Jared Kushner has jumped on the bandwagon: he’s written a book, “Breaking History”, about his time in the White House. Did he reveal anything not designed to curate the tainted legacy of the Trump presidency and burnish his own image?
Early reviews by the major critics tell us what to expect in the hefty 492 pages. Almost unanimously they have not been complimentary about Kushner’s literary effort. “Cocky”, “soulless”, “lacking insight”, these are a few of the choice adjectives that have been applied to it. The New York Times critic Dwight Garner, goes right to the heart of the Kushner persona, “Kushner looks like a mannequin, and he writes like one”.
The question that might interest us is, did Kushner provide a reasonably objective—or even just informative– picture of the Trump administration? “Kushner almost entirely ignores the chaos, the alienation of allies, the breaking of laws and norms, the flirtations with dictators, the comprehensive loss of America’s moral leadership, and so on, ad infinitum, to speak about his boyish tinkering (the “mechanic”) with issues he was interested in.”
Garner has no kind words to say about the book or Kushner. “What a queasy-making book to have in your hands,” he writes, and impugns the very possibility that Kushner could have written a more honest or worthy one. “Once someone has happily worked alongside one of the most flagrant and systematic and powerful liars in this country’s history, how can anyone be expected to believe a word they say?”
The New York Times is not the only source to have panned the book so thoroughly. The Guardian wrote, “It sits at the intersection of spin, absolution and self-aggrandizement.”
Kushner’s whitewashing of Trump’s moral bankruptcy is just as complete. He fails even to mention the names of two Trump lovers, Stormy Daniels, the adult film star, and Karen McDougal, the Playboy model, and glibly explains away his own father’s arrest and jail time. “Billy’s infidelity was an open secret around the office, and to show his sister Esther what kind of man she had married, my father hired a prostitute who seduced Billy.”
As for himself, he never misses an opportunity to shower praise on himself and take credit where none was due.