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Who is Donald J. Trump? To truly understand America’s forty-fifth president, argues Vanity Fair journalist Emily Jane Fox, you must know his children, whose own stories provide the key to unlocking what makes him tick. Born Trump is Fox’s dishy, deeply reported, and richly detailed look at Trump’s five children (and equally powerful son-in-law, Jared Kushner), exploring th Who is Donald J. Trump? To truly understand America’s forty-fifth president, argues Vanity Fair journalist Emily Jane Fox, you must know his children, whose own stories provide the key to unlocking what makes him tick. Born Trump is Fox’s dishy, deeply reported, and richly detailed look at Trump’s five children (and equally powerful son-in-law, Jared Kushner), exploring their lives, their roles in the campaign and administration, and their dramatic and often fraught relationships with their father and with one another. Reexamining the tabloid-soaked events that shaped their lives in startling new detail, Born Trump is full of surprising insights, previously untold stories, and delicious tidbits about their childhoods (ridiculously privileged and painful, in equal measure) and the extraordinary power they now wield. As a version of this new kind of American royalty they wish to be, they are ensconced not in palaces but in Trump Tower and the White House. Even before Trump’s oldest child, Don Jr., was born, Donald told friends that he wanted at least five kids—to make sure there was a greater probability one would turn out just like him. His vision didn’t pan out exactly as he’d imagined, but Trump’s children each inherited some of his essential traits—as one source says, “collectively, they make the whole.” Ivanka is a media-savvy, hyperskilled messenger with her father’s self-promotional ease but without the brash. Don Jr. has the most contentious relationship with his father yet seems prone to endlessly repeat his mistakes. Eric embraced the family’s real estate business but has, in surprising ways, charted a more independent course than his siblings. While Tiffany grew up mostly separate from her father, she inherited Trump’s perspective as an outsider—his unique combination of assurance and insecurity. And there is Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, whose own family drama and personal ambition is a crucial thread in this saga. Come for the vision of Trump as a father—a portrait of the president at his kindest and cruelest. Stay for the revelatory gossip, including the truth about the firings of Christie and Manafort, the inside scoop on Donald’s three marriages, why Ivanka and Jared are “bashert,” and how this family of real estate tycoons have become the most powerful people in the world.


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Who is Donald J. Trump? To truly understand America’s forty-fifth president, argues Vanity Fair journalist Emily Jane Fox, you must know his children, whose own stories provide the key to unlocking what makes him tick. Born Trump is Fox’s dishy, deeply reported, and richly detailed look at Trump’s five children (and equally powerful son-in-law, Jared Kushner), exploring th Who is Donald J. Trump? To truly understand America’s forty-fifth president, argues Vanity Fair journalist Emily Jane Fox, you must know his children, whose own stories provide the key to unlocking what makes him tick. Born Trump is Fox’s dishy, deeply reported, and richly detailed look at Trump’s five children (and equally powerful son-in-law, Jared Kushner), exploring their lives, their roles in the campaign and administration, and their dramatic and often fraught relationships with their father and with one another. Reexamining the tabloid-soaked events that shaped their lives in startling new detail, Born Trump is full of surprising insights, previously untold stories, and delicious tidbits about their childhoods (ridiculously privileged and painful, in equal measure) and the extraordinary power they now wield. As a version of this new kind of American royalty they wish to be, they are ensconced not in palaces but in Trump Tower and the White House. Even before Trump’s oldest child, Don Jr., was born, Donald told friends that he wanted at least five kids—to make sure there was a greater probability one would turn out just like him. His vision didn’t pan out exactly as he’d imagined, but Trump’s children each inherited some of his essential traits—as one source says, “collectively, they make the whole.” Ivanka is a media-savvy, hyperskilled messenger with her father’s self-promotional ease but without the brash. Don Jr. has the most contentious relationship with his father yet seems prone to endlessly repeat his mistakes. Eric embraced the family’s real estate business but has, in surprising ways, charted a more independent course than his siblings. While Tiffany grew up mostly separate from her father, she inherited Trump’s perspective as an outsider—his unique combination of assurance and insecurity. And there is Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, whose own family drama and personal ambition is a crucial thread in this saga. Come for the vision of Trump as a father—a portrait of the president at his kindest and cruelest. Stay for the revelatory gossip, including the truth about the firings of Christie and Manafort, the inside scoop on Donald’s three marriages, why Ivanka and Jared are “bashert,” and how this family of real estate tycoons have become the most powerful people in the world.

30 review for Born Trump: Inside America's First Family

  1. 4 out of 5

    Martie Nees Record

    Genre: Biography Publisher: HarperCollins Pub. Date: June 19, 2018 I wanted to read “Born Trump,” I confess, because of the promised juicy gossip on the Trump kids. What I got instead was a few chapters of Trump’s campaign, his election win, and the early months of his Presidency. I most certainly didn’t want to relive the chaos of his transition into the White House, but that is what I got. The author, journalist Jane Fox, writing is all pizzazz without much depth, reading like magazine advertise Genre: Biography Publisher: HarperCollins Pub. Date: June 19, 2018 I wanted to read “Born Trump,” I confess, because of the promised juicy gossip on the Trump kids. What I got instead was a few chapters of Trump’s campaign, his election win, and the early months of his Presidency. I most certainly didn’t want to relive the chaos of his transition into the White House, but that is what I got. The author, journalist Jane Fox, writing is all pizzazz without much depth, reading like magazine advertisements. She is neither privately for Trump nor against him, but her writing can be mean-spirited towards him. And since the US President (that is a gulp for this reviewer) has lived his whole life on Page Six of the NY Post. And later in life as a reality TV star, there really isn’t anything new in this book if one is familiar with the family. Since, I grew up in Queens, NY I had heard a lot of dirt. So skip the book and here is the skinny. As children, the three eldest kids lived on their own floor in Trump Tower, and almost never saw their parents Donald and Ivana. They pretty much raised themselves with help from their Au Pairs and private boarding schools. I guess that is the norm for the rich and famous. Fox goes into the trauma the kids went through during their parents’ ugly and widely broadcast divorce. Especially when the then-wife (beautiful blonde model), Ivana Trump, and then-mistress (beautiful blonde model), Marla Maples, had a public brawl with each other on the slopes of Aspen, Colorado, (poor little rich kids.) All three have stated that this was a tough time for them as children. As a 6-year-old child, Eric acted out often in his private school once calling his teacher, a bitch. However, 12-year-old Don Jr. and 8-year old Ivanka seemed to have had it the hardest. It can’t be easy reading about your dad’s sex life it in the newspapers. My thoughts: I was impressed that Don Jr. spent his high school years doing all he could do to appear to be just a regular Joe. This included dock work at Mar-a-Lago. He even showed up at college driving a truck. His parents traveled behind in a limousine (famously forgetting to bring the needed college supplies). I did begin to respect Ivanka (a one-time blonde model) a bit since she converted to Modern Orthodox Judaism for her husband. She has publicly said that she basically grew up without religion in her life. Becoming a practicing Orthodox Jew must have been a major feat to pull off. However, a daddy’s girl she will always be. Eric has said of his older brother “Donnie’s always been my friend, a mentor…in a way, he raised me.” It seems that Eric is the real builder in the family. However, all three are capable of running an empire by themselves—meaning they must have natural or schooled intelligence regarding real-estate. Donald’s daughter from his marriage to Marla Maples, Tiffany (a blonde model) has never really been part of the family. Raised primarily by her mother in California, Tiffany would visit her father several times a year in New York and vacation with him at Mar-a-Lago. The youngest son, Barron born to Melanie (a model, get my drift yet?) is hardly mentioned except that before moving to the White House he lived on the same floor that his stepsiblings once occupied. I was pleased that the author left him alone. I agree with Chelsea Clinton, who grew up in the glare of the White House: “Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid.” The best and only dirt in the whole book is when Fox becomes mean-spirited. My favorite is when she writes that “the name Barron is one of the pseudonyms Trump uses while pretending to be a member of his press team.” Or that Trump as a dad “spent time with the children on his terms, when it suited him.” Another good dig is from Tiffany’s friend: “she dyed her hair brown….they popped into Trump’s office to say hi and he took one look at his daughter and said, she needed to bleach it back.” The author’s endnotes are respectable, but who knows what is truth or fiction (just like politics) when it comes to the first family, where everything is flashy, and appearances mean everything. To quote Andy Rooney, “People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.” Find all my book reviews at: Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/list Leave Me Alone I am Reading & Reviewing: https://books6259.wordpress.com/ Twitter: Martie’s Book Reviews: https://twitter.com/NeesRecord

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jill Meyer

    Please note that I'm reviewing the book by Emily Jane Fox and not the Trump children, the book's subject. Whatever your opinion of Donald Trump and his family, I think you should read Emily Jane Fox's joint bio of his children. Don Jr, Ivanka (and Jared), and Eric are his children by his first marriage: Tiffany, the child by his second wife; and Barron, the fifth child, by Trump's third wife. Their ages range from 40 to 12 and Barron could be Don, Jr's son. This fact is interesting because Trump' Please note that I'm reviewing the book by Emily Jane Fox and not the Trump children, the book's subject. Whatever your opinion of Donald Trump and his family, I think you should read Emily Jane Fox's joint bio of his children. Don Jr, Ivanka (and Jared), and Eric are his children by his first marriage: Tiffany, the child by his second wife; and Barron, the fifth child, by Trump's third wife. Their ages range from 40 to 12 and Barron could be Don, Jr's son. This fact is interesting because Trump's first set of children are definitely being treated differently within the family (and by those outside it) than his second and third. More was expected of Ivana's children. Fox does a very good job of describing the five children and their context within both the family and Donald Trump's orbit. Fox is a writer for "Vanity Fair" and her book is written in the same easy style that the magazine is. Parenthood is supposed to supplant political partisanship. I'm not sure it does in the case of Trump and his children. Emily Jane Fox's well-researched and written book is an excellent look at the family dynamics of our First Family.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    GREAT summer beach read! I heartily recommend this one. A detailed look at the First Kids (and First Son-In-Law) and their dysfunctional upbringing. Snarky enough to be engaging and funny, yet realistic (and often) tender enough to be recognize their own peculiar burdens, thanks to their selfish, egomaniac narcissistic father. (Including the back story on the Kushners.) I could care less about the subjects (except that two of them are employed in the White House and what damage they could do to ou GREAT summer beach read! I heartily recommend this one. A detailed look at the First Kids (and First Son-In-Law) and their dysfunctional upbringing. Snarky enough to be engaging and funny, yet realistic (and often) tender enough to be recognize their own peculiar burdens, thanks to their selfish, egomaniac narcissistic father. (Including the back story on the Kushners.) I could care less about the subjects (except that two of them are employed in the White House and what damage they could do to our country and its national and international interests. But that attitude is based solely on my own view of their "politics.") More importantly, I've discovered an author, who's great little book I couldn't but down. Emily Jane Fox, you are a find!!! I know you are a reporter, but please . . . . . . More books!!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Patty Hardwick

    Delicious dish! Dysfunctional dynasty (emphasis on nasty) nuggets are addictive. Robust research and rollercoaster writing make Emily Jane Fox’s portrayal of Trump wives and offspring a juicy summer read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bren

    Well it gives you a sneak peak into the Trump family if nothing else. I did not really care for it. Not the writer's fault..but all the gossip, the sleaze factor..I felt like I had to shower after reading this. I really need to stop reading books about the Trumps.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    This book has three big problems. First, the Kindle edition is littered with errors (grammatical errors, missing words and numbers, incorrect word choice, run-on sentences, etc.). It's maddening to spend money on a book only to find it so sloppy. Second, although the author purports to have talked with hundreds of people and to have read hundreds of articles in researching the book, she names names and cites sources only rarely. There are no endnotes with citations. Third, while the first half o This book has three big problems. First, the Kindle edition is littered with errors (grammatical errors, missing words and numbers, incorrect word choice, run-on sentences, etc.). It's maddening to spend money on a book only to find it so sloppy. Second, although the author purports to have talked with hundreds of people and to have read hundreds of articles in researching the book, she names names and cites sources only rarely. There are no endnotes with citations. Third, while the first half of the book is engaging -- dealing as it does with the Ivana-Donald relationship/marriage/divorce, the Kushner family, and Ivanka -- the rest of the book loses steam because what the author recounts about Donald Jr., Eric, and Tiffany isn't particularly interesting. The book's thesis is that Donald is such a toxic narcissist with such an outsized personality that his children can't or don't want to escape his orbit and essentially live their lives trying to please him. I find that thesis believable, but no more or less believable because of what the book has to say. In other words, I could have come to that conclusion without having read the book. In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I would not have read a similar book about any other first family. I read this one because I detest Donald Trump, everything he stands for, and anyone who works for him (including every one of his adult kids and their spouses). Nevertheless, the book was not the hatchet job I expected it to be. Regarding Ivanka and Eric in particular, the author recounts some stories and some character traits that are positive (e.g., hard work, attention to detail, asking questions and actually listening to the answers). It's a shame that those good qualities are sacrificed at the altar of feeding their father's ego, pushing the Trump brand, and ripping apart the foundation on which this country was built. 2 and 1/2 stars.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Misfit

    This was fun in a gossipy sort of way and sprinkled with all kinds of choice tidbits ((view spoiler)[Junior partied hard in college and passed out in a lot of strange beds earned him the nickname of Diaper Don (hide spoiler)] ). LOL. There were times I also started feeling sorry for the three eldest kids after learning their sire was a bigger jerk than we ever knew, but then the author would circle back to their individual natures and superiority for being a Trump, and I went right back to my ori This was fun in a gossipy sort of way and sprinkled with all kinds of choice tidbits ((view spoiler)[Junior partied hard in college and passed out in a lot of strange beds earned him the nickname of Diaper Don (hide spoiler)] ). LOL. There were times I also started feeling sorry for the three eldest kids after learning their sire was a bigger jerk than we ever knew, but then the author would circle back to their individual natures and superiority for being a Trump, and I went right back to my original opinion of them. Even learned that Tiffany had a failed attempt at a singing career. You can find it on YouTube, but be warned - what has been heard cannot be unheard. Bring ear bleach. That said, the book does drag a bit here and there, especially going on too long describing every bit about all three of the weddings, as well as the wedding details of the three kids. I give you permission to skim. As I understand it, the author has written for Vanity Fair for a long time, and reporting on the Trumps for a lot of that time, so this is more like reading a reporter's perspective as opposed to an author setting down to write a non-fiction take on this family. Kindle copy obtained via library loan.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kenneth

    This is an entertaining, well-researched, and genuinely fair/balanced book. It definitely altered—but did not change—my views of the three eldest Trump children. Unfortunately, the book would get, at best, a B- from an English teacher—the grammatical errors are near-constant and jarring. This book’s editor should be suspended until he/she takes a refresher course in grammar.

  9. 5 out of 5

    RNOCEAN

    Gave this 5 our of 5 stars. To preface this review, regardless of your political leanings or view of our current administration, this is quite a well-written book about the children and their upbringing. I have been an avid fan of Vanity Fair, the magazine, and its writers for so many years that this book sounded interesting so I decided to give it a read. Of course, I had preconceived ideas of my own as to the personalities and characters of each of the Trump children prior to reading it, as I Gave this 5 our of 5 stars. To preface this review, regardless of your political leanings or view of our current administration, this is quite a well-written book about the children and their upbringing. I have been an avid fan of Vanity Fair, the magazine, and its writers for so many years that this book sounded interesting so I decided to give it a read. Of course, I had preconceived ideas of my own as to the personalities and characters of each of the Trump children prior to reading it, as I am sure everyone does. I came away with totally different opinions after reading it. Eric Trump became the child/adult that I ended up most liking and respecting. I will not give away my thoughts on the 'first daughter Ivanka, or the oldest son, Donnie and leave that up to the reader to decide for themselves, but this book did reverse my opinion of them initially. Overall, I find this book to have been very well and thoroughly researched and a fast read! The one aspect that I did not care for was the extensive coverage of Jared Kushner! I would venture to guess that at least one quarter of the book was about him and his family and I felt that to be totally unnecessary. He does not come away as a very likable person in my opinion and was only vaguely necessary to the telling of the story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol Storm

    Some good gossip about the kids but very little insight into the old man's pathology. And a lot of the young girl author's attempts at snobbery veer over into unintentional humor.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    This book almost makes one feel sorry for the poor Trump children. Almost. As the author points out, the golden keys each heir apparent were handed are more akin to golden handcuffs. Considering current events, that is more than ironic. The one thing that struck me more than anything else was that if it had not been for all the money, social services would have taken Ivanka, Don, and Eric away from their parents for neglect. Both mother and father were absentee parents. Yes, they had nannies and This book almost makes one feel sorry for the poor Trump children. Almost. As the author points out, the golden keys each heir apparent were handed are more akin to golden handcuffs. Considering current events, that is more than ironic. The one thing that struck me more than anything else was that if it had not been for all the money, social services would have taken Ivanka, Don, and Eric away from their parents for neglect. Both mother and father were absentee parents. Yes, they had nannies and security details and drivers and their own apartment with servants. No, they weren't exactly latchkey kids. But it's odd that they had their own apartment on a separate floor from their parents. Even odder was that they were rarely allowed into their parent's golden palace upstairs. I know lots of rich kids have similar stories of being raised by everyone else but their parents, but it's sad. Parental alienation is against the law unless you are rich it seems. The more I learn about our current president, the more I'm convinced that my former boss has found some "Being John Malkovitch" like portal and is residing inside Trump's head, because it is crazy how much they are alike. This description from a former Trump associate describes my former boss too perfectly: Donald, in the years he's known him, was an infinite lot of need - a time-sucking vampire who fed off those around him to sustain his own vanity. To work with him was to be telephoned or summoned and shouted for, sometimes all at once, to handle non-crises, or actual crises, to stroke his ego or tamp down a rage or puff up an insecurity, or simply, most commonly, to entertain the ever bored and constantly unfocused mind of the man in Trump Tower. And this one too: He called and called and called with every suggestion and thought bubble bursting in his brain. The author included a great quote from Fran Lebowitz about Trump: "He's the poor persons idea of a rich person. All that stuff he shows you in his house - the gold faucets - if you won the lottery, that's what you'd buy." This is a genius quote and explains so much. Trump doesn't impress other billionaires, he only impresses people that aren't wealthy. This explains why he was able to dupe so many people by playing a smart businessman on TV. No one smart in business thinks Trump's a smart businessman. The book is very gossipy for the most part, but it did help me understand how the three eldest Trump children could get themselves into such trouble in their current situation. All of them, including Ivanka's husband Jared, see loyalty to family as king. This blind loyalty seems very mafia-like in context. The book shares some juicy nuggets about how much Jared is responsible for the chaos at the White House. For all intensive purposes, he is the great Oz behind the curtain that lets us focus on the orange-tinted witch even though Oz is making the horrible decisions. Not that he can be expected to control his father-in-law, no one can control batshit crazy. But when you consider how Trump has zero interest in government and Jared and Ivanka are obsessed with the Camelot-era of the Kennedy clan, it shows how much they are really really into being in the White House. In fact, the book points to many things that show how badly the duo wants to be seen like the Kennedy's. Check out the naming of their children for starters. It's well-known that Trump let Jared handle his transition and pretty much all staffing choices needed to be approved by him (this is why Christie was fired from heading the transition). Jared even ran his campaign and Conway was just a hood ornament it seems. Even today, you hear it reported as Trump searches high and low for anyone stupid enough to be his new chief of staff that Jared and Ivanka have the final say on who takes the position. While the buck stops with Trump, too many horrible decisions were blessed by the vapid duo. When I got to page 180, I almost stopped reading the book. The author writes that Trump got a head start with just a million dollar loan from daddy but mostly hit it big because of his bluster. This journalist stated this is a fact instead of the PR story it most likely is. That was disappointing for a journalist to do that. The truth is likely closer to Trump having lost more money than he ever inherited. It's well-known that he lied his way onto the Forbes list the first time. There's a reason he doesn't want us to see his tax returns. Actually, probably at least a half-dozen reasons. Reading about Ivanka, the way she sold her image just like her daddy, made me think maybe there's a bit of that in all of us. Social media is like that really. People post what they want people to see, they cultivate their image on Facebook like any C-list movie star or heiress. And, it's mostly bullshit - just like Trump. Social media for the most part feeds our egos just like Page Six feeds the deeply shallow nature of Donald Trump and Ivanka. Things get very Game of Thrones meets stupid Shakespeare when considering Jared's family woes via his dad's stint in prison and how the impetus had to do with illegal campaign donations and the over-the-top failed cover-up that followed. I mean, wow. The eldest Trump children have always seemed like they are playing a part. The author states that each kid has one personality trait of their famous father, but that none of them have all of his traits. Though, his youngest is still a kid, so who knows, but let's hope not. The author points out that Ivanka has media savvy and gets a buzz off it like her dad. Don Jr is the rough around the edges fighter like his dad. Eric is the builder, much more in the weeds and much more low-key than his other two siblings. Tiffany is like her dad in that she's a performer and an outsider (as Trump has always felt and been on some level). The book gets into all of Trump's marriages and divorces too. The whole Marla affair was as shallow as we all thought. They were so unsuited for each other, but it seems that Trump fed off the attention it got him. It seemed they really couldn't stand each other and used each other for whatever hole they were trying to fill. In the end, the Trump's make the Kardashian's look like Amish folks. As the author ends the book, she calls them out as the Kardashian's meet the Kennedy presidency sans substance. It truly is our first reality show presidency. Great ratings for such a shit show.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I was hoping this would be kind of a Fire and Fury for the younger Trump set, and in some respects it was, but it was hit and miss, and the writing was sometimes distracting, with run on sentences and oft repeated words. The early part about the campaign was such a slog that I almost gave up, but the portraits of each Trump kid were more interesting. I do not admire the adult Trump children (well, the jury's still out on Tiffany, but she hasn't done anything to endear her to me), so I listened t I was hoping this would be kind of a Fire and Fury for the younger Trump set, and in some respects it was, but it was hit and miss, and the writing was sometimes distracting, with run on sentences and oft repeated words. The early part about the campaign was such a slog that I almost gave up, but the portraits of each Trump kid were more interesting. I do not admire the adult Trump children (well, the jury's still out on Tiffany, but she hasn't done anything to endear her to me), so I listened to this solely for the snark about how clueless and self absorbed each of these ding dongs is. There was plenty of that, but there were also humanizing stories about what their life growing up filthy rich, but with absentee parents was like. I could occasionally sympathize with them, though of course not enough to excuse them supporting their father's current behavior and agenda. (If your parent spends their days bullying people on line, it's time to take the phone away and get them to a doctor, not help them win an election and then try to undo the legacy of the first black president.) There were some interesting tidbits here (who knew Eric was the smart one?--in any case, I prefer the SNL Weekend Update version of him) and plenty of the eye-roll inducing moments I came for, but I would have liked less breathless detail about their various weddings and more about how people raised the way they were came to happily support their father's socially conservative rhetoric. I mean sure, they are rich and out of touch, but they also grew up as cosmopolitan New Yorkers. I suppose it's just a matter of supporting whatever position is expedient in their quest for power, knowing it won't affect them. Of course, Emily Jane Fox is not likely to have access to get inside their heads like that, but those were the questions I was left with after finishing.

  13. 4 out of 5

    DeB MaRtEnS

    I became aware of Born Trump when I saw the author interviewed on MSN, and was intrigued. Emily Jane Fox has written an insightful, at times critical and yet compassionate portrait of the children fathered by the very complicated man now president of the United States. Perhaps most significantly, I was left with the understanding that the Trump children perceived themselves as being “elected” almost as much as their father was. They were unable to separate their sense of themselves, as members o I became aware of Born Trump when I saw the author interviewed on MSN, and was intrigued. Emily Jane Fox has written an insightful, at times critical and yet compassionate portrait of the children fathered by the very complicated man now president of the United States. Perhaps most significantly, I was left with the understanding that the Trump children perceived themselves as being “elected” almost as much as their father was. They were unable to separate their sense of themselves, as members of the Trump Foundation, working for their father, from the notion that they wouldn’t transport themselves in some way en masse within the presidency. The concept of “the family business” has simply given them a sense of entitlement which is almost astounding. Born Trump is interesting. I would have appreciated a better editing job in places; for some reason - perhaps the publisher’s hurry to get the book to print?- a few truncated sentences and predicates seemed to dangle accidentally or be vaguely out of place, but overall, the flow is good and the narrative is highly readable. Author Fox has managed to educate me a bit on the internal dynamics of this very unusual household, which will be perplexing Americans, I suspect, for decades to come. Four stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Elm

    This is not just a breezy, gossipy read by Vanity Fair senior reporter, Emily Jane Fox. For those who detest Trump and his “spawn,” the book is an illuminating must-read. It goes a long way towards explaining why we always feel like taking a shower after reading their Tweets, or watching any one of them on TV news. Sure, it entertains, but it also informs as to why this new First Family is “uniquely suited for the second decade of the 21st century and its fame-obsessed, money-hungry, voracious 2 This is not just a breezy, gossipy read by Vanity Fair senior reporter, Emily Jane Fox. For those who detest Trump and his “spawn,” the book is an illuminating must-read. It goes a long way towards explaining why we always feel like taking a shower after reading their Tweets, or watching any one of them on TV news. Sure, it entertains, but it also informs as to why this new First Family is “uniquely suited for the second decade of the 21st century and its fame-obsessed, money-hungry, voracious 24-hour cycle of a culture.” For those like me who have been reading the New York tabloids and Page Six-type gossip columns for the last 30 years, some of the material about Donald Trump’s three wives, marriages and divorces is familiar. The affair with wife #2, Marla Maples while he was still married to Ivana, Czech-born wife #1, and the icy showdown between the two in Aspen has been well-documented. As has his pursuit of third wife, Slovenian model, Melania (he certainly does seem to have a thing for those Eastern European immigrants!) More puzzling for inclusion is the replay of the criminal doings and record of Trump in-law, Jared Kushner’s father, Charles, and his prison sentence after being prosecuted by then New Jersey attorney general, Chris Christie. Still, all this may come as eye-opening information to the majority of non-New Yorkers, and there is no doubt that Fox is a super-brilliant reporter who as well as interviewing dozens of original sources has done an equally magnificent job of culling information from every conceivable published source thus making her book a truly comprehensive study of Family Trump. Indeed, Fox honestly acknowledges the work of her researcher, Nicole Landset Blank “for the many articles I would never have even known existed.” Ivanka, perhaps the most visible of the three children from Trump’s first marriage is the least interesting in the book. She appears as a goodie two-shoes, presenting herself as a foil to that other rich heiress, Paris Hilton. As one reporter quoted in the book says : “Speaking with [Ivanka] was like talking to a very carefully-crafted press release.” She obviously likes to have people think she is disciplined and a workaholic like her father. We learn she took on modeling jobs while still at school, and turned down an offer from Anna Wintour to work on Vogue magazine so that she could learn the ropes of real estate while working at another real estate development business in the city other than her father’s. I would have liked to read more about her as a wife and mother than just the fact that she has to schedule time to play cars with her older son, that she sometimes takes her daughter to the office, and that on Inauguration Day she arranged for the White House to find candlesticks so she could light Shabbat candles for her family between the swearing-in and the inaugural balls. But maybe there is nothing more to be said about that side of her. Much of the information that appears fresh and interesting to me is about Don Jr. ( a frat boy in college who graduated to fly-fishing and big-game hunting); Eric (who seems to be the only one of the original trio who occasionally appears as a real, down-to-earth human being), and Marla’s daughter, Tiffany (who has been so inoculated by her mother against Trump’s direct influence that she hardly knew what to say about her father in her speech at the Republican National Convention in 2016.) Barron is hardly mentioned — as I think befits a child born a Trump, but who has yet to make his own way in the world. It is also somewhat gratifying to learn that the older Trump children are agreed in their universal dislike of Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski —he of the recent disgusting “womp, womp” comment when asked about a Down Syndrome child separated from her mother at the border. ( “He was always the first to board Trump Force One …kicking his feet up and settling in rather too comfortably as they saw it … Plus, he was a mooch who would order cases of Red Bull and blow through a full case daily.”) Fox has a easy writing style; it’s no chore to keep turning the pages which just occasionally veer right over the top. For example when six-year old Eric turns on a school aide and calls her a “bitch,” Fox writes of the aide, “She blushed, the blood rushing to her face to push down the rage boiling in her belly.” Really? I would have had a hard time not bursting out in laughter while attributing his choice of words to something he must have heard at home! Interestingly, many of the book's highlights ( Trump suggesting breast implants might help Ivanka’s career as a model, Trump making baby Tiffany choose between a Big Mac and a carrot, Trump calling four-year old, Don Jr. a loser) say much more about Trump than about his children. But let’s hear it in the words of Ivanka herself in a 2000 interview on the incident of Trump waving a Big Mac at Tiffany: “Marla didn’t even like Tiffany to have whole milk, and she was married to my Dad who’s like the biggest pig ever!” Enough said!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joe Sharkey

    A badly written and sloppily edited rehash of things that others have written about this bunch. I seldom regret buying a book. This one I regret buying, and reading.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I really regret spending my money on this book and wasting my time reading it. There wasn't much in it that was not already known about these people.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Flannery Francis

    Dishy. Delishy. Somewhat insightful. I would have given it five stars if not for multiple typos and too frequently repeated words (“honking” and “tippy top”).

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sherry Cooper

    Nothing new here. Lots of typos and very disjointed.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Tarah Smith

    I swallowed this book in less than a week. The author did a great job, but her proofreader should be fired. There were so many misspellings and if’s in place of or’s, vice versa, and etc. While reading, I sent Don Jr. a tweet, asking about why he agreed with his fathers environmental de-regulation, considering his love of hunting and fishing? I received no response. I always thought Eric was the family idiot, but he seems to just be the most down to Earth son, and not as keen on the spotlight. I I swallowed this book in less than a week. The author did a great job, but her proofreader should be fired. There were so many misspellings and if’s in place of or’s, vice versa, and etc. While reading, I sent Don Jr. a tweet, asking about why he agreed with his fathers environmental de-regulation, considering his love of hunting and fishing? I received no response. I always thought Eric was the family idiot, but he seems to just be the most down to Earth son, and not as keen on the spotlight. It gave no new news on how big of an arse their father is, but it did shine a light on how emotionally difficult it was to be his child. I feel good and bad for Tiffany. Good, because she wasn’t berated by the daily deluge of garbage these kids had to go through, but also bad, because as a daughter of an uninterested father, she received no paternal affection either. I would have given it five stars, had it not been for the horrible proofreading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andie

    One of the qualifying statements I've always heard people make about Donald Trump is that despite his horrible domestic and foreign policies, he did a good job of raising his children. This book substantially disproves those assertions. If you believe this book, they would have been better off being raised by wolves.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Roslynne Levine

    The author writes for Vanity Fair and I saw her interviewed and was really impressed. Fast read. Pretty balanced reporting.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Vickie T

    Wonderfully snarky. I almost felt sorry for those kids.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Chuck Throckmorton

    Poorly edited fluff Trump and his clan repulse me, but based on author’s TV appearances, I thought this might be an articulate presentation about the family. Unfortunately, it reads like a collage of tabloid information culled from Google, interspersed with snarky and vacuous author commentary. And the “editing” — such as it is — is execrable. (“Ivanka ... wanted to affect change;” “He wanted to be on Fifth Avenue, on the water in Palm Beach, first in the Hamptons and then in Greenwich.”). It fee Poorly edited fluff Trump and his clan repulse me, but based on author’s TV appearances, I thought this might be an articulate presentation about the family. Unfortunately, it reads like a collage of tabloid information culled from Google, interspersed with snarky and vacuous author commentary. And the “editing” — such as it is — is execrable. (“Ivanka ... wanted to affect change;” “He wanted to be on Fifth Avenue, on the water in Palm Beach, first in the Hamptons and then in Greenwich.”). It feels hastily slapped together with little regard for either clarity or insight.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tory Warner

    I really can't say much about the content of this book because it was written so terribly. The grammar and syntax are so bad that it was often difficult to understand what the author was trying to say. Most pages had at least one typo or sentence fragment, and the author kept mixing up names (i.e. writing "Maria" instead of "Marla"). I feel like I was punked....

  25. 4 out of 5

    Donna Hines

    If you've ever had to co parent with a malignant narcissist as I have you can some up this book quite quickly. Narcissists make terrible parents. They are selfish and egotistical. In general terms they view family as secondary with strangers being primary as they are their source of supply for attention&adulation. Their is zero emotional depth as the narc is distant, empty, bottomless pit, and moody. So no affection, no love, no support of any kind. In fact the opposite of labeling and seeking to ma If you've ever had to co parent with a malignant narcissist as I have you can some up this book quite quickly. Narcissists make terrible parents. They are selfish and egotistical. In general terms they view family as secondary with strangers being primary as they are their source of supply for attention&adulation. Their is zero emotional depth as the narc is distant, empty, bottomless pit, and moody. So no affection, no love, no support of any kind. In fact the opposite of labeling and seeking to make the parent look good in the eyes of the child is what you'll receive. If multiple kids you'll have one scapegoated while the other is a golden child and the children must do as told or be punished and or abandoned/devalued/discarded. It's all publicity stunts for family pics to make it appear the parent is hands on but in actuality many friends wouldn't even know they were even married let alone had kids and or family. As a spouse you are viewed as a "kept woman" or "business partner" never an equal, never a spouse, never a lover or friend. You are simply present to be a source of supply and when and if the narc can give you an ounce of valuable time will be on his/her schedule never yours. There's zero reciprocation or assistance in child rearing. The narc is not to be domesticated nor responsible as it's all an act of blame and shame upon those closest to them. So that sums it up pretty nicely as the children go forward seeking a source of love, affection, empathy, and validation. So sorry these kids may be intelligent, they may appear to have it all, inside trust me they do not. I know I have 3 and my teens and I were tossed to the street like trash without income, assets, savings, or credit. We are now all living below poverty and the father the narc never could even spare the time to show up for their birth. Buying love with wealth is not the same as being present. Presence over presence. Fool's gold shines too and in the end the kids will come to understand that the narcissist could never provide to them what they desperately needed. For a narc their idea of parenting is go ahead and do what you want and if you succeed I'll take credit and if you fail I'll blame you. If you know you're child might get hurt doing something they shouldn't like riding a bike unassisted when first learning you would be cautious and not wish to see harm come upon the child. For a narcissist they will step back , watch from afar, and if something happens they'll act like they're teaching the child a lesson through tough love in knowing that behavior shouldn't be done again that way. It's amazing to try to communicate with narcissists as they have no skills to communicate. They are like ships passing in the night. They will not walk with you but away and will not give you the time of day. The Trumps children will never know what normalcy is or should be. The writing here was nothing new. It was much of what's already been read or seen. Priorities are not a concern for narcissists so do the best you can and walk away without contact is all I have to offer. God bless anyone trying to co parent with one, as it's a nightmare.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Born Trump is a fascinating and well-researched look at Trump's three wives, son-in-law, and his adult children. The author presents facts previously published along with information obtained from extensive interviews with people who have known and interacted with the Trumps in personal and business matters. What emerges is a clear picture of Trump ambition, determination, and above-all, life-long attempts to control their image, message, and reality regardless of consequences. This is an eye-ope Born Trump is a fascinating and well-researched look at Trump's three wives, son-in-law, and his adult children. The author presents facts previously published along with information obtained from extensive interviews with people who have known and interacted with the Trumps in personal and business matters. What emerges is a clear picture of Trump ambition, determination, and above-all, life-long attempts to control their image, message, and reality regardless of consequences. This is an eye-opening, insightful read about a family whose individual and collective priorities for self-promotion and sef-enrichment knows no bounds and affects every decision and action they undertake. A chilling read and cautionary tale given their rising influence and control in current American politics.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    2.5 ⭐️ Comprehensive & detailed, but not much new. Except that Eric is the smart one. Junior is a tortured soul - he should have been the baby & he might have gotten more of what he needed. And Ivanka is perhaps the greatest Trump construction project yet. And it ends very abruptly. Also, I appreciate that the author spent little time on Barron. He’s mentioned, but not examined in detail. As it should be - he’s a child. 2.5 ⭐️ Comprehensive & detailed, but not much new. Except that Eric is the smart one. Junior is a tortured soul - he should have been the baby & he might have gotten more of what he needed. And Ivanka is perhaps the greatest Trump construction project yet. And it ends very abruptly. Also, I appreciate that the author spent little time on Barron. He’s mentioned, but not examined in detail. As it should be - he’s a child.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    How did we get here? And folks, when DJT is gone, we haven’t seen the last of them.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Baldwin

    Yikes! Seriously can’t believe a professional writer wrote this book! I was excited to read after hearing Ms. Fox on MSNBC. What a surprise to be tortured with such sloppy poorly written sentences! The sequence of events also jumps around for no apparent reason. It’s very distracting to read. Also, incorrect facts; Donald Trump did not ‘own’ Wollman Skating rink! (declared twice!) Typos galore / stupid repeated words like ‘honky’, (used several times as an adjective!) Columbia School of Journalis Yikes! Seriously can’t believe a professional writer wrote this book! I was excited to read after hearing Ms. Fox on MSNBC. What a surprise to be tortured with such sloppy poorly written sentences! The sequence of events also jumps around for no apparent reason. It’s very distracting to read. Also, incorrect facts; Donald Trump did not ‘own’ Wollman Skating rink! (declared twice!) Typos galore / stupid repeated words like ‘honky’, (used several times as an adjective!) Columbia School of Journalism: you have got to be kidding ..... to then, land a prestigious job at Vanity Fair.....geeZe! 😱

  30. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Some of this book is wonderful, some of it is reminiscent of tabloid reporting, I have begun to think I understand the Trump boys, which makes me doubt my sanity. I am confident that living through Ivana-and-Donald's life-separation-divorce can be considered child abuse. Tabloid reporters called out to the kids on the street, asking about their parent's break-up. Eric was too young to understand, a trait which remained with him. Ivanka retains her love of and absolute trust in daddy no matter wha Some of this book is wonderful, some of it is reminiscent of tabloid reporting, I have begun to think I understand the Trump boys, which makes me doubt my sanity. I am confident that living through Ivana-and-Donald's life-separation-divorce can be considered child abuse. Tabloid reporters called out to the kids on the street, asking about their parent's break-up. Eric was too young to understand, a trait which remained with him. Ivanka retains her love of and absolute trust in daddy no matter what, while Donald Jr maintains his certainty that Donald Sr holds guilt for whatever is wrong, The book has many incidents that capture the sensation of growing up with Donald, enough so that I find myself thinking about the kids as different peoples. So many comedy skits make Eric out as Dumb when he is smarter; the difference is that he is gentler, kinder, more considerate toward others.

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