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American Oligarchs: The Kushners, the Trumps, and the Marriage of Money and Power

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  8 reviews

A multigenerational saga of two families, who rose from immigrant roots to the pinnacle of wealth and power, that tracks the unraveling of American democracy.


In American Oligarchs, award-winning investigative journalist Andrea Bernstein tells the story of the Trump and Kushner families like never before. Their journey to the White House is a story of survival and loss,

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Kindle Edition, 634 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Jill Meyer
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“American Oligarchs”, by Andrea Bernstein, is exactly what it’s subtitle says it is. It’s the story of the Kushner and Trump families, and the marriage that brought them together. Bernstein does a superb job at writing a book that basically gives the families’ histories without too much silent sighing-at-what’s going on with these people? Neither family is on the up-and-up, though the Kushners may be (may be) slightly less heinous than the Trumps. Charlie Kushner’s still on his first wife, and ...more
Lisa Koffler
I pre-ordered this book and can't wait to read it! I've been listening to Andrea talk about her book on Fresh Air, All Things Considered and her podcast Trump, Inc - it's fascinating stuff.
Cynthia
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredible book... The author has a long history as a journalist (WNYC) and has facts, experiences, contacts, and details that really make her story(ies) even more fascinating. Her writing style is both sharp and fluid and you just don't want to stop, all the time 'knowing how it ends'. (it doesn't!)

She traces the histories of the Trumps and the Kushners from their European roots and the way they wove their ways into the prominent super rich power brokers that they are today.

The
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Rachel
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
American Oligarchs chronicles the marriage of the Trump and Kushner families and traces many of the unethical and illegal business dealings of both throughout their various generations. It made me really angry and definitely needed some editing but was a decent primer on how all the names in the Trump related investigation headlines connect.
Naomi Krokowski
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This gripping account of the rise of the Trump and Kushner families and their merger with Jared and Ivanka (merger seems to fit better than wedding) confirmed my saddest suspicions that cheating, lying, tax evasion and money laundering have turned our country into a kleptocracy.
I’m writing this review as the third impeachment trial in our history is sputtering toward yet more lack of consequences for Putin and his puppet president of the disunited States. The laws I grew up thinking were a set
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Alexis
Jan 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, business
If you read the news, you know Trump is a crook and a shady businessman. You don't need to read this book to know that. If you're from New York (as I am), you've known that since the 1980s.

You probably know less about the Kushners, though. And what you know less about is how they were able to purchase political influence and just how easily they avoided taxes. This book did nothing to improve my opinion of either Albany or Trenton. The late Gov. Mario Cuomo got one point for not falling for
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Flora
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tracks the roots of the Trump and Kushner families: how they rose to prominence – not only by hard work and initiative, but by later generations leveraging fraudulent practices to avail themselves of government money and unwarranted tax breaks.

While the author does not uncover any new revelations, she weaves together the many threads of these two families over time to reveal a tapestry of wealth, greed, deception, intimidation and fraud that now threatens the very fabric of the American
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Everydayreader1
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book speaks for itself as to the subject matter and point of view. If you want to begin to understand what these two families are all about and their ultimate objectives, I believe this is a good place to begin.


It is not an easy read if you love America and believe in the value of American democracy. Yet it is a worthwhile read, in my view. You cannot begin to undo damage or regulate against it until you begin to understand the nature, scope, harm and future ramifications of

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Andrea Bernstein is the Peabody and duPont-Columbia Award-winning cohost of the acclaimed WNYC/ProPublica podcast Trump, Inc. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and New York magazine, and on NPR. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
“On October 26, 2016—less than two weeks to election day—travel writer Zach Everson covered the ribbon cutting at the Trump International Hotel in the Old Post Office building in Washington, DC, just a few blocks from the White House. Everson frequently covered hotel openings, which often featured lavish food spreads and “the owners sipping champagne with a few travel writers.” But this one was different. A horde of political reporters trailed Donald and Ivanka Trump as they toured the hotel. “The political reporters were amazed they had complimentary pastries,” Everson said in an interview. 1 A couple months later, Everson got an assignment from Condé Nast Traveller to cover the growing political and social scene at the hotel. In the course of researching that story, Everson booked a night at the hotel. One of his fellow guests told Everson he was about to leave for a restaurant outside the hotel, when he noticed workers polishing the banisters and the manager nervously pacing. The guest concluded, correctly, that the president was on his way, cancelled his outside reservation, and ate at the hotel instead. To track presidential comings and goings for his story, Everson started monitoring social media feeds. And he noticed something: not even a year into Trump’s presidency, the hotel had become a unique locale in Washington. “It became like Melville’s white whale,” Everson said. “If you want it to be your opportunity and a place for you to go and rub elbows with the President, it’s that. If you’re a lobbyist or a businessman or a foreign leader and want to portray you are close to the president, it’s that too. It’s everything you hate or love about Donald Trump.” Everson quit travel writing to cover, full time, the Trump International Hotel. He began publishing a newsletter, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue. He had plenty of material.” 0 likes
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