Jared Kushner’s memoir, Breaking History, will be released on August 23. If you’ve been hemming and hawing over clicking that preorder button, and wondering if it’s possible the former first son-in-law actually wrote something worth reading, The New York Times is here to tell you: HE MOST CERTAINLY DID NOT.
In a historically savage review published on Wednesday, book critic Dwight Garner writes that, essentially, Breaking History is one of the worst things he’s ever read. Of course, The New York Times isn‘t in the business of simply telling its audience, “This book sucks, don’t buy it unless you plan to use the pages to line your bird cage,” and so, Garner elaborated. Here are a few of the things he has to say about the memoir and the guy who—with the help of a ghostwriter—put it out into the world:
- “Kushner looks like a mannequin, and he writes like one”
- “This book reminded me of watching a cat lick a dog’s eye goo”
- “The tone is college admissions essay”
- It includes cringeworthy praise for its subject, such as: “Jared did an amazing job,” “Jared’s a genius,” and “You deserve an award for all you’ve done”
Unsurprisingly, as Garner notes, Kushner seems to be entirely unaware that he landed the gig in the White House for one reason only—and it’s not because he’s a boy genius. Garner says that Kushner “writes as if he believes foreign dignitaries (and less-than dignitaries) prized him in the White House because he was the fresh ideas guy, the starting point guard, the dimpled go-getter,” and “betrays little cognizance that he was in demand because, as a landslide of other reporting has demonstrated, he was in over his head, unable to curb his avarice, a cocky young real estate heir who happened to unwrap a lot of Big Macs beside his father-in-law.” He appears to be totally oblivious as to why people who were actually qualified for their jobs—or, y’know, sort of qualified, with this being the Trump administration, after all—couldn’t stand him. To boot, he “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.” And despite the fact that the former first son-in-law and Ivanka Trump are reportedly distancing themselves from the former president, Garner reports that “Kushner’s fealty to Trump remains absolute.”
According to young Kush, the matter of him being denied a top secret security clearance, until his father-in-law reportedly intervened, was no big deal. (Perhaps the concerns of the intelligence officials who reportedly didn’t think he could be trusted should be reviewed again, given recent events.) He also still apparently believes that it was totally unfair for his father, Charles Kushner, to be prosecuted so harshly by then U.S. attorney Chris Christie for (1) tax fraud and (2) hiring a prostitute to sleep with his brother-in-law, filming the encounter, and then mailing it to his sister as retaliation against his brother-in-law for cooperating with federal investigators. (Kushner the Younger previously insisted, according to Christie’s 2019 memoir, that such things were “family matter[s],” and not something for the government to stick its nose in.) And if that doesn’t upset you, in reflecting on his relationship with Mohammed bin Salman, Kushner at one point tells readers that he wasn’t willing to turn his back on the Saudi crown prince over one measly kidnapping and dismemberment.
Of that pesky little insurrection business? According to Garner, the 492-page book “ends with Kushner suggesting he was unaware of the events of January 6 until late in the day. He mostly sidesteps talking about spurious claims of election fraud,” Garner adds. “He seems to have no beliefs beyond carefully managed appearances and the art of the deal. He wants to stay on top of things, this manager, but doesn’t want to get to the bottom of anything.”