Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump

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, 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 to countless holiday meals and family 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 re-gifting 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.

There are approximately a gazillion books written about the Trump family or presidency that have been published over the last five years. Several I have read, most I have not. However, I heard an interview with Mary Trump, the niece of former President Trump, where she analyzed her uncle’s White House and promoted her book which is aptly titled Too Much and Never Enough.

I was able to listen to this nonfiction account of the Trump families arrival in America and rise to power in New York over the course of two evenings, as I was painting a bedroom. It is only a seven hour audiobook and is narrated by the author herself.

What set this book apart from the myriad of other tell-alls available is that Mary Trump is a registered, practicing psychologist, very well educated and uniquely suited as both a family inside and outsider to access family stories and documents unattainable to outsiders and still offer the perspective of someone outside of President Trump’s orbit. To my mind, this makes her more credible and her conclusions are well thought out. I certainly found her assertions to be believable.

If nothing else, this book helps to explain why Donald is the way he is, as are most of this family members. To quote my Dad who also listened to this book, “that is one messed up family”.

I fervently disagreed with the majority of policies and actions undertaken by then President Trump, and disapproved of him as a person. Reading Too Much and Never Enough helps to explain how he became the way he is and makes clearer some of the mental health conditions he likely has. He certainly is not someone who is now, has ever been, or ever will be suited for public office. Mary Trump describes her uncle has having been institutionalized all his life, and that is the clearest descriptor I have ever heard to describe Donald J. Trump.

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Published by Hannah

Former library clerk, current full-time teacher and employee. I love books and make no promises as to a posting schedule.

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