by Mary L. Trump
NOTA DE LEITURA
O conteúdo do livro não corresponde ao título: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man. A autora não dedica muito espaço ao Tio Donald Trump, embora o desconsidere com frequência; trata-o mais como um zero à esquerda, apesar de ser Presidente dos Estados Unidos da América. Preocupa-se mais em atacar o seu avô paterno que deu cabo do pai dela e depois a deserdou assim como ao seu irmão. Aparentemente, nos Estados Unidos, os netos sobrevivos não representam os herdeiros falecidos antes do autor da herança.
Como é natural, a autora e seu irmão revoltaram-se e eventualmente conseguiram que lhes fossem atribuídas algumas migalhas.
Mas como disse acima, a Autora preocupa-se sobretudo em atacar o avô que realmente era uma peça muito especial. Uma das melhores dele foi dizer que um piloto de um avião intercontinental não era mais que um condutor de autocarros no céu, uma profissão sem categoria. Perseguido pela família, o pai da Autora não teve outro remédio senão abrigar-se junto do pai, quando a TWA o despediu em face do consumo de bebidas alcoólicas. E muita sorte teve ele em não lhe ser retirado o Brevet.
Vê-se que o livro foi escrito à pressa e tem até mais fama do que aquela que realmente mereceria. A autora não se preocupa muito em deitar abaixo o Tio Donald. A certa altura ele pedira-lhe que escrevesse um livro, mas não lhe chegou a dizer qual o assunto que deveria ser tratado e a empresa não foi para a frente.
Sempre vai dizendo que o Tio Presidente só se ocupa em ver TV (a Fox News) e em publicar no Twitter.
Pode ser que o livro contribua para desfazer as possibilidades de Donald Trump vir a ser Presidente mais quatro anos. Isso seria já muito bom.
Uma boa crítica do livro é o seguinte artigo:
THE NEW YORK TIMES
The Inside Story of Why Mary Trump Wrote a Tell-All Memoir
President Trump’s niece was a family outcast. Her new book casts a cold light on the relatives she describes as dysfunctional.
By Alan Feuer, Michael Rothfeld and Maggie Haberman
· Published July 7, 2020 Updated July 8, 2020,
For most of her life, Mary L. Trump was shunted aside by her own family.
Her uncle, President Trump, for years looked down on her father — his own brother, Fred Trump Jr., an alcoholic who died when she was a teen.
Her grandfather, Fred Trump Sr., hated her mother, whom he blamed for Fred Trump Jr.’s drinking, court papers say. Her aunt, the president’s sister, once accused Ms. Trump and her brother in a legal deposition of being “absentee grandchildren.”
Even when Ms. Trump shared Christmas with her family, her grandfather was often annoyed by what he took to be her disrespectful nature. Her crime, court papers say: She showed up wearing a baggy sweater.
Ms. Trump’s status as an outcast culminated in 1999 when Fred Trump Sr. died, and she discovered that she and her brother had been cut out of his will, depriving them of what they believed was their rightful share of untold millions. A dispute over the will devolved into a court fight, its details shielded by a confidentiality agreement that Ms. Trump has adhered to for nearly 20 years.
Now, however, the story of that fight — and other new allegations — has been thrust into the spotlight with the publication of Ms. Trump’s memoir, a copy of which The New York Times obtained on Tuesday. The book, along with a number of court documents that have never been reported, sheds new light on a decades-long saga of greed, betrayal and internecine squabbles, laying out what Ms. Trump has described as her family’s legacy of darkness and dysfunction.
Her book, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” which is set to be released next week, has ended up in court itself: The Trump family has sought to stop its publication. Ms. Trump has countered that the secrecy provision that has kept her silent until now is unenforceable and based on financial fraud.
The book makes a number of allegations that Ms. Trump depicts as family secrets, among them a claim that a young Donald Trump paid someone to take his SAT, the standardized test used for college admissions. It also alleges that Mr. Trump’s sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a former federal judge, considered him “a clown” who had “no principles” and that the Trump family left Fred Trump Jr. unattended at a hospital on the night that he died.
In her book, Ms. Trump seeks to explain how Donald Trump’s position in one of New York’s wealthiest and most infamous real-estate empires helped him acquire what Ms. Trump has referred to as “twisted behaviors” — attributes like seeing other people in “monetary terms” and practicing “cheating as a way of life.”
Ms. Trump, a clinical psychologist, calls her grandfather — the president’s father, Fred Trump Sr. — a “sociopath” who damaged his children. His father’s behavior, she concludes, led the president to adopt bullying and other aggressive behaviors to mask his own insecurities.
While several close associates of Mr. Trump have published exposés of him and his time in office, Mary Trump, who is 55 and lives on Long Island in New York, is the first member of the family to have broken ranks by writing a book.
Sarah Matthews, a White House spokeswoman, said Tuesday that the book was in Ms. Trump’s “own financial self-interest.” She said the president has described his relationship with his father in warm terms and called the allegation about the SAT “completely false.”
A lawyer for Mr. Trump’s family, Charles Harder, did not respond to an email seeking comment.
John Barrengos, one of Ms. Trump’s oldest friends, said that he believed the book was her response to a family that she feels tried to silence her and an attempt to shed light on her uncle, whose politics she strongly opposes.
“I think trying to tell the story as she sees it is a way of again claiming her voice not just in the construct of the family, but in the context of what our country is going through,” Mr. Barrengos said.
The seeds of Ms. Trump’s alienation began before she was born, with her father’s relationship to his family, and continued through her childhood before bursting open when her grandfather died, according to her book and court documents, some of which remain under seal.
Ms. Trump and her brother, Fred Trump III, were the only children of Fred Trump Jr., the oldest sibling of Donald Trump, and Linda Clapp Trump, a onetime flight attendant who did not win her father-in-law’s approval.
Fred Trump Jr. was not inclined to the family real-estate business, so Donald Trump stepped into the role of his father’s successor. The eldest Trump sibling became a pilot and struggled with alcoholism.
In her book, Ms. Trump writes that her uncle Donald watched her grandfather mock her father, learned from the ridicule to become Fred Sr.’s favorite son and joined in it. Donald Trump told his brother, referring to his career as a pilot: “Dad’s right about you: You’re nothing but a glorified bus driver.”
For a child of one of New York’s most successful families, Ms. Trump had a turbulent upbringing. Her father was clashing with his own father and younger brother, she writes, drinking and smoking heavily. They lived in a drafty apartment in Highlander Hall, a Trump building in Queens, and at one point she was hospitalized with pneumonia.
Her father started to spiral downward. He had tried to buy a house but could not get a mortgage. “Our family was effectively trapped in that run-down apartment in Jamaica,” she wrote. “At 29 years old, my father was running out of things to lose.”
On one occasion, young Mary woke up to her father laughing while aiming a gun at her screaming mother’s face, she wrote in her book. By 1970, her mother told her father to leave, and he would never live with them again. They divorced in 1971. Fred Trump Jr. died of a heart attack in 1981 at age 42.
His children, who had already been given $400,000 each in trust by their grandfather, inherited a 20 percent stake their father had been granted in Trump apartment buildings in Brooklyn and Queens, several ground leases and other revenue-producing businesses.
Long after their father’s death, Mary Trump and her brother continued attending family events, including a Mike Tyson fight in Atlantic City with Donald Trump, their grandfather’s birthday party at Peter Luger Steak House, Ivanka Trump’s eighth birthday party and weddings, holidays and visits with their grandmother.
Still, they remained at the edges of the family. Fred Trump Sr. never liked Linda Trump, according to testimony in a battle over his will, and worried that any money left to his two grandchildren would end up in her hands.
“He had a tremendous dislike for their mother,” Donald Trump said of his father in a deposition obtained by The Times. “He felt the mother was the cause of Fred’s difficulty.”
Fred Trump Sr. also looked down on Mary Trump and her brother because of what he perceived as a poor work ethic fostered by inheriting their father’s money, according to testimony in the will dispute by John Walter, Donald Trump’s cousin.
“He knew what Fred III was doing,” Mr. Walter testified. “He knew what Mary was doing. He knew what their father had done before them.” Fred Trump III, Mr. Walter said, was “not working hard enough.”
Although Mr. Walter said that Mr. Trump Sr. did not expect Mary Trump, as a woman, to work in construction, he did not think either of the children was fulfilling their potential.
When Fred Trump Sr.’s will was revised in 1991, he left $202,000 to each grandchild, including Mary Trump and Fred Trump III. The bulk of the Trump fortune would pass to his four living children. His other grandchildren stood to eventually inherit their parents’ portion. But Mary Trump and Fred Trump III — without their knowledge — were cut out of a 20 percent share of their grandfather’s estate that they might have received had their father lived.
“This is tantamount to disinheriting them,” an adviser told the Trump patriarch in a memo before the will was finalized. “You may wish to increase their participation in your estate to avoid ill will in the future.”
After Fred Trump Sr. died on June 25, 1999, Mary Trump and Fred Trump III learned that they had been cut out. Nine months later, they contested the will in court in New York, arguing that their grandfather had been suffering from dementia and that his children had manipulated him to influence the way the will was written.
A week after they went to court, a Trump family company cut off health insurance to Mary Trump, her mother, brother and her brother’s family, including Fred III’s 9-month-old son William, who had suffered from seizure disorders and would be diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Donald Trump acknowledged the termination of the insurance was related to the fight over his father’s will.
“When [Fred III] sued us, we said, ‘Why should we give him medical coverage?’” he told The Daily News at the time. Mary Trump told the newspaper that by contesting the will she was fighting for their father to be recognized. “He existed, he lived, he was their oldest son. And William is my father’s grandson,” she said.
Litigation over the will and the health insurance became the vehicles for the Trumps to hurl insults and raise grievances that had hung in the air for years.
In an affidavit in a lawsuit over the health insurance, Mary Trump said that at a meeting at the Drake Hotel, her uncle Robert tried to persuade her and her brother to accept the will’s terms, mentioning how much had been spent on William’s medical care. They interpreted the statement as a threat to terminate the insurance if they fought the will.
Robert Trump, in his own affidavit, called William’s 24-hour nurses “highly paid babysitters.”
Fred III said he was shocked that his family would trivialize his son’s medical care.
“My loving aunts and uncles, in an expression of their undying concern for William, were more than willing to jeopardize his care in order to punish me and my sister,” he said in his affidavit.
Those aunts and uncles had not visited William at a hospital a short cab ride from their Manhattan apartments, though in a restaurant Donald Trump “yelled across the tables that he had heard my child was sick,” Fred III later said.
The fight over the will was equally bitter.
“They live like kings and queens,” Donald Trump said of his niece and nephew in his deposition. “This is not two people left out in the gutter.”
Maryanne Trump Barry, for her part, testified there was “no relationship” between Mary and Fred III and her father, calling them “absentee grandchildren,” even as she acknowledged that they had attended Christmas at her parents’ house and other family events.
“They often came and left very early,” she said. “On each time they came Freddy was never wearing a tie, which drove my father bananas, and Mary was in pants and a baggy sweater, which drove him bananas as well.”
Mary Trump, in response, gave her lawyer a long list of the events they had attended.
In her book, Ms. Trump accuses Robert Trump of telling her and her brother during the will battle that if they did not settle, the family would bankrupt one of the companies in which they had inherited a stake and saddle the two of them with the bill.
Ms. Barry and Robert Trump did not respond to requests for comment.
The Trumps settled their disputes in April 2001, court records show. As part of the deal, Mary and Fred III received an undisclosed cash settlement, and they agreed to turn over the 20 percent stake in Trump assets they had inherited from their father, including seven apartment complexes, ground leases and stakes in a public housing complex and in the company Robert Trump had purportedly threatened to bankrupt.
After The Times reported on the family’s questionable valuations of its real-estate assets in 2018, Mary Trump concluded that she and her brother were duped in the settlement, she has claimed in the run-up to publishing her book.
Even as the court fight over the will was starting to be resolved, Ms. Trump tried to establish her own life.
After working on a master’s degree in English at Columbia University, she switched directions and in 2001 started taking psychology courses at Adelphi University, not far from her home. In 2003, she earned a master’s degree, and by the end of the decade had finished her doctoral studies, writing a dissertation that examined the qualities that made people vulnerable to being stalked by their partners.
Around the same time, she entered into a romantic relationship. Ms. Trump and her partner raised a daughter before separating several years later.
When her uncle Donald announced that he was running for president in June 2015, Ms. Trump did not take it seriously, assuming, she wrote, that he “simply wanted the free publicity for his brand.” Throughout the campaign, which was marked by scandals like the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape, Ms. Trump did not speak out, fearing that her voice would not be heard and that her views would make no difference, she wrote in the book.
She stayed in touch with her aunt, Ms. Barry, whom she quotes as saying about the presidential race, “He’s a clown — this will never happen,” during one of their regular lunches in 2015. Ms. Barry was particularly baffled by support for her brother among evangelical Christians, according to the book.
On election night, however, Ms. Trump took to Twitter, writing, “Worst night of my life.” She also wrote: “We should be judged harshly,” adding, “I grieve for our country.”
Ms. Trump has grown apart from the brother with whom she had been aligned in the family conflict years ago. While she has chosen to speak out against the family, he has taken a different path, nurturing a relationship with their uncle. In a statement released through the Trump family last month, Mr. Trump III distanced himself from his sister’s book and said their legal settlement had been generous and his son well-provided for.
A version of this article appears in print on July 8, 2020, Section A, Page 1 of the New York edition with the headline: Secrets and Bad Blood Inside the Trump Family.
The Washington Post
By Carlos Lozada
July 10, 2020 at 2:20 a.m. GMT+1
TOO MUCH AND NEVER ENOUGH: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man
By Mary L. Trump. Simon & Schuster. 225 pp. $30.
When the extended Trump family gathered in the White House in April 2017 to celebrate the birthdays of the president’s two sisters, President Trump pointed out a framed black-and-white photograph behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office — the image of a mustachioed man in a jacket and tie, with receding dark hair and a commanding air. “Isn’t that a great picture of Dad?” Trump asked his sister Maryanne. She replied with a reprimand: “Maybe you should have a picture of Mom, too.”
The president seemed never to have considered it. “That’s a great idea,” he said. “Somebody get me a picture of Mom.”
We know that many presidents have had daddy issues: dreaming of their absent fathers, chafing at their judgments or struggling under their legacies. When discussing his father in his memoir “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” Donald Trump stresses the business savvy he gleaned from the late Fred C. Trump. “I learned about toughness in a very tough business, I learned about motivating people, and I learned about competence and efficiency.”
In “Too Much and Never Enough,” Mary L. Trump, the president’s niece, describes those lessons somewhat differently. In her telling, her wealthy grandfather was a suffocating and destructive influence: emotionally unavailable, cruel and controlling. Fred Trump both instilled and fortified his middle son’s worst qualities — Donald’s bullying, disrespect, lack of empathy, insecurity and relentless self-aggrandizement — while lavishing on him every opportunity and financing every mistake, to the point that both men came to believe the myths they had created.
In the wreckage of this relationship, Mary Trump writes, is a “malignantly dysfunctional family” that engages in “casual dehumanization” around the dinner table, a family in which privilege and anxiety go together, in which money is the only value, in which lies are just fine and apologies are just weak.
All happy families are alike; each unhappy family can at least give thanks that they’re not the Trumps of Queens.
“Too Much and Never Enough” is a deftly written account of cross-generational trauma, but it is also suffused by an almost desperate sadness — sadness in the stories it tells and sadness in the telling, too. Mary Trump brings to this account the insider perspective of a family member, the observational and analytical abilities of a clinical psychologist and the writing talent of a former graduate student in comparative literature.
But she also brings the grudges of estrangement. Mary Trump writes that her own father, Freddy, the oldest son of the Trump family, was robbed of his birthright and happiness for committing the unforgivable sin of failing to meet Fred’s demands and expectations. Freddy was supposed to take over the family business, was supposed to be a “killer,” which in the Trump family means being utterly invulnerable. But he preferred to become a commercial airline pilot, an ambition his father constantly mocked.
“Freddy simply wasn’t who he wanted him to be,” Mary Trump writes. “Fred dismantled his oldest son by devaluing and degrading every aspect of his personality and his natural abilities until all that was left was self-recrimination and a desperate need to please a man who had no use for him.” Instead, Donald was elevated while Freddy, suffering from alcoholism and heart ailments, was cast aside, his entire family line “effectively erased,” Mary explains, written out of wills, eulogies and simple kindnesses.
The Trump family, perhaps fearing shame or worse, tried hard to quash this book, based on the terms of a settlement in a long-ago lawsuit. (It was over money — what else.) They failed, and Mary Trump does offer some embarrassing, even silly, stories about growing up Trump: that Donald paid a friend to take the SATs for him; that, for all their riches, Trump and his wives skimped on Christmas presents, regifting old food baskets and used designer handbags; that Maryanne, a former appeals court judge, described her younger brother Donald as “a clown” with “no principles.” Mary Trump also recalls an instance when, while visiting Mar-a-Lago, she joined Donald and his then-wife, Marla, for an outdoor lunch following a swim, wearing her bathing suit and a pair of shorts. As she approached, Donald gawked. “Holy s---, Mary. You’re stacked.” (Trump passing judgment aloud on the size of his then-29-year-old niece’s breasts, in the presence of his wife, may rank as one of the least surprising reveals of 2020.)
More memorable than any such details are this book’s insights and declarations. Mary describes her grandfather as a “high-functioning sociopath,” a condition that can include abusiveness, ease with deceit and indifference to right and wrong. Couple that with a mother who was often absent because of health problems, and young Donald began to develop “powerful but primitive” coping mechanisms, Mary Trump writes, including hostility, aggression and indifference to the neglect he experienced. Unable to have his emotional needs met, “he became too adept at acting as though he didn’t have any.”
Books and essays have been written speculating on the mental health of the 45th president; to the frequent armchair diagnoses of “narcissistic personality disorder,” Mary Trump might add “antisocial personality disorder” (chronic criminality, arrogance, disregard for others) and “dependent personality disorder” (inability to make decisions or take responsibility, discomfort with being alone). She even suggests that Trump suffers a “long undiagnosed learning disability” that hinders his processing of information. She provides little specific evidence or context for this assertion — a habit that recurs throughout the book, as the author makes definitive pronouncements about her uncle’s state of mind.
Review of 'Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America' by James Poniewozik:
“His ego is a fragile thing that must be bolstered every moment because he knows deep down that he is nothing of what he claims to be,” she argues. “He knows he has never been loved.” The president withdraws to comfort zones such as Twitter and Fox News because “he is and always will be a terrified little boy.” And she contends that Trump has been “institutionalized” for most of his adult life, in that he has been shielded from his shortcomings — whether by his father bailing him out of terrible investments or by a federal government now deployed to protect his ego. “Donald’s pathologies are so complex and his behaviors so often inexplicable that coming up with an accurate and comprehensive diagnosis would require a full battery of psychological and neuropsychological tests that he’ll never sit for,” Mary Trump concludes.
A lesson for the Trump family: Keep your friends close, but your nieces with doctorates in psychology closer.
Mary Trump’s most convincing moments are those when she draws out behavioral parallels between Fred and Donald. Just like his son in the Oval Office, Fred Trump “always made his supplicants come to him, either at his Brooklyn office or his house in Queens, and he remained seated while they stood.” Fred Trump often engaged in hyperbole while speaking; “everything was ‘great,’ ‘fantastic,’ and ‘perfect,’ ” just like Trump’s “perfect” phone call with the leader of Ukraine. Their professional habits seem similar, too: “Working the refs, lying, cheating — as far as Fred was concerned, those were all legitimate business tactics.”
Most personally for the author, Donald also emulated his father when it came to his treatment of Freddy — ridiculing him, ostracizing him and, ultimately, ignoring him. Donald did not attend Freddy’s wedding, and on the day Freddy was rushed to the hospital in the direst of conditions, his brother was too busy to stop by. “As my father lay dying alone,” Mary Trump writes, “Donald went to the movies.”
“Too Much and Never Enough” is a kind of revenge, perhaps. Mary Trump comes across as that oddity, a relatively normal Trump, but she is still a Trump, after all. When she becomes a secret source for the New York Times’ Pulitzer-winning investigation of the Trump family’s taxes — delivering 19 boxes of legal and financial documents to three overjoyed reporters — she privately ponders the need to “take Donald down,” the sort of mob talk that does the family proud. It’s her most “killer” moment.
But her ultimate sin against the family is not helping the Times or trashing her uncle in print. It’s that her book is not really about Donald but about Fred — not the new patriarch but the old. All the chaos playing out on the national and world stage is a form of family dysfunction writ largest, she explains, with the president’s incessant bragging and bluster directed at “his audience of one: his long-dead father.”
Normally when we keep photographs of loved ones near our desks, it is so we can remember them, look upon their faces and think back on good times. But after reading this book, I wonder if the photograph hovering behind the president’s shoulder in the Oval Office serves the opposite purpose — not so Donald can gaze upon Fred but so Fred can look upon that frightened little boy, now at the height of his power, and finally, truly, approve. As Mary Trump puts it, “Every one of Donald’s transgressions became an audition for his father’s favor, as if he were saying, ‘See, Dad, I’m the tough one. I’m the killer.’ ”