Reviews for Breaking History

by Jared Kushner

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The colorless Trump functionary fails to inspire in a look-at-me memoir. “One rule applies to both fathers-in-law and presidents. When they ask for help, there’s only one answer: yes.” Another rule applies to Kushner’s memoir: When it works, he gets the credit; when it doesn’t, others are to blame. The author risks dislocating his shoulder patting himself on the back for having “orchestrated some of the most significant breakthroughs in diplomacy in the last fifty years.” Naturally, he accomplished these and other feats by learning geopolitics on the fly while facing down a host of opponents single-handedly. When not self-congratulatory—or fawning, when it comes to the man whom he at least calls Trump, usually without the increasingly inappropriate-seeming honorific “President”—Kushner is aggrieved. He opens with an embittered account of his father’s prosecution at the hands of attorney Chris Christie for witness tampering and violations against the Mann Act, whereupon Christie “sought to punish my father in a way that would hurt the most: by putting other Kushner…executives in jail, bankrupting the family business, and shutting it down for good.” This Kushner secured his revenge by keeping Christie out of the Trump White House, but he’s an equal-opportunity hater, both barrels constantly aimed at Steve Bannon—a gossipy morsel is that Bannon, by Kushner’s account, “didn’t hide his disappointment” when Kellyanne Conway passed a drug test—but also trained on Priebus, Lewandowski, Kelly, Comey, Fauci, and a battery of other well-known names. As for Trump, father to the “arrestingly beautiful” Ivanka, well, he can do no wrong except perhaps to be overly enthusiastic. So, it seems, were those who stormed the Capitol, an event to which Kushner devotes just a couple of cautious, don’t-blame-us pages (“no one at the White House expected violence that day”). Bland, dutiful, self-serving, and unconvincing. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.