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

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

by Andrea Bernstein


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An absorbing, novelistic, and powerfully affecting work of history and investigative journalism 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. Building on her landmark reporting for the acclaimed podcast Trump, Inc. and The New Yorker, Bernstein brings to light new information about the families’ arrival as immigrants to America, their paths to success, and the business and personal lives of the president and his closest family members. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and more than one hundred thousand pages of documents, American Oligarchs details how the Trump and Kushner dynasties encouraged and profited from a system of corruption, dark money, and influence trading, and reveals the historical turning points and decisions on taxation, regulation, white-collar crime, and campaign finance laws that have brought us to where we are today. A new afterword examines how the two families’ transactional politics left America particularly vulnerable to the crises of 2020.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393541304
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/06/2020
Pages: 512
Sales rank: 282,104
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Andrea Bernstein is the Peabody Award–winning cohost of the acclaimed WNYC/ProPublica podcast Trump, Inc., which won the prestigious 2019 Alfred I. duPont–Columbia University award. In addition to broadcast appearances on outlets including PBS NewsHour, CNN, and Fresh Air, her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Washington Post, New York, and on NPR.

Table of Contents

Prologue The Wedding 1

Introduction 11

Act I

1 The Escape 27

2 The American Dream 42

3 Land of Opportunity 54

Act II

4 The Fall of New York 71

5 The Business of Donald Trump 83

6 The Gamble 92

7 The Don of Suburbia 111

8 Icarus 124


9 "A Bridge to the Future" 145

10 Escape From New Jersey 159

11 Entrée 175

12 A Flood of Money 192

13 The Initiation 203

Act IV

14 "To Spend Without Limit" 219

15 License 231

16 Other People's Money 251

17 The Merger 268

Act V

18 The Infomercial 289

19 Big Caviar 305

20 Dirt 320

21 Trump, Inc. 331

22 "A Terrible Situation" 353

23 American Oligarchy 365

24 Justice 374

Epilogue 401

Afterword 413

Acknowledgments 421

Note on Sources 425

Notes 431

Index 477

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