Too Much and Never Enough
8 journalers for this copy...
Mary Trump's evaluation of the character of Donald Trump and how it developed is based on personal observation and on her training in developmental psychology. Interestingly, she never comes out and says he is a sociopath, but she does apply that label to his father without hesitation. The book, in many ways, is more about Donald's father Fred than about Donald himself. Fred Trump set the stage. He was responsible for how the family evolved into a competitive, untrusting, shady band of tax evaders (among other things). Donald was merely the shining star of this particular brand.
Well, no, not just that. What is remarkable is how Donald got away with incompetence, fraud, and deception his whole life. In a way, his rise to the White House was inevitable when seen in the right light.
Fred knew his son did not have the stuff to do the work. He knew his son was a bully. He knew he never apologized, never admitted mistakes. In fact, Fred cultivated these qualities. He especially smiled on this son when Donald presented himself to the world as the savvy businessman that he was not. Behind the scenes, Fred could make the project work. Donald's part was to present a face to the world and a name nobody would forget.
How did he get this way? According to Mary, Donald, the second son, watched as Freddy, the oldest, failed to live up to his father's expectations. Freddy was not interested in the Trump business. He just wanted to fly planes and be left alone. Donald watched as Freddy knuckled under to his father's wishes, apologizing for his "mistakes" even when they were actually the mistakes of others. Donald learned by watching: Never apologize. Never admit mistakes. Crow loudly. Take credit for what is good and place blame for what is not.
The cost of becoming this sort of narcissist is the loss of intimacy with anyone. Donald can't let his hair down, share his fears or doubts with anyone. He's so used to grandstanding and bluffing that it is second nature to him, and I doubt that he himself is aware that it is all based on fear and an actual lack of self-esteem. He isn't a reflective person, certainly not a self-aware person. I think it is this aspect of his personality that triggers in Mary a sadness and compassion along with the anger at how much damage he has done.
Don't pick up this book looking for a political expose. Don't expect to learn that there is much more to Donald than we see every day. Do pick it up for a thoughtful analysis of how this monster was created and how his bad behavior has been enabled by others through the years. I truly hope that it persuades a few people who are on the fence to vote for Biden.
There's not much more I can add to jlautner's very comprehensive review. It's frightening how vulnerable children are to their parents' actions and attitudes. Donald is not only the victim of his father but also of the absence of his mother (due to illness) during a critical developmental period of his young life. I liked the way Mary was able to arouse a tiny amount of compassion in me for her uncle. Quite a feat! (But, really, only a *very* tiny bit) ;-)
Thank you for sharing this! I have perryfran's address so the book will be ready to travel on later today.
As far as Mary Trump's book, it was really an enlightening background on the making of a megalomaniac, narcissistic, sociopath who has no empathy for anyone. The book focuses on the Trump family, especially Trump's father, Fred who Mary also considers to have been a sociopath with little regard for anyone outside of his family and who created the fortune that enabled Donald to spend millions on his untenable projects that ended in bankruptcy such as his Atlantic City casinos. She also describes the unfair treatment of her father, Fred Jr. or Freddy, who died at an early age due to alcoholism and depression and who was pretty much erased from the family. Mary and her brother Fritz were disinherited and received next to nothing when their grandfather died. They were told that his estate was worth about $30 million when in fact it was worth nearer to a billion. The money was taken by the remaining siblings and used to their advantage while hiding it with various tax schemes.
I can see why Mary is upset at the Trump family and based on this book, how Donald got to where he is today. But please, VOTE! Our country depends on it.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
ETA: adding the list here from the forum post just incase someone else needs a quick reference to the list besides me.
“Here is the list. The usual rules: contact next person for address, send when you have read. Let us know here when you have received the book, and sent it on.
Last person gets to keep it.
I will contact the next in line and mail ASAP.
Unfortunately, Mary did seem whiny. She lost me in her "outrage" over Trump only putting them up at his hotel for one night. She reminded me of family members who think they're due something just because they have a rich relative. I can imagine many of my cousins acting like this and it turned me off of Mary. She doesn't like Trump but thinks he should treat her as though he likes and respects her?
I'll get this book mailed out to the next recipient.
Thanks for including me in the ray.
I knew Trump was severely damaged, but this book gave me an understanding of why. Around the time of one of the Gulf wars, someone wrote that Saddam Hussein’s sons came by their pathology honestly. I’d say the same of Trump. The fact that he treats strangers poorly was no news, of course. But I was taken aback that he and the family treated the author, her father, and her brother and nephew so poorly. He really is as amoral as I thought, if not more so. I don’t agree that she’s “whiny.” I think she has entirely legitimate grievances.
I’m sure we’ll never know what Melania sees in her husband.
As I write this, Joe Biden is set to be sworn in as the 46th President tomorrow. :)
The fact is, no matter how dysfunctional the family or what behaviors are coded into one’s DNA, one’s integrity and set of ethics are really a matter of the choices one makes.
There is much detail in this memoir about the business dealings of the Trump family, going way back to D. Trump’s grandfather. In a nutshell, they hate to pay taxes and everything is acquiring as much wealth as possible. They have never been above “bending the rules”, to put it as kindly as possible. Much of the information presented in this book is colored by Mary Trump’s bitterness (justifiable) about how her father was treated by his father, and later by his younger brother, Donald. This is a sick family.
When you get to page 202 (out of 211 pages), Mary Trump goes into more detail about Donald and his behaviors. None of it comes as a surprise, but it was good to see what I’ve observed confirmed by someone who not only knows him well, but holds a PhD in Advanced Psychological Studies.
All in all, worth reading, but I warn you, it’s a slow read.
I'm hoping to pass this along to a Trump supporter to get his take on it, IF he'll even acquiesce to reading it.