Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump PhD
My daughter gave me this book for my Christmas. It was a most interesting read.
Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in 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 first-hand witness, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humour 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 favourite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.
Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists and journalists have sought to explain Donald Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary 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.
When I started reading this book, Donald Trump had already become the first President in American history to be impeached twice, he had also been banned by Twitter and defeated by Joe Biden in the Presidential election held in 2020. So I was particularly interested to find out about his family and background that formed his personailty.
Who better to explain it than a close family memebr who is also a clinical psychologist?
The author starts her story by telling her readers about her paternal grandparents and how they related to eachother and their five children. The dominant parent, Fred, grew up in Germany and had no time for weakness or failure. He also had little time for his daughters or his oldest son, Fred Jnr.
However, Fred, was a determined businessman who amassed a vast fortune. He used his wealth and influence to control his family and exert his opinions over his family. The author does no protray her grandfather as a kind man nor as an ethical businessman. He was driven by ammassing power and wealth, by any means. He cultivated his second son, Donald, to be like him and take over his business empire.
In order to secure his father's approval, Donald developed mannerisms and habits that, while not admirable, allowed him to show a facade to the world that secured him the Republican nomination for the presidency and he became the 45th President.
The book is fascinating, but it is written more as an academic thesis rather than a biography. It is a little dry. However, I did enjoy it and recommend it to everybody who wants to find out more about what makes Donald J. Trump tick.
Mary L. Trump, born May 1965, a clinical psychologist, is the oldest child of Fred Trump Jr., and the oldest grandchild of Fred Trump Sr. Mary's father died in 1981 at the age of 42 from a heart attack due to alcoholism.