Book Review: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump

Book Review: Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary Trump (2020) (Nonfiction) 4 Stars ****

Is turning into your parents one of your greatest fears? That’s exactly what happens to Donald Trump, President of the United States. This diatribe by the president’s niece should more correctly have a photo of img_2641
her grandfather Fred Trump Sr. and all of his children on the cover—except the author’s father. Fred Jr., the hapless victim of his father’s and younger brother Donald’s merciless criticism and public insults. Fred wanted his kids to be killers, i.e. always the winner in any situation by any means necessary. Anyone who is not a winner, is a loser. Period. The dirtier the deal and the conduct, the louder and bigger the lies, the more people stepped on, the more praise is deserved. If you can’t use them to attain your goals and better your deal, get rid of them—just useless trash not worthy of your time. Ill-fated Fred Jr. lacked the killer instinct—out he went with his younger brother Donald, an apt and eager student for his father’s warped ideals, ready to take his coveted place in the Trump Empire. Look out New York City!

Fred Sr. was a force to be reckoned with. His sons longed for his approval. With an unreasonably condemnatory and demanding father and an aloof, sickly, uninvolved mother, the five Trump siblings struggled for approval, attention, and love. Taught to be hypercrtical of one another, suppress feelings and vulnerabilities, and always put themselves before all others, this dysfunctional family became a war zone at the family and holiday dinner table. Drowning? Too bad for you. You should have learned to swim. Your baby is critically ill and near death? So, what do you want me to do about that? Your brother lies dying in his hospital bed at 42 years old from a heart attack brought on by years of alcoholism and depression? What’s that got to do with me? I’m going to the movies.

The Trump family is portrayed as greedy, spiteful, cold, merciless, deceitful manipulating lawbreakers by Mary Trump who holds a MS in Literature and a PhD in Clinical Psychology. She labels her grandfather Fred Sr. and her uncle Donald as two peas in a pod. She attributes the following to Donald Trump: anti-social personality disorder, dependent personality, narcissism, learning disabled, and sociopathy to name a few, which is all exacerbated by his poor diet, lack of exercise and sleep, and his protected environment (body guards, Oval Office, military school, private schools, colleges where his parents donated millions of dollars) whereby people outside of his coterie cannot get near him. Mary Trump concludes, “We can’t evaluate his day-to-day functioning because he is, in the West Wing, essentially institutionalized. Donald has been institutionalized for most of his adult life, so there is no way to know how he would thrive, or even survive, on his own in the real world.”

Wow! Wow! and Wow!

It’s obvious that Mary Trump has an ax to grind. If what she says is true, the Trump family intentionally went out of their way to cheat her and her brother out of the fortunes due them. Fred Sr. had only contempt for his oldest son Fred Jr., loathed his weak, purposeless wife, hated their two children for blatant disrespect such as not wearing a tie or or in Mary’s case, wearing a baggy sweater to the dinner table. Fred Jr. is dead. He was a useless, weak disappointment. He’s not around to receive his share of the family fortune. Why should his lazy widow and equally lazy kids get the money that would have been his? He’s not here, but we are. (BTW, the kids aren’t at all lazy and their mother was a stay at home mom, as was the custom of the day.)

Mary Trump is now exacting revenge on the whole clan by using her uncle Donald as a pawn in her scheme to topple the Trump family right off their pedestals. By now you’ve heard of the major tax fraud investigation being brought against Donald Trump? Guess who supplied the New York Times with boxes and boxes of family financial statements, records and receipts?  It seems Mary inherited the family thirst for revenge, “When I finally realized that my grandfather didn’t care what I accomplished or contributed and that my own unrealistic expectations were paralyzing me, I still felt that only a grand gesture would set it right. It wasn’t enough for me to volunteer at an organization helping Syrian refugees; I had to take Donald down.”

Regardless of your politics and whether you believe Donald Trump was a great president or a total disaster, we can’t ignore that this books airs dirty Trump family laundry. Who knows what is true, false or that vast gray area in between? As I have said many times: When a parent abuses a child physically, mentally or emotionally, the child does not grow up to hate the parent; they grow up to hate themselves.

Please let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

All rights reserved 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023

Saturday, March 14, 2020- Barnes & Noble, Massapequa, NY 12:00-4:00pm

March 2023
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