Simon & Schuster, publisher of the memoir of Mary Trump, niece of President Donald Trump, and her account of family history and associated crimes, abuses, losses and pain, is thrilled with the book's success.
"Huge" first day sales of almost a million copies (a company record). "[It] has entered the national conversation in a way that few books ever do, becoming an instant cultural phenomenon and must-read for anyone seeking to understand the singular family dynamic that produced the most powerful man in the world today."
An entirely fitting encomium for a book about a man who used a reality television show based on his ego and exaggerated business success to become known to tens of millions of Americans before he stepped onto the surreal stage of a presidential campaign.
Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Man should not have this out-sized influence on popular culture.
But given many voters believe this is the most consequential election in living memory, Mary's book could not be timed for more impact. Which is exactly what she wants.
The very best of the first-wave books on the Trump presidency - Bob Woodward's masterful Fear, and the superb account by Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig, A Very Stable Genius, examined Trump and how he operates in office from the outside, in: here is what he does, here's what happened behind the scenes, here are the consequences.
And the shocking stories are all true. (Others occupying the Trump bookshelf - Michael Wolff's and the pathetic screed by Anonymous - are piffles in comparison.)
Instead, Mary Trump, with her unique vantage, shows us Trump from the inside, out: how his father, Fred, shaped his business and his family, most especially Donald, over decades of iron control, abuse, dominance, greed and ruthlessness.
By Mary's account, Donald Trump is a fraud: he does not care about the country, just himself ... Mary trains her lens as a psychologist on Donald: how much work is involved in his keeping all of us distracted every day from the multiple atrocities committed each week.
Fred's is not tough love. His is, like, no love. Mary's story shows Fred's destruction, abetted by uncle Donald, of her father, Fred Jr, who could not fly out of Fred's grip, ultimately succumbing to depression and alcoholism. He died broken and alone in existential poverty and deprivation, with Mary, her brother and her mum all but disinherited. Mary decades later took revenge by dumping 40,000 pages of Trump family tax records to the New York Times.
And by going public now. "I'm not writing this book to cash in or out of a desire for revenge. The events of the last three years, however, have forced my hand and I can no longer remain silent. By the time this book is published, hundreds of thousands of American lives will have been sacrificed on the altar of Donald's hubris and wilful ignorance. If he is afforded a second term, it would be the end of American democracy," she said.
By Mary's account, Donald Trump is a fraud: he does not care about the country, just himself. To tell this story, Mary recounts her life from childhood to today.
It is a very painful narrative of control and punishment inflicted by her grandfather and uncle. The stories are replete with quotes and reconstructions of intimate episodes spanning decades. There are no footnotes. So this is her side, and no other's. It reads like a Roman-à-clef. Mary Trump may have invented a new genre: the non-fiction Roman-à-clef.
It would make a terrific TV series.
Putin, Xi, Kim Jong Un, the Israelis, MBS and Iran will love this book. Better than any defector's account, they will have a field day with this psychological study of the leader of the free world. Putin and Kim, Mary writes: "Recognised in a way others should have but did not that Donald's checkered personal history and his unique personality flaws make him extremely vulnerable to manipulation by smarter, more powerful men." They will play him even better after reading this.
Mary trains her lens as a psychologist on Donald: how much work is involved in his keeping all of us distracted every day from the multiple atrocities committed each week; how he is so fearful of others finding out he is not legitimate; why in the Oval he is always seated, with his supplicants standing; his rage and his fear of being destroyed; how he gets away with everything; and how and why he ignores the pall of death.
"While thousands of Americans die alone [from COVID-19], Donald touts stock market gains. As my father lay dying alone, Donald went to the movies. If he can in any way profit from your death, he'll facilitate it, and then he'll ignore the fact that you died ... The simple fact is that Donald is fundamentally incapable of acknowledging the suffering of others. Acknowledging the victims of COVID-19 would be to associate himself with their weakness, a trait his father taught him to despise ... For Donald there is no value in empathy, no tangible upside to catering for other people," Mary writes.
Donald really should have gotten better lawyers to try and stop this book.
There is psychological terror and some misogyny, but no sex. Just a note that Melania is five years younger than niece Mary, and that Donald once wolf-whistled Mary's upper-body.
That's all, folks.
Every indication today is that the American electorate is in the process of making a decisive judgment about President Trump and whether he deserves a second term.
Over 70 per cent of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track. Many yearn for a more united country. "But Donald requires division. It is the only way he knows how to survive - my grandfather ensured that ... when he turned his children against each other," Mary writes.
We will see on November 3 if the American people get her message.
- Bruce Wolpe is a senior fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. He has worked on the Democratic staff in the US Congress and served on the staff of former prime minister Julia Gillard.