“Born Trump: Inside America’s First Family” by Emily Jane Fox

Genre:           BiographyBorn Trump
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.”
19, 2018

Open link to purchase on Amazon.

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2 thoughts on ““Born Trump: Inside America’s First Family” by Emily Jane Fox

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