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  1. Mary Trump is Donald Trump's niece, the only daughter of his older brother Freddy. The epigraph for this book is from Les Miserables: "If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but the one who causes the darkness." It is clear that Mary believes that the guilty one, above all, is her grandfather, Fred Trump, and he does seem to have been a terribly cruel man, prone to casual dehumanization of others, including his oldest son, Freddy (Mary's father) who drank himself to death at a young age. He was, indeed, very rich, and he used his money to prop up Donald, who was by far the favored child. She describes Donald as constantly needing to be propped up because he knows that he hasn't had the successes he says he has. His father did have them, but Donald has never done anything successful in real estate. Mary faults the national media for treating "his pathologies (his mendacity, his delusional grandiosity), as well as his racism and misogyny, as if they were entertaining idiosyncrasies beneath which lurked maturity and seriousness of purpose," when in reality, nothing mature or serious lurks anyplace in Donald Trump. She also observes that many of the men that Trump is drawn to are similar to his father psychologically, which is why Trump finds them so irresistible. I found most of her insights good. I think one has to be careful with analyzing people in the public eye. There were all sorts of "Daddy complex" explanations for George Bush going into Iraq, when I really think he just had very similar politics to his father, but without his father's skills in international diplomacy. But Mary is part of that family, poor thing, and her insights seem more valid.
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