'Soulless': NYT publishes scathing Jared Kushner book review

·Senior Writer
·2-min read

The New York Times on Wednesday published a scathing review of Jared Kushner’s upcoming memoir.

“Reading this book reminded me of watching a cat lick a dog’s eye goo,” Dwight Garner, a Times book critic, writes in his review of “Breaking History,” due out next week.

Garner describes Kushner’s writing as “soulless” and compares it to a “college admissions essay.”

Kushner, former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, served as his senior adviser in the White House.

In the memoir, Garner writes, Kushner appears to be unaware that “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, the erratic and misinformed and similarly mercenary leader of the free world.”

Jared Kushner stands stiffly next to two flags just off to the side of Donald Trump, who is seated at a desk.
Jared Kushner looks on as President Trump speaks in the Oval Office, Sept. 11, 2020. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Pool/Getty Images)

“‘Breaking History’ is an earnest and soulless — Kushner looks like a mannequin, and he writes like one — and peculiarly selective appraisal of Donald J. Trump’s term in office,” Garner writes. “Kushner 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, to speak about his boyish tinkering … with issues he was interested in.

“This book is like a tour of a once majestic 18th-century wooden house, now burned to its foundations, that focuses solely on, and rejoices in, what’s left amid the ashes: the two singed bathtubs, the gravel driveway and the mailbox,” Garner continues.

The Times review mocks Kushner for including in his memoir “every drop of praise he’s ever received” for his work in the West Wing.

“A therapist might call these cries for help,” Garner writes.

Cover of book with image of Kushner walking near an airplane holding a phone to his ear, that reads: Jared Kushner, Breaking History, a White House Memoir.
HarperCollins Publishers

The Times review also mocks Kushner for his recollection of wooing Ivanka Trump while he was in Europe on Rupert Murdoch’s yacht:

We were having lunch at Bono’s house in the town of Eze on the French Riviera, when Rupert stepped out to take a call. He came back and whispered in my ear, “They blinked, they agreed to our terms, we have The Wall Street Journal.” After lunch, Billy Joel, who had also been with us on the boat, played the piano while Bono sang with the Irish singer-songwriter Bob Geldof.

“You finish ‘Breaking History’ wondering: Who is this book for? There’s not enough red meat for the MAGA crowd, and Kushner has never appealed to them anyway,” Garner concludes. “He’s a pair of dimples without a demographic. What a queasy-making book to have in your hands.”