Too Much and Never Enough ~ by Mary Trump

I had to add this to my Trump library – I think I’ve read 18 books about Trump and his his mess of an administration now, some better than others but all contributing to the satisfaction of my curiosity. This is a good one for the more personal aspects of him and his life.

Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man
by Mary Trump 
2020 /
read by author – 7h  5m
rating 8 / memoir 


It turns out to be an interesting and much-hyped portrait of the family life of Donald Trump by his niece Mary Trump.  It’s an inside peak at the forces which enabled Trump to become the narcissistic approval-seeking man he is with no real concern for anyone other than himself and that he gets his way.  

Mary didn’t know Donald all that well while she was growing up, but she’s a clinical psychologist with a PhD in the field and looks at him and his behavior from an educated point of view. She also has some knowledge of the financial dealings of the Trump family due to Donald’s tax returns.

It seems that Donald Trump is not an intellectual man, but he’s savvy in some way which attracts some people and keeps them giving in to him and what he wants. If they don’t he simply takes it. This began with his need for their approval which apparently originated with his father.  

Mary Trump’s father, Freddie,  was Donald’s older brother but Freddie could never do well enough for his father to approve of. He failed over and over and ended up dying young, of alcoholism. Donald learned how to get that approval – or he was born with it, something.  

Anyway, the book is engaging if not terribly well written and I do wish it were better organized. It feels like a slap-dash effort to get it out on the market while the getting was good (before Trump filed another suit).  There are no photos, no family tree, no source notes.   It’s good though and the audio version is also pretty good and that’s not always an easy thing for an author to do.  How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man 

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4 Responses to Too Much and Never Enough ~ by Mary Trump

  1. Lelia T says:

    I think this spot-on phrase of yours is what his core base really doesn’t understand—“he’s savvy in some way which attracts some people and keeps them giving in to him and what he wants. If they don’t he simply takes it.”


  2. Keith says:

    Becky, her writing validates what others have said, with added the personal observations.

    The book I think is the definitive one is two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, Bob Woodward’s book “Fear,” based on 750 hours of recorded interviews with staff. Woodward’s title comes from a Trump interview where he said “he likes to manage by fear.”

    Mary Trump said she was engaged to write the sequel to “The Art of the Deal,” but she could never get her uncle to sit down for an interview. Woodward said the same thing and after “Fear” was published, the president asked why he did not interview him. When people told the press they were misquoted, he would say, I have tapes that say otherwise.

    What Mary Trump told George Stephanopolis in her interview this week, is the president has no principles and it is surprising Evangelicals like him as he has no religious convictions. Both of these observations echo other writings.



    • Yes! All the books said more or less the same thing about his personal approach to life – from Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward to Facts and Fears:by James R. Clapper (my personal favorite). The only difference is that this is more of the same from a personal view. It doesn’t focus on any particular adult issue or event Mary Trump looks at where this personality disorder came from – his family and in particular his father. I didn’t read the one by the psychologists but how different could it be? We’re talking about the same guy.


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