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 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.
Mary L. Trump holds a PhD from the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies and taught graduate courses in trauma, psychopathology and developmental psychology. She lives with her daughter in New York.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (July 14, 2020)
Length: 240 pages
‘Mary draws a portrait of a surreal, scarred clan ... But the fact that Donald morphed from huckster to celebrity to president makes her account seminal and indispensable. Mary’s clarity, training, discipline and sharp eye help make her a reliable narrator, and she’s a fluid, witty writer to boot. Everything in her book that I’m familiar with is spot on. There is plenty in the book, however, that I wasn’t aware of, and I suspect that’s the reason the president and his siblings have gone to court to try to halt its publication.’
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