathy and who watched some of the abuse, of Donald and of her father, up close. I feel some of that empathy, too.

It doesn't change what we should do about Donald Trump. It doesn't change my astonishment, or apparently Mary's, that so many people were taken in by him in the 2016 election. He's a very damaged person, incapable of doing the job he currently has, and that's a danger to all of us.

Recommended.

I bought this book.
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LibraryThing member Clara53
Mary Trump is on shaky ground: being one of the family, her testimony may be interpreted as one based on resentment. But it's one thing for a family to deal with a dysfunctional offspring, it's quite another - when a country is faced with him as a leader. Mary Trump paints an honest picture of the
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family and her uncle's place in it, as well as his manipulative journey up to this point. Yes, one can blame Trump's many faults on his emotionally cruel father who "damaged past healing the psyche of his favorite child, Donald J. Trump", and on distant mother, but there is really no excuse for such a severely flawed individual to be at the helm of the country.
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LibraryThing member DinadansFriend
Donald Trump had a brother, Fred, who was hounded into alcoholism and an early death by his exceedingly unpleasant family. With a doctorate in psychology, Fred III's daughter, Mary outlines the pressure cooker of a family Fed II was born into. Donald, after Fred II's discovery that Fred III was not
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going to be a carbon copy of himself was carefully groomed to become the heir apparent. It is Mary's considered opinion that her grandfather Fred II, was a sociopath and incapable of any kind of empathy. Donald John is to his niece's eyes a four year old, with no ability to work towards changing himself for the better. if you love DJT, the 45th president of the USA, you had best examine your life for the evidence of the condition known as masochism. Her prose is quite clear, and her vision seems born out by the reports of the man's conduct from other sources.
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LibraryThing member c_why
The only book you'll need to read to understand this horrible presidency. Incredibly good writing as well as marvelous , sharp details of both the animate and inanimate features in this rich biography of the Trump family from Donald's father (Mary's grandfather) to now. No scuttlebut - this is a
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stand-forever book by a no-nonsense psychologist.
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LibraryThing member PeggyK49
I wanted to read this book because, after hearing a couple of interviews with Mary L. Trump, I was curious to know if it would help explain why #45 behaves the way he does. This book has certainly helped in that respect. He is a child of a very dysfunctional family, but that in no way excuses his
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actions. It just clues us in on the whys and wherefores of his behavior. At his core, he is still a 3 year old child who throws tantrums to get his way.
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LibraryThing member Meredy
This narrative has the ring of truth.

If it isn't true, then it must be counted as a work of brilliant verisimilitude. If it isn't true, it's as compellingly inventive as any world-creating fantasy by a master of fiction. The voice of conviction together with the vivid detail and the latitude and
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longitude of analysis (despite its brevity) argues for truth.

This is not an instance of great writing, and it isn't a display of great editing either. It has some rough spots. It sounds in places as if portions were written at long intervals, without looking back, and possibly as self-contained shorter pieces that hadn't been stitched into a seamless whole. I would also guess that sections or passages have been deleted without a thorough check of continuity in the remaining parts.

For example, the author refers to her parents as Freddy and Linda through much of the book, and then suddenly they're "my father" and "my mom." A reference to Gam comes without introduction, and even though we can guess it's a grandmother, we don't know at first which one. Those are editorial lapses that should have been scrupulously addressed in a book destined to be as high-profile as this one. Some future historical study is going to have to "sic" a lot of quotes.

Curiously, the author's own blind spots contribute to a sense of authenticity that it would be hard to counterfeit. Speaking of her father's critical illness and death in 1981 at age 42, she writes of how her grandparents had generously supported two top-flight medical facilities in New York, but that when her father was taken ill, "A single phone call would have guaranteed the best treatment for their son at either facility. No call was made" (page 121). Instead, the ambulance took him to a public hospital in Queens, where he died later that night. Even while deploring the family's sense of entitlement and exemption from the constraints of ordinary mortals, she implicitly shares the expectation of privilege with which her father ought to have been treated by reason of her grandfather's wealth.

Nevertheless, if a technical critique brings out a number of shortcomings, nothing can reduce the impact of the content. This book wipes away all pretext for justifying the conduct of the monster in the White House.

I read this book for three reasons:

(1) raw curiosity;
(2) validation--a kind of grim satisfaction in seeing in close view just how bad this situation is; and
(3) a warning.

With respect to the first, I very nearly regret that urge, because, as they say, you can't unsee it. The spectacle of young Donald relentlessly tormenting his little brother Robert, the one who died just two weeks ago, with everyone else utterly powerless to make him stop, effectively snuffs any hope of kindness or decency from this warped man-thing.

To the second: it turns out to be far worse than I imagined. Somewhere in my soul, I hoped and believed that this president, an American president, our president, could not be as crude and vile a character as he appeared. Something like humanity must be there to be found, perhaps by a close family member, if not by a traumatized public. Not so. There is no redeeming quality there. There is no saving virtue. There is only vice, and more of it than most of literature has ever concentrated in one character before. I am at a loss to take it in. What's more, I think it would poison me if I could.

No later than page 11, we read: "the lies, misrepresentations, and fabrications that are the sum total of who my uncle is." Mary depicts an unfathomable concavity that shouldn't exist this side of hell.

I predict a future version of Godwin's law that invokes another name.

For the third, it is that: a warning. Mary writes that her mission is "to take Donald down" (page 188). Her book won't do that directly. What it does do, has done, is to hand over the keys to Trump's psyche. There can't be a politician anywhere in the U.S., and probably not anywhere in the world, who hasn't read this or won't be reading it soon. And I imagine that even the ones who've seen Trump up close are uniformly appalled by what this book exposes.

Some will still call it a pack of lies; but then let them put forward a narrative that fits the facts better than this one.

However, I fear that there may still be too much uncomprehending optimism in the populace at large, just as there is about covid-19: can it really, really, really be as bad as they say? We don't have the yardstick that can take its measure. The Republican National Convention ended two nights ago. Yesterday an opinion writer named Mimi Swartz wrote this comment in the New York Times: Democrats who spent the last four nights watching Netflix aren’t ready for what’s coming.

I hope they will be. I hope they use the keys.
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LibraryThing member janeajones
Pretty much what you would expect if you've been reading the newspapers, watching the news (not Fox) and have seen Mary Trump interviewed. She analyzes the dysfunction of the Trump family focusing on Fred Trump Sr.'s genuine business acumen building a real estate fortune (while cheating the
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government of taxes), his marriage and their disastrous failure in raising their 5 children: Maryanne, Fred Jr., Elizabeth, Donald and Robert. Little is learned about how the children's spouses and children coped, with the exception of herself, her mother and to some extent her brother. It's a quick read and will certainly disabuse the reader of any notion that Donald Trump succeeded at anything from making money to running the government.
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LibraryThing member slsmith101
“The lies may become true in his mind as soon as he utters them, but they’re still lies. It’s just another way for him to see what he can get away with. And so far, he’s gotten away with everything.”

We’ve always known that Trump is a narcissistic emotional cripple who just makes things
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up. With this book we find out why.

What’s most troubling to me is how many people are willing to enable him, or worse, take advantage of him in order to pursue their own agendas. We cannot let this man serve another term as president.
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LibraryThing member auntmarge64
I got about 2/3 through and decided I needed to stop. There's only so much poison I can take into my brain. A friend tells me to read the last chapter, so maybe.

The book is stunning. The author, who is both Trump's niece and a psychologist, dissects her family from a professional standpoint
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informed by personal experience, and it is a terrible story about cruelty encouraged, children ignored, and sibling efforts to win the father's attention, although that was usually derisive, often in public. The effect of this dysfunction to a child has to be significant, but it is unclear whether Donald is entirely a product of that upbringing or had a natural tendency towards the "killer" behavior preferred by the father. Either way, it started when he was a child, when he taunted and bullied his siblings mercilessly. Mary Trump saw much of this behavior in an older Donald when she was a child and visiting her grandparents quite often. By that time Trump was living outside the family home and married first to Ivana and then Marla. Mary tells the story of one Christmas when Ivana and Donald gave her a package of underwear as her present, or another year when they gave her a regifted food basket - with the caviar removed. (Ivana was apparently Donald's soulmate.) It's this kind of dismissive cruelty at which Donald has become so adept. A recent example happens while the family is going to a birthday celebration for Trump's two sisters. Trump International comped the family one night (one!), and the group was picked up to go to the White House in a van with bench seats along the walls. Over and over the smallness of Trump's soul is demonstrated with Donald's own actions or statements.

This is the one Trump book that should be read by everyone, especially those who think Trump has any interest in their welfare. Of course, they won't read it, but then, they've drunk the koolaid. Interestingly, Trump has commented very little on the contents of the book. Maybe he knows better than to give these stories more attention lest his followers get wind of them.
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LibraryThing member PaulaGalvan
As soon as I heard about this book, written by our current President's niece, I couldn't wait to read it. I thought it would reveal all the nasty secrets about Donald J. Trump's childhood before he became a man and went on to ruin our country. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this
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well-written autobiography of a girl who grew up on the fringes of Donald's immediate family. The fact that Mary Trump holds a Ph.D. in psychology makes her the perfect person to offer this type of insight into the Trump family dynamics. Instead of focusing on gossip and scandal, the author has chosen to provide a physiological profile of her family. Trump Sr. was a domineering sociopath—driven to make money at any cost. Since Mary's father, Fred Thump Jr., the oldest of the five Trump children, didn't live up to his old man's expectations and was often excluded from his businesses, became an alcoholic, then died of a heart attack at the age of 42, his children—including Mary Trump—did not share a lot of personal time with their uncle, Donald, but drawing from her own memories, as well as accounts from family and friends, she paints an in-depth picture of a cold, loveless childhood that helped shape the dangerous monster that somehow got elected to the highest office in the world. Regardless of political affiliation, I don't think anyone alive today can ignore the damage that this President has done to our democracy. Or deny the way he has lowered America's standing in the eyes of the world—not to mention the lives being lost everyday to the Coronavirus pandemic for lack of leadership. I'm certainly glad some of his family has finally decided to speak out. Thank you, Mary Trump. Now, I hope people will listen.
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LibraryThing member Sheila1957
The Trump family from Mary Trump's point of view. She was surprisingly compassionate as she talks about the family, how they were raised, and how they turned out as adults. I could find no boo-hoo moments where she wallowed in self-pity. She put the family out there as she saw them. I have to
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admire her for not railing against their treatment of her branch of the family. They were not a kind family.

Fred, the Trump patriarch, could not see that each of his children has different personalities than him and that it was not a bad thing. Unfortunately he wanted winners and "killers" so when Freddy was not the same personality as him, he destroyed him emotionally. With supportive parents Freddy would have had a different life that would have been a success. The girls, Maryanne and Elizabeth, were not looked at by Fred. They were girls and did not count. They, too, with supportive parents would have achieved success. Donald needed someone to keep him in line which neither parent did. Fred rewarded his behavior while Mary overlooked what he did. The youngest, Robert, hung with Donald but, like Freddy for his father, became the scapegoat for Donald.

I am amazed that Mary, the niece, as she tells the stories from and of the family that she remained in contact with them after Fred's will was read. It is hard to believe that anyone would want to be around these people. They are flawed and not looking to change. While she paints a sympathetic picture and wants to explain why her uncle and his siblings are the way they are, I still did not come away liking these adults. I felt sorry for all the children and grandchildren in this family. I hope some day they all find love and acceptance just for themselves and not for who their ancestors are.
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LibraryThing member stevesbookstuff
There aren't a lot of things in this book that anyone paying attention over the last four years wasn't already aware of; and many of the "revelations" (i.e. Donald paid someone else to take his SATs) have pretty quickly made their way out to the twitterverse and cable news shows. Yet to read it all
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in the words of a member of the family and trained psychologist is well worth your time, even if only as an overview of dysfunction within an American family. At just over 200 pages it's a pretty quick read.
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LibraryThing member Anamie
An intimate perspective into the Trump family from Donald's niece showing the environment that created this cult of personality. Donald's father, Fred, was very committed to his own company that he may have neglected a few other things along the way. Excess money is known to corrupt some people to
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a degree and the dynamics of this family could not have been a better illustration. Donald was rewarded generously but seemed to have no desire to help anyone else including his family. That said, this book had a bit of tell instead of show. There are a lot of inflammatory remarks towards Donald and while rightfully done at times I think it is better to have the reader decide on their own based on the storytelling. There are plenty of great examples demonstrating Trump's behavior in the book itself so it may have been great without it. (Maybe I should have added, fantastic?) My favorite parts include the brief ghostwriting gig and the unusual Christmas presents. It is worth a read if you are curious about the Trump family in general.
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LibraryThing member lanewillson
The worst part of Mary Trump's book is that in the end, she treated her dad, Freddy Trump, just like the rest of the Trump family.
LibraryThing member bobbieharv
The best book about Trump I've read so far. I've seen her interviewed and she comes across just as the book does: thoughtful, very well-spoken (written). It explains quite well how such a needy, narcissistic, uninformed and practically illiterate child turned into all of the same when he grew up.
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I'm glad I had the Kindle edition, however, so I didn't need to be confronted by the distasteful cover every time I opened it.

As another reviewer has said, the only mystery is how the 30-40% can still be supporting him when all of these defects are on full display every day.
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LibraryThing member maneekuhi
Mary Trump’s “Too Much and Never Enough”. What a totally inappropriate title. This “book” comes in at a numbered 211 pages – subtract a dozen or so totally white pages and the net is not quite 200 pages. And how many of those 200 pages had new, interesting anecdotes, bits of stunning
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info, in-depth psychological analysis, scandalous gossip, sexy trivia? Uh, not many; it’s rather dull. Actually, it’s very dull. Maybe you’ve seen the author interviewed on tv, or better yet, her friend who stood in for the author during the judge’s restraining order…..that’s about as exciting as the storytelling in this book gets.

There are a lot of tales and scenes from the 60s,70s, and 80s illustrating how tightly the patriarch, Fred Sr., ruled the roost. Many of these settings take place at the dinner table. The old man did not take failure well, and could cut with a glare or angry insult, no matter the age of the miscreant. Donald and older brother Freddie handled these criticisms in two very different ways. Not a lot of psychological probing here by the author and no surprise to read that she was a lot more sympathetic to her father’s sins than her uncle’s.

This book is not a psychological analysis of President Trump (DJT), rather it’s a mini bio of the Trump family, with heavy emphasis on Freddie Trump, not DJT’s father, but rather the author’s dad and older brother to DJT. He was a pilot for TWA and a drinker, but not very interested in real estate, so the black sheep of the family. Freddie Jr. died at an early age. Then, when Grandpa Trump passed and his huge estate was probated, it was cut up not into five shares, one for each of the old man’s surviving and deceased kids, but rather four pieces; Freddie Jr.’s family (meaning author Mary and brother) got nothing. There’s a lot in here about that Will and legal attempts to settle the ensuing family dispute, as in years and years..

The story leaps ahead. DJT is Prez. The author is invited along with most of the family to the White House soon after the inauguration and comments that it was the first contact she had with her uncle during the previous ten years. She doesn’t seem to have much contact thereafter. So much for first hand knowledge. In the remaining few pages of the book she skims over most of DJT’s shortcomings and laments how he manages to go unchallenged. Yet she makes no mention at all of his supporters, and who they are and what it is about him that appeals to them and how he recognized that and how he leverages that and….etc., etc. So we finally get a tad more psychology but it seems like Psych Lite, and a case of too little, too late.
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LibraryThing member celticlady53
Just goes to show how parents can destroy a child. Unfortunately, this book does not make me like him any more than I did before which was not at all. This man should not be president.
Mary Trump did a great job of compiling family history into a very readable book.
Such a dysfunctional family. I
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can now see why he is the way he is, it is always 'what about me"? Me me me. The father Fred was a very not nice person so I can understand where Trump got it from. A family that let Trump do whatever he wanted with no consequences. His mother was not much better.
I am glad I read the book, is all of it believable? Who knows? The book gives the reader a glimpse into the Trump empire.
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LibraryThing member akblanchard
Psychologist Mary L. Trump traces her uncle Donald Trump's narcissism and sociopathy back to his father domineering father Fred and sickly mother Mary. In the neglectful, abusive atmosphere of the Trump home, all of the children developed emotional limitations, but as the favored son, Donald
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inherited not only access to lots of money, but also his father's worst traits. These are on full display in his every gesture as president--in every in every tweet, press conference, and high-level meeting. According to the author, her uncle has the emotional maturity of a three year old, and would never be able to function in the "real world" without his enablers.

Mary L. Trump devotes much of the book to the sad story of her father, Fred, Jr. As the oldest son, he yearned for his father's approval, but it was always withheld from him. He ended up drinking himself into an early grave.

This is a short book, but it is so filled with instances of blatant hard-hardheartedness that it is difficult to read. Almost makes one feel sorry for 45.
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LibraryThing member AliceAnna
Very interesting and very tragic. A family full of dysfunction. It helps to understand how DJT became the person he became. One may feel sorry for that young boy, but I cannot bring myself to feel sorry for the monster that he became no matter what the reasons. My heart hurt for Mary, though. That
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she wasn't able to see her father one last time. That she was cut off by the family that more or less killed her father. That her grandmother turned her back on her despite Mary showing more kindness toward her than anyone else in that horrid family. It all seems so sordid and sad. Kudos to Mary for not conveying the impression that she was feeling sorry for herself. It would have been easy to devolve into a pity party. I would likely have given the book 5 stars if she had fleshed out things a little bit more. It really felt a bit sparse in details in several places. But the psychological information was very good and very helpful.
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LibraryThing member linda.marsheells
Enlightening and eye-opening Mary Trump has written an account of the 'Donalds' upbringing, the family source of his narcissism.
It was his father Fred who instilled in his 2nd son the practice of divide and conquer, but only after the total destruction of his eldest, and namesake Frederick.
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Cruelty and bullying became an integral part of Donalds being. Multiple failures and bankruptcies aside, his father knowingly propped up the acknowledged family moron to save face.
Mary Trump is an intelligent woman, with a PHD in clinical psychology. This book was not written out of spite, but rather as a warning of what will be.
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LibraryThing member LyndaInOregon
Author Mary Trump grew up in and around the toxic psychological swamp that was the Fred Trump family and uses her expertise in psychopathology and developmental psychology to attempt to illuminate and explain how and why her uncle, Donald, became what she calls "the world's most dangerous
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man".

According to the author, patriarch Fred essentially ignored his five children throughout their childhood, beginning to be interested in them only when they were old enough to help him build and hold his real estate fortune. Second son Donald, she says, was his father's favorite and was enabled, spoiled, and indulged in everything he did, creating a man-child who appears to be supremely certain of his own infallibility, but who is hollow at the core.

If the text sometimes carries the odor of sour grapes, it would be understandable. Mary Trump's father "Freddy", who was the eldest son, was apparently a great disappointment to the old man, lacking the "killer" instinct he sought in his offspring. According to the author, her father was constantly humiliated, passed over, and ignored by Fred Trump. Whether the alcoholism that ultimately contributed to his early death was the cause or the result of this treatment is a decision each reader will have to make on their own.

There's certainly no doubt about her opinion of her uncle, of whom she writes: "Donald today is much as he was at three years old: incapable of growing, learning, or evolving, unable to regulate his emotions, moderate his responses, or take in and synthesize information. ... Nothing is ever enough." (And that's one of the more flattering passages.)

As a psychological study, it's mildly interesting. As a portrait of a man-child whose self-aggrandizement has propelled him far beyond his meager abilities, it's old news. And as a portrayal of a reckless leader who seems to have no conception of the notion that his actions have real-life consequences for millions of people, it is utterly terrifying.
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LibraryThing member bobandkathy
This makes a good case why donald trump is crazy and needs to be retired because he has a damaged psyche but it is mostly a rant about how her father was badly treated
LibraryThing member KamGeb
I decided to read this book because I don't like Trump and wanted to see what in the book was so horrible that Trump wanted this book not to hit the shelves. I didn't find it. I found Mary Trump trying to justify that her father was an alcoholic. That she was denied the Trump fortune because all
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the Trumps are bad and only her family is decent. It just wasn't worth the read.
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Original publication date

2020-07-14

ISBN

1982141468 / 9781982141462
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