Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L.Trump Ph.D

3 stars

Given the extensive news coverage of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump Ph.D, suffice it to say that this is a work of nonfiction whose pages were extensively litigated before publication, yet the nonfiction label may not be entirely accurate given the subject matter.

The big picture is that this book is the President’s niece’s a account of parts of the Trump family history and how the same can be seen as having influenced the current Commander in Chief, and for that it is worth reading. And, let there be no doubt, it is a propulsive read, much like a literary train wreck that can’t be stopped until the last insult is hurled.

The catch is when you think about the substance too deeply.

Sometimes with books, less is more and that is the case with this book which could have stood less repition and more editing, less ax grinding and more moderation which would have had the added benefit of enhancing the author’s credibility. Perhaps the former was the product of a rush to publication given the timeliness of the subject matter in an election year—a forgiveable sin. What is less so is the cringe worthy level of anger alllowed to remain on the page—less personal vendetta would have gone a lot further and avoided the “first world whining about first world problems” problem which might come across to some readers as simply more evidence of Trump entitlement. Oddly, when a moment arises to tell the reader how the heretofore hideous Trump family reacted to the author’s revealing her sexuality she punts, leaving an elephant in the room the size of Mar-a-Lago.

More disturbing, however, is the fact that the author is a trained clinical psychologist and, as such, is bound by ethical constraints regarding the diagnosis of non-clients, yet she throws around diagnostic labels as if they were gilt trim in a Trump hotel, all the while very clearly energized by her own anger.

The truth is who among us doesn’t like to pull the curtain back even just a little and look upon the great Oz, the Emperor Who Has No Clothes, or whatever other cliché could be used to describe the author’s reveal of the family patriarch’s psychological laundry? The problem here is that her ire dwarfs many of her valid observations and leaves us wondering what is fake news?

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