In this revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him, Mary L. Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and Donald’s only niece, shines a bright light on 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.
Mary Trump spent much of her childhood in her grandparents’ large, imposing house in the heart of Queens, New York, where Donald and his four siblings grew up. She describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the Oval Office, including the strange and harmful relationship between Fred Trump and his two oldest sons, Fred Jr. and Donald.
A firsthand witness to countless holiday meals and interactions, Mary brings an incisive wit and unexpected humor to sometimes grim, often confounding family events. She recounts in unsparing detail everything from her uncle Donald’s place in the family spotlight and Ivana’s penchant for regifting to her grandmother’s frequent injuries and illnesses and the appalling way Donald, Fred Trump’s favorite son, dismissed and derided him when he began to succumb to Alzheimer’s.
Numerous pundits, armchair psychologists, and journalists have sought to parse Donald J. Trump’s lethal flaws. Mary L. Trump has the education, insight, and intimate familiarity needed to reveal what makes Donald, and the rest of her clan, tick. She alone can recount this fascinating, unnerving saga, not just because of her insider’s perspective but also because she is the only Trump willing to tell the truth about one of the world’s most powerful and dysfunctional families.
Mary L. Trump holds a PhD from the Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies and taught graduate courses in trauma, psychopathology, and developmental psychology. She lives with her daughter in New York.
"[T]he most devastating, most valuable and all-around best Trump book since he started running for president. In the vast Trump literature, this one is something new...[W]hat this book does do is help us understand him, offering the most incisive rendering yet of why he is the way he is."—Politico
"Mesmerizing beach reading and a memorable opposition research dump...It is salacious, venomous and well-sourced...Yet the narrative remains compelling." —The Guardian
"A delicious tell-all that does in fact tell all in a way one longs for a tell-all to do.” —Vogue
"Dripping with snideness, vibrating with rage, and gleaming with clarity—a deeply satisfying read." —Kirkus (starred review)
"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. —Boston Globe
"After many, many Trump books, this is an essential one." —Vanity Fair
"[A] deftly written account of cross-generational trauma...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." —Washington Post
Mary’s clarity, training, discipline and sharp eye help make her a reliable narrator, and she’s a fluid, witty writer to boot…She’s a true insider in an era when “insider” accounts of the president are a dime-a-dozen — and that what she’s written is likely to be indelible.—Bloomberg
"Mary L. Trump comes closer than anyone to describing the making of a seemingly heartless person who won his way to the White House...[A]n insightful, well-crafted memoir"—CNN
"You can see why President Trump doesn’t want anyone to read this thing. It gives the lie to many of his most cherished myths about himself."—Los Angeles Times