The only niece of President Donald Trump, a trained clinical psychologist, delves into 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.
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 does offer some embarrassing, even silly, stories about growing up Trump ... More memorable than any such details are this book’s insights and declarations ... She provides little specific evidence or context for [assertions of mental health problems]—a habit that recurs throughout the book, as the author makes definitive pronouncements about her uncle’s state of mind ... Mary Trump’s most convincing moments are those when she draws out behavioral parallels between [her grandfather] Fred and Donald.
... detail—memorably specific, fundamentally human and decidedly weird...gives this book an undeniable power, even if its narrative is bookended by Mary’s strenuous efforts to put her training as a clinical psychologist to use ... The story she describes in Too Much and Never Enough is presented as a cautionary tale ... dysfunction is abundantly chronicled in this book ... Of course, her book is unlikely to change anybody’s mind. One imagines that a number of the president’s supporters may not even consider his upbringing to be that disturbing ... Mary, who was also a graduate student of comparative literature, knows how to tell a story and choose an anecdote ... This is a book that’s been written from pain and is designed to hurt ... it’s when Mary talks about her need 'to take Donald down' that she starts speaking the only language her family truly understands.
In her explosive portrait of the Trump family, Mary Trump, the president’s only niece, traces Donald Trump’s fear of persecution — along with what she terms his various other insecurities and pathologies such as narcissistic personality disorder — back to its source: his severely emotionally damaged parents ... By artfully recounting anecdotes both juicy and ghoulish, Mary, whose father, Donald’s elder brother, Fred Trump Jr., (known as Freddy), died of alcoholism at the age of 42, documents how early neglect and abuse formed (or deformed) the president’s character ... Mary Trump’s compelling saga of one very unhappy family does more than just provide probing insights into her uncle’s disturbing inner world. It’s also a first-rate primer on the chaotic inner workings of an administration that has shocked the world by failing to take the basic steps required to keep Americans safe during the coronavirus pandemic ... Mary’s eyewitness account, bolstered by her professional expertise, highlights how the president’s pathologies now pose a direct threat to the lives and livelihoods of millions.