The creation of 45

A review of Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man

Charlotte Dross

President Donald Trump has lived in the lime- light for nearly all of his life, but there is much about him that has remained undisclosed—until now.

Released by his estranged niece Mary Trump in July 2020, the book Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man exposes intimate details of Trump’s private life. And it reveals the path he took to get to the Oval Office.

Mary Trump leaves out no unflattering details in her memoir, painting Donald Trump as a “narcissist” who has “continually been given a pass and rewarded not just for his failures but for his transgressions.” She blatantly states that her true purpose in writing the expose is to prevent her uncle from destroying the country in the same way she watched him destroy their own family.

In most of the book, Mary Trump recounts memories from her early childhood and teenage years. Her youth was filled with uncomfortable family holidays at “the House” (Donald Trump’s childhood home in Queens) and afternoons spent running through the House’s basement with her brother Fritz Trump and cousin David Trump.

A larger portion of the book focuses on discussing Donald Trump’s childhood — and the formative events that shaped him to be the person he is today. Mary Trump fixates on the central role that her grandfather, Fred Trump, played within the Trump family.

Fred Trump was a successful real estate developer based out of New York City. According to Mary Trump, her grandfather initially placed his hopes and dreams in his firstborn son, who was her father, “Freddy” Trump.

Mary Trump says that her father could not live up to nearly impossible expectations set by his father, so Freddy Trump was ostracized from the rest of the Trump family for much of his life. She suggests that the psychological trauma of his family life drove her father to resort to alcoholism, and caused an early onset of multiple health problems.

Freddy Trump was 42 years old when he died of a heart attack.

Once it became apparent that Freddy Trump would not be the son to carry on his legacy, her grandfather focused his attention on Donald Trump, the fourth child of the family. The author claims that Donald Trump went above and beyond in meeting his father’s expectations. Because he exceeded his father’s goals, an unbreakable bond formed between the two.

Mary Trump says that her grandfather served as Donald Trump’s main source of income, providing him with whatever funds he desired. In fact, during Fred Trump’s lifetime, he lent Donald Trump the equivalent of $413 million — and much of it was obtained through “questionable means.”

Mary Trump believes that because Donald Trump was constantly propped up by his father, he became accustomed to getting his way, regardless of the costs to others.

The author writes the book in the form of personal anecdotes that she recalls from her own lifetime, or stories that have been passed down to her about her father’s life.

This particular style of writing allows the reader to feel as though they themselves are gathered at the Trump family dinner table.

Mary Trump effectively sorts through the complex history of her family, choosing the most relevant and telling aspects to include. She ensures that the reader has a solid understanding of her family’s past by carefully following its path — starting with her grandfather’s migration from Germany all the way to the present day.

By including the intimate details of the private lives and drama of the Trumps, Mary Trump entices her audience and keeps readers craving more.

The memoir will certainly leave you more informed than when you started. 

Mary Trump’s detailed account of the president’s path to success may raise some eyebrows about the Trump administration and what other information remains unknown. 

It is not every day that a member of the current president’s family writes a novel dedicated to exposing the leader’s wrongs. Perhaps the publishing of this book will encourage Americans to keep a wary eye not only on Trump, but on all people in positions of power.