June 25, 2017
Finished: The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston
I am not going to spend a lot of time on this review; I spend too much time on Donald Trump as it is. I picked this book up primarily hoping to gain insight into his childhood and family of origin. What in the HELL contributes to making a man like Donald Trump? Who was his mother? What was his father like? Does he even have siblings? How did it all go so terribly wrong, because of that there can be no doubt. How might we tweak what we discover to help us in the resistance, and warding off anyone like him in the future?
The author is an acclaimed investigative journalist—winner of a 2001 Pulitzer Prize—and long-time follower (not supporter) of Donald Trump. In this book, he chose to focus on Trump’s obsession with money, relationships with criminals, and overt disregard for law, fairness, or women.
As a result, I didn’t get much of the sociological insight I’d hoped for. Other than learning that Trump’s father and paternal grandfather were also basically scumbags, The Making of Donald Trump was account after account of all the ways and times Trump has lied, cheated, stolen, conned, and degraded. I will never, ever understand how he stayed out of jail long enough to become the utter disgrace to this nation that he is.
There was virtually no mention of his mother. He’s got a sister who is a judge, and I nearly died of the irony, until, of course, I read that Trump had one of his lawsuits moved to her jurisdiction (she recused herself, but it took three weeks, and how was that even allowed to happen in the first place?). He had a brother who struggled with alcoholism and is now deceased.
I probably could have gotten all of this from Wikipedia, and there is surely no shortage of biographical information on him elsewhere, I just happened upon this book and grabbed it. The writing is, as expected, top-notch, and everything in it should be common knowledge by now, and wholly unsurprising.
In the end, my reaction to this book was pure, visceral grief of what America got in November, and who we could have had instead.