New Kushner book panned in New York Times review
Jared Kushner, former President Trump’s son-in-law and a former senior White House adviser, received a scathing review for his forthcoming memoir on Wednesday from The New York Times.
Critic Dwight Garner said in his review that Kushner’s memoir, “Breaking History,” is a “peculiarly selective” examination of the Trump administration, ignoring “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.”
Garner said the book repeatedly uses political cliches like “Even in a starkly divided country, there are always opportunities to build bridges,” and has the tone of a college admissions essay.
He said a typical sentence is “In an environment of maximum pressure, I learned to ignore the noise and distractions and instead to push for results that would improve lives.”
Garner said Kushner consistently refers to praise he has received, such as that he is a strong lobbyist and played a role in developing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, a free trade agreement that went into effect in 2020.
Though Kushner “read Sun Tzu and imagined he was becoming a warrior,” Garner writes, he said Kushner’s closeness to Trump was the reason he prevailed in influencing his father-in-law over other White House staff members, like former adviser Stephen Bannon and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Garner said the book mostly focuses on the issues that Kushner cares most about, including prison reform, the COVID-19 pandemic and the Middle East. Kushner was directly involved in negotiating the Abraham Accords, which saw the normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Garner said Kushner concludes with suggesting he was mostly unaware of the events of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol insurrection until late in the day and that Kushner largely avoids addressing false claims from Trump and his allies that voter fraud cost the former president the 2020 presidential election.
“He seems to have no beliefs beyond carefully managed appearances and the art of the deal,” Garner said of Kushner’s memoir. “He wants to stay on top of things, this manager, but doesn’t want to get to the bottom of anything.”
Garner said he is unsure who the main target demographic is for the book because it does not have enough “red meat” to appeal to Trump’s most ardent supporters, and that Kushner did not appeal to them anyway. Garner said “political wonks” may be interested, but the material is more thoroughly covered elsewhere.
The book will go on sale next week.
Kushner could not be reached for comment.