Title: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man
Author: Dr. Mary L Trump, PhD
Pages: 240 (HC)
By James D. Deaux IV
03 August 2020 — I make no secret of my feelings about the current, well, I hesitate to even call him "President" considering he has never shown the slightest interest in actually being the President — only in the process of running for the office. Most of my time on social media of late has been spent posting venom towards this disgusting, perverted, sociopathic narcissist, and I have even gained some followers from it. It has its ups and downs, but I find the camaraderie of working in some small way to put an end to this psychotic administration enjoyable. Sadly, due to my work schedule, I virtually never have time to read these days, so audiobooks have been a godsend. Even with that luxury, I have been vehemently opposed to buying books about Donald Trump from the likes of former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, who could have testified against Trump when it mattered, but instead waited so he could sell a book. Obviously, there have been numerous chronicles of working inside the nightmarish hellscape that is the Trump Presidency — most from former members of his turnstile of a Cabinet — but they all strike me as simply a means to make a quick buck instead of actually having meaningful purpose behind them. I refuse to patronize anyone who had the opportunity to help put an end to this criminal regime when it was really needed, but didn't out of greed, or some inexplicable fear of Donald Trump's Twitter feed.
Enter Mary L Trump, PhD.
I had been eagerly anticipating Mary Trump's book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man, for several weeks before I was able to download it from Audible. Admittedly, I had never even heard of Mary Trump before this book was announced, so at first, I was at least somewhat skeptical given that her family is almost entirely comprised of grifters, plagiarists, con-artists, and pathological liars. Plus, as previously mentioned, I had become almost numb to more tell-all books about Donald Trump. However, given that she is a clinical psychologist with a master's degree in English literature, I felt reassured that it would be a wise investment. I felt, perhaps, that she was the one shining light in this astronomically dysfunctional family. Indeed, after listening to the entire book (narrated by the author), she is one of the only people in the entire Trump lineage to have any sense of empathy, moral compass, or firm grasp of the English language.
The thing about this book that you need to understand before you dive into it, is that probably 50% of it does not directly involve Donald Trump. Rather, it focuses on his father, Fred; his eldest son, Freddie; and the manner in which Fred domineered his family. This is important, though, because, as the subtitle of the book bluntly states — Donald's family (with the help of the media later on) basically created the Frankenstein monster we are having to suffer through today. Specifically, Mary goes into great detail about her father, Freddie, who, being the eldest child of Fred and his wife, Mary Anne, was originally supposed to be the heir-apparent to Fred's empire. When Freddie decided to not join the family business and pursue interests of his own, it was taken as a slap in the face to his cruel father. Fred, it can be said with zero hyperbole, was a tyrant, and lacked literally any semblance of empathy, love, or appreciation for anything but prestige. It was his ruthless nature in which he dealt with every aspect of his life that exacerbated Freddie's drinking problem that would ultimately lead to his tragic death at only 43 years of age — when Mary was only 16. The entirety of Freddie's story is unquestionably one of the most tragic I have ever heard, and the manner in which the rest of his surviving family members (other than his children and ex-wife) dealt with the fallout is astonishingly heartless. It only gets more infuriating when you read what the four remaining Trump siblings did to their grand-nephew after Freddie's death.
As the backbone of the story goes, Fred Trump, Sr. didn't treat anyone in the family with any kind of respect other than Donald, who, with his own sociopathic and self-aggrandizing nature, was able to manipulate people — something Fred took full advantage of. Mary relates how Fred would treat most of his family like garbage for asking a simple request; yet, he literally broke laws to buy millions of dollars in poker chips from Donald's boondoggle casinos in Atlantic City just to help keep them from going under. Obviously, we know how those casinos fared in the end, but this was just one example of the overriding theme of this entire book — lack of humility. Neither Fred, nor Donald, could ever admit they failed at anything or made a mistake. To do so was, in their eyes, a sign of ultimate weakness and shame. We see this very behavior endlessly with Donald to this day. It might be the single most prominent flaw of Donald, and the one that has caused the most collateral damage in his wake.
The book, taken as a whole, lacks much in the way of sheer surprise to those of us who watch in horror every day as Donald speedboats the country further and further into a cataclysm. As terrifying as it is to say, many of us have grown numb to the virtual daily instances of unfettered and remorseless lawbreaking from Donald and his inner circle. Yet, at the same time, it still manages to horrify me at many points with certain anecdotes Mary Trump relates. One, in particular, is when she recounts the first time she was seen by Donald in a bathing suit when she was 28. Donald's exact remark was, "Jesus, Mary, you're stacked!" Imagine if your uncle saw you in a bikini and made a boisterous comment — in front of his own wife (Marla Maples at the time), no less — about the size of your breasts. This is, disgustingly, nothing foreign to Donald, as he has made numerous, repulsive sexual remarks about his own daughter, Ivanka, over the years. Perhaps thankfully, Mary does not go too in depth about Donald's sexual misconduct — instead focusing mostly on his financial crimes and swindling. Donald basically created this utterly unearned persona of a savvy businessman thanks to constant bailing out from his father, nigh-unto-endless tax frauds and loopholes, and, ironically for the man who cries "FAKE NEWS" anytime someone in the media says a mean thing about him, the media perpetuating it up until he decided to run for President. It seems crazy to think of it, but the media was practically in love with this guy throughout the 1980s and 90s. They are as much to blame as anyone for his rise in fame and infamy.
It is unfortunate that the people who really need to be reading this book (Donald Trump's hardline base) likely won't touch it. They will defend him until the end of time despite everything he does, and everything he has done in the past. Still, the book is genuinely terrific, and anyone who wants to see this Presidency end will definitely want to pick it up. Mary Trump is the one person among all of these authors of tell-all Trump books that satisfies the desire of genuineness we should all be seeking in such a nonfiction work about the current President. She is trustworthy, I believe, when she says she was not writing this book for a paycheck (get bent, Meghan McCain). As she has stated, she could have written this book a decade ago when Donald was still a prominent television figure, and she would not have been taking as much of a risk as she is now. That said, I urge you to buy it. She deserves the royalties from this work. After all, she has had to put up with her insane family for over five decades. She has earned this.