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Publisher's Summary

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 firsthand 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 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.

©2020 Compson Enterprises LLC. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

Featured Article: Politics Audiobooks and Podcasts You Should Be Listening to in 2021


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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I almost feel sorry Donald Trump.

I listened to this book all night upon being notified it was available. Initially, I found it compelling and forceful in its simplicity of telling events as the author remembered them to be. The casual cruelties were shocking, both in what many of the Trump family endured and in what others in the Trump family perpetrated. Mary L. Trump utilizes her PhD well, not in bashing Donald Trump, but in explaining how and why childhood attachments are made and how they can be broken or twisted so easily by those who are supposed to love and care for them. She also explains logically how Donald Trump came to his mindset. She details his personality so exactly that it finally makes sense of what we see everyday as he performs (doesn't perform?) as President. His behavior, his cruelty, his apparent disregard for all facts or of experts in various fields, his constant assertions that he knows more about whatever the subject is than anyone else (despite objective or even scientific proof that he knows next to nothing about it), his pandering to dictators and strongmen (seeking their approval in bizarre manners) and his never-ending lying, makes sense. Amazingly, she touches on various members of the Republican party and the staff around Donald Trump. And even though we have watched him effusively praise a person (senator or general or doctor), then discard them with vile lies and disparaging comments when they are no longer of use to him or refuse to go along with him, even when they are refusing him because that is their legal duty or factual position that will save lives, While I can say that...to me...Donald Trump sees no one as a person, but sees everyone as something to be useful to himself; when their utility ends, he's happy to discard them like no longer wanted, old shoes. But it's worse, because you seldom castigate and berate old shoes. But Mary L. Trump gives a peak inside Donald Trump's mind, into his pathology, on why he is as he is. I used to think Donald Trump was evil, but now I realize that he is simply empty inside, except for a giant need for self-satisfaction, self-aggrandizement and self-promotion. Until now, I never realized that Donald Trump honestly doesn't realize that he is truly empty inside and has virtually no human emotions, certainly not compassion or caring, even of his own family. Donald Trump is the master of delusion, not only of himself, but of a good percentage of Americans. And he is in a constant need for a fix, like a junky, of ego-stroking. The most bizarre thing is that ego-stroking can even be accomplished...in his mind...by commentary or news that most people would find negative or abhorrent, but he finds it rewarding, as long as he is the one in the spotlight. Mary L. Trump is an excellent narrator. There are no histrionics in this book, in fact, the opposite. She presents a quiet, low-key, simple telling of the story of her life in the Trump family and what she saw happen to and by Donald Trump. Her voice is compelling, as is the book. This is a fascinating book, a book I was not really thinking I would finish. Now, I am hoping she will write a sequel, expounding on Donald Trump's personality in more detail. Even if it comes out after Donald Trump's presidency is over, I would be compelled to read it.

525 people found this helpful

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Fascinating

I downloaded this book around midnight and only planned to listen to the intro and go to bed by 12:30. Nope. I just finished and it’s 7:30 a.m. Uhh, wow. This is really a memoir of what went down in this family from a very unique perspective. It helps that Dr. Trump is an Ivy League-educated clinical psychologist, but she keeps the brief clinical discussion to a minimum. For the most part, Trump provides a mature account of what she witnessed as a member of a fascinatingly dysfunctional family - packed with anecdotes of strange behavior that left me shaking my head and dropping my jaw. There’s some stuff in here that blew me away. Wow. Just wow. This guy is our president.

410 people found this helpful

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A Man Rewarded for His Incompetence All His Life

I have reviewed this audio book already and am re-writing it after having more time to think. First of all I have mixed feelings regarding the book overall. Listening to the Audible version Mary's bitterness and chip on her shoulder at times is off putting. As much as I have empathy for everything she has gone through, it was hard for me until the very end, to not feel like some of this book was motivated by revenge. I was also disappointed in that the main revelations of the book about Donald Trump were not that great. To be fair I did a dissertation on Wealth and Spirituality, and so I was already aware of a lot of the back-stabbing, skewed values, loneliness, and often silent suffering many wealthy families go through. I also at one point specialized in abuse and as a counselor have a lot of insight into how abusive and narcissistic people behave. Maybe that explains some of my disappointment. Maybe too much of it was already too familiar to me. That is also why I was not surprised to learn that Fred Trump (Donald's father) spent around $400 billion dollars propping up Donald's false image throughout his life. To find out why his dad did that, listen to the book. For me the final chapters were the best and that is where Mary Trump seemed to state the reason we should care beyond her own hurt and pain. But, most of all I felt disappointed because not enough insight was put into why we as a country have decided to prop this man up so much. For that I am going to move on to my next Audible book, Unholy, to try to learn more about why so many people (especially uneducated white evangelicals) believe Trump's hype.

261 people found this helpful

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Really Impressed

Not what I expected. The author primarily focuses on Fred Trump (Donald's father, and the author's grandfather) and his toxic effect it had on his family. Thus painting a picture of the environment the Trump kids grew up in. The story goes into greater detail about Freddie Trump (Fred's eldest son, brother to Donald, and the author's father) and his pejorative relationship with the family patriarch. Well written and great flow.

234 people found this helpful

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Too good to put into adequate words

I had pre-ordered a hard copy and then decided to also get it here this morning, thinking it would be better to have my own impression before interviews and reviews of others clouded my opinion. I had no idea when I purchased it that it was also read by Mary Trump. I started this morning and carried it with me as I cleaned and did the laundry lost in the story throughout this day. I've just finished and felt as though a friend had told me a story that she simply had to put into words, onto paper, and read to tell her side of a story that was long overdue for the world to hear. I am filled with admiration for this woman who is the most likable of people and who obviously is the best this family has to offer. Long may she live and how blessed we are for her voice. She tells us what we all know to be true. I only took a slight break to check on Twitter to see that the world was "okay" and read about the bizarre press conference that Trump held today in the Rose Garden, this is the man that Mary describes so accurately. Everyone who reads it should pledge to get others to read it and to vote, like our very lives depend on it because they do. Thank You Mary Trump.

227 people found this helpful

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Not much about Donald at all

I was very interested to know more about Donald as a young adult and finding out why he is “The Most Dangerous Man in the World”. This book, however, is less about Donald and more a portrayal of Fred Trump Sr as an abusive father to the author’s own father, Fred Trump Jr, his spiral into alcoholism and his untimely death. The author is bitter, angry and needing someone to blame.

176 people found this helpful

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The Best Eight Hours Ever!

An absolutely amazing book in every way possible. Planned to listen to one chapter and go about my day: I could not stop listening....it took about 8 hours. Such a soothing voice, a brilliant mind, a forgiving spirit, an incredible memory...Mary Trump is a gentle genius. The Epilogue is something that should be required reading of every voter in America. As a therapist, I could see the things that Mary Trump describes involving DJT's decompensating mental health. She just verified what I observed from afar. Thank you, Mary Trump, for writing this. It could not have been easy. And thank you to the people who stood by you as you ventured into dangerous territory. A special thank you to your daughter, who you no doubt raised to be a caring and delightful person. {{{{{{{{{Mary}}}}}}}} hugs to you.

162 people found this helpful

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Not the Story You Expected

Too Much Freddie's and Never Enough Donald. This book is enlightening and stops short of what most people are here for because, spoilers, the author has no insight into it. Despite Mrs. Trumps clinical background is it clear the book is written from a place of grievance, which makes her valid criticisms seem less impactful.

161 people found this helpful

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At last, an Explanation for what we are witnessing as Citizens

Tim O’Brien has called this a ‘seminal work’. Mary Trump’s courage is evident. Her insights are undeniable. We must acknowledge based on what each of us, as fellow Americans, have seen with our own eyes; and heard with our own ears the veracity of her disclosures and observations. The apparent separate reality of our President, now, has an understandable context. This is an important document. MUST listen.

158 people found this helpful

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Misleading Title & Hipe - Total BS

The title is misleading and the story is actually about her father Fred Trump Jr. and not about Donald Trump at all. Most of the information can be found online. No shocking revelations here. Just another money making tool. Disappointed to say the least. Being trained in psychology I was anxious to hear what she had to say about President Trump.. She seems bitter to me.

150 people found this helpful