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The Books Briefing: What Is a Political Memoir For?

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The Books Briefing: What Is a Political Memoir For?

Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times / ​Redux. Article by

What we can learn from books by politicians and their family members: Your weekly guide to the best in books

Memoirs by politicians and their family members are in a strange genre that must balance compelling storytelling with personal aims. Mary Trump’s Too Much and Never Enough is better written than most, Megan Garber argues. (Mary has a master’s degree in comparative literature.) But the book’s resonance is strongest when it sees the president’s niece, a clinical psychologist, take on the work of so many other Americans: that of struggling to understand the president’s psyche.

Mary’s memoir breaks from the Trump family’s tradition of self-promotional texts, such as Donald Trump’s self-aggrandizing The Art of the Deal. His daughter’s Women Who Work “is premised on the notion that women would be better off” if women were more like Ivanka Trump, Megan writes. His ex-wife Ivana codifies this narcissism into a family philosophy of being better than everyone else in her book Raising Trump. […]

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