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 occupied 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.
Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.
Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and the niece of President Donald Trump, delivers a concise and damning account of her family's dysfunctions and their role in shaping her uncle's toxic blend of cruelty, incompetence, and vainglory. The fault, according to Trump, lies mainly with her grandfather, Fred Trump, a "high-functioning sociopath" whose harsh treatment of his eldest son and namesake, Freddy Trump (the author's father, who died at age 42 after years of alcohol abuse), taught Donald to bury his insecurities behind "a perpetual sneer of self-conscious superiority" and to cheat and bully his way to success on wheels greased by his father's money and political connections. Though Trump begins and ends the book with scathing assessments of Donald's presidency and offers plenty of unflattering anecdotes, he remains a somewhat distant figure throughout. The most harrowing sections deal with Freddy Trump's yearslong decline after his attempt to leave his father's real estate business failed, and the family's callous treatment of his ex-wife, children, and grandchildren after his death. 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.
I feel like this was an honest story about a very dysfunctional family. It’s helpful to see what makes people horrible to not become one of them yourself. I’m glad the author was able to see the dysfunction and not get pulled completely into it. Glad I read it.
The truth behind our worst President in history..
Lays bare all the shame and humiliation that our President wishes no one would ever find out about. An inside look at the inner workings of the Trump family and how the egotistical narcissist was formed at a young age. Absolutely riveting.
Sanity at last
At long last — even better reading the book in full and in context, and not just the sound-bite reviews and excerpts that preceded it.
After four years of wanting to understand how our 45th president got to be so divisive and dysfunctional, and now our country with him, there’s no need to look further. It’s all here.
A profound thank-you to Dr. Mary Trump, PhD and niece. She may yet save us all.