Book review: ‘Too Much and Never Enough’

Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, wrote a scathing book with a very long title about her Uncle Donald, scion of her grandfather Freddie’s considerable fortune and 45th president of the United States of America. The highlights have already been shared and the low lights, the larger balance of her narrative, are tarnished by the confused mingling of Trump blood that fuels Mary’s rage.

logoHer unbounded wrath reduces the blazing indignities of Trump’s presidential administration to a fascinating fable about a brainless, mean-spirited newt who almost manages to rule the world without any discernible skills.

The story begins with Friedrich Trump, a craven man who fled Prussia to avoid serving in the Kaiser’s army at the end of the 19th century, fleeing to Canada’s picturesque British Columbia. There, he ran a restaurant, bar and whorehouse in Bennett, British Columbia until the lure of selling booze and lust to Klondike gold miners drove him to the frozen north.

When the gold panned out in 1901, Friedrich returned to his German homeland and was promptly deported to the USA for having dodged the draft. He settled in Wood Haven in the Borough of Queens, New York City.

Friedrich died during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, leaving behind first-born son Fred, Donald’s father, and two other siblings. Fred — better known as “Freddie” — was a builder, a reputedly brilliant man with no scruples and an inexhaustible work ethic that passed for personality. Mary says he was young Donald’s mentor, a cruel, clever sociopath who excelled in crushing anyone who tested his will.

In time, Freddie Trump really meant something in New York City’s rough and tumble real estate game. It is also where we meet young Donald Trump and his niece, Mary, a child observer with an acute memory to fill her acid pen.

It appears that none of the Trumps fall for from the same tree. Mary uses her penetrating stiletto recollections to reveal how Donald’s aberrant character is the result of being the grandson of Donald’s sociopathic grandfather. She told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:

“He [Freddie] had no empathy. He was incredibly driven in a way that turned other people, including his children, his wife, into pawns to be used to his own ends. If somebody could be of service to him, then he would use them. If they couldn’t be, he excised them.”

Mary Trump reveals about one sentence worth of kinds words for her famous uncle before ripping him to shreds in a well-written tome that mixes professionally stated psychoanalysis with her bitter angst. Like John Bolton’s book that preceded hers, Mary stays on the attack until Trump’s sins overwhelm the reader with both their immensity and consistency.

In both accounts, Donald Trump is always the conniving idiot savant who uses failure to win.

Unfortunately for mental health researchers, Donald Trump’s core character eludes Mary just as it apparently eludes everyone else who encounters him. She broadly defines him as a sociopath with a laundry list of associated mental defects, beginning with “early learning deficit” and ending with “waiting to be diagnosed.” It is seemingly easier for the author to run out of compelling adjectives than discover enough descriptive words to define Trump’s underlying personality.

Without a defining character on which to blame all the ills both in her own life and the rest of the world’s, Mary never really pins Donald down. Instead, she produced a book that records in consummate detail what he did and still does, without ever revealing what 45 has that allows him to survive in a place where he has no right be. He reveals himself to be as much a member Roger Stone’s ilk as he is a loathsome political aberration that poses a real threat to humanity.

Donald Trump’s psychology — a fascinating topic for any armchair psychologist — is based on her professional opinion as a clinical psychologist with a doctorate that she mates to a lifetime of being pissed off at the incredible asshole that is her uncle.

Occasionally, her narration rings with scarcely concealed rage that should raise a thrill in every astute reader. The rest of Mary Trump’s revelations are more on the order of, “What else is new?”

She claims the point of her personal saga, when mixed with Trump’s absurd behaviors during his unlikely, tumultuous life, represents parallels “between the circumstances in which my family operated — and in which this country is now operating.”

She claims Donald Trump never accomplished a single thing in his life other than managing to “lose up,” a concept that has until now been an unfamiliar one. It doesn’t need to be so complex. In the old brown boot army, they’d say Trump shit gold.

Two things stand out in the book besides Donald being looser than a box of rocks: money and more money. The underlying theme of the book is about the money and respect Mary Trump’s daddy never received. Mary denies she is motivated to write so uncompromisingly by the misfortune her wing of the family suffered while conniving Uncle Donald stole her family’s legacy. Even the amount of the alleged fraud is in dispute because there remains so much money salted away in secret places, she says.

Mary Trump devotes a lot of ink to the acrimonious litigation that transpired the first time Donald got caught with his hand in the cookie jar while trying to steal her daddy Fred’s inheritance. If she was using that event as an example of Donald Trump’s consistent, systemic malfeasance and duplicity, it is lost in the incessant storm of invective about evil Uncle Donald. Despite her best machinations, in the end, Uncle Donald got it all.

In the final analysis, which never quite arrives beyond noting Donald Trump is a dismal, misogynisic, totally unscrupulous liar and psychopath, Mary delineates a clear “through-line” from Donald Trump’s childhood with Grandpa Freddie, to Grandpa’s real estate empire, and on to the Trump Organization. The entire string of events were the result of “. . . situations and circumstances in which Donald has always been protected and continues to be protected from his inadequacies, from his incompetence, from his lack of knowledge, from his failures.”

And he’s always had support of more powerful people. He’s always had people protecting him from his mistakes, or from people who would try to hold him account. And he’s always been amply financed. So you know, as I also write, how do we gauge this man’s ability to function in the real world, as he’s never really had to? And that, to me, is quite terrifying.”

It is simply too hard to believe that Donald Trump is merely a shill that other people used to build upon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: “Boil it down. What’s the single most important thing you think the country needs to know about your uncle?”

MARY TRUMP: He’s utterly incapable of leading this country. And it’s dangerous to allow him to do so.

8 thoughts on “Book review: ‘Too Much and Never Enough’

  1. terrifying at every level and it grows more so with each passing day. i saw her interviewed the day her book was released and it’s clear she’s been very wounded, things have happened, and lived to tell her story, is still in shock that he got this far and worries for the country.

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  2. Mr. Helms seems determined to paint Ms. Trump as an over the top, angry woman who is attacking her Uncle for no reason other than her fury at not getting her fair share of the Trump fortune when her grandfather died. By the way, her grandfather was “Fred”, not “Freddie” as he states in one paragraph where he tries to quote her from the interview with George Stephanopoulos. Freddie was her father.

    I read the book and found none of the faults that Mr. Helms seems to find. I found a woman who was well educated and obviously qualified, as a respected Clinical Psychologist with a doctorate in the subject, who was angry, but in the circumstances any normal person would be angry. Cheated out of millions, remembering the treatment of her father, and the terrible circumstances of her nephew’s treatment by Trump as he cut off their health insurance (did he miss the interesting correlation of Trump’s penchant for cutting people off of health insurance as he did his own sick nephew?) and thereby causing that family great deal of financial and emotional pain (another of Trump’s personal favorites)?

    I’m sorry but this review seems to be a hit job and I wonder if he would feel the same way if a man had written about the same subject? Would it have been vitriol, or simply a straight forward and rational explanation by a qualified psychologist? If Mr. Helms keeps up with the news, he must realize that most of the world sees Trump the same way and his leadership, or lack of it, during this pandemic points out the truth of so much of what his niece says in the book. I suggest that people read it for themselves and draw their own conclusions.

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    1. Ms. Poore, Glad you were so enthralled. Never thought to paint Ms. Trump as an over the top, angry women, although I will put it on my list of failures to self-flagellate over when I need a break from ordinary pain. I thought she painted herself that way. I didn’t trust the book or her motives for writing it, or the pre-release hype that gives Trump an out for being such an out of touch jackass. He is not and never was a victim despite how popular victimization has become. Ms. Trump clothing her loathing of Uncle Donald for abusing her weak-willed, alcoholic father – and indirectly her family – behind highfalutin nonsense about tying help to save the nation from Trump sounds more like classic Trumpian cynicism than a shot at honesty.

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    2. I agree with Katie Poore. Read it for yourself. The original review was not an honest one, I thought. He had an axe to grind for some reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Ms. Donnocker. Thank you for reading and commenting. You are precisely correct that I have an ax to grind with Ms Trump’s book… It is however nothing personal. Reviews are opinions, it is mine. Her book falls far short of explaining Trump’s motives, instead relying on his “unfortunate” childhood to explain his lack of empathy, compassion and purpose. I don’t not trust the timing, hype or intent of her book. To believe her version of events, Donald Trump is a victim of other people able to manipulate him because he is weak, not too bright, and remarkably malleable. It is an explanation that falls far short of revealing his desire to dismantle our republic. That Trump is a victim is nonsense. Trump and his minions have a populist, isolationist program to what ends I don’t know and apparently neither does Ms. Trump or anyone else waiting with baited breath for the next shoe to fall. It seems to me Ms Trump found a platform to excoriate her uncle for cheating her family because he was a victim of his elders…absolute nonsense. He is a conniving, vicious man who has designs on our democracy that remain unfathomable, just as his reasons for trying to destroy her family remain hidden. I hope every reader makes up their own mind… and that they agree with me. Regards, stay safe.

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  3. How interesting that Trump’s draft-dodging grandfather died in the 1918 flu pandemic. I wonder if 45’s reluctance to acknowledge the gravity of the Coronavirus outbreak has anything to do with his feelings about his family.

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