Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President

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9780060736705: Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President

With the Bush administration in permanent crisis, a renowned Washington psychoanalyst updates his portrait of George W.'s public persona—and how it has damaged the presidency.

Insightful and accessible, courageous and controversial, Bush on the Couch sheds startling new light on George W. Bush's psyche and its impact on the way he governs, tackling head-on the question few seem willing to ask: Is our president psychologically fit to run the country? With an eye for the subtleties of human behavior sharpened by thirty years of clinical practice, Dr. Justin A. Frank traces the development of Bush's character from childhood through his presidency, identifying and analyzing his patterns of thought, action, and communication. The result is a troubling portrait filled with important revelations about our nation's leader—including disturbing new insights into:

  • How Bush reacted to the 2006 Democratic sweep in Congress with a new surge of troops into Iraq
  • His telling habits and coping strategies—from his persistent mangling of English to his tendency to "go blank" in the midst of crisis
  • The tearful public breakdown of his father, George H. W. Bush, and what it says about the former president's relationship to his prominent sons
  • The debacle of Katrina—the moment when Bush's arrogance finally failed him

With a new introduction and afterword, Bush on the Couch offers the most thorough and candid portrait to date of arguably the most psychologically damaged president since Nixon.

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About the Author:

Justin A. Frank, M.D., is a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center. Since 1980 he has been a teaching analyst at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute. He is past president of the Greater Washington Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Dr. Frank lives and practices psychoanalysis in Washington, D.C.

From Publishers Weekly:

Bush Administration policies are not only a "great catastrophe" but the products of a disturbed mind, according to this provocative blend of psychological case-study and partisan polemic. Psychoanalyst Frank sifts through family memoirs, the writings of critics like Al Franken and David Corn and the public record of Bush’s personal idiosyncrasies for clues to the President’s character, interpreting the evidence in the rigidly Freudian framework of child psychoanalyst Melanie Klein. He finds that Bush, psychically scarred by an absentee father and a cold, authoritarian mother, has developed a galloping case of megalomania, characterized by a Manichaean worldview, delusions of persecution and omnipotence and an "anal/sadistic" indifference to others’ pain, with removal from office the only "treatment option." The author’s exegesis of Bush’s personality traits-the drinking problem, the bellicose rhetoric, the verbal flailings and misstatements of fact, the religiosity and exercise routines, the hints of dyslexia and hyperactivity, the youthful cruelty to animals and schoolmates, the smirk-paints an intriguing, if exaggerated and contemptuous, portrait of a possibly troubled public figure. But Frank’s attempts to translate psychoanalysis into political analysis are unconvincing. Indeed, if Bush’s reneging on campaign promises is a form of clinical "sadism," and his budget deficits an "unconscious attack on his own parents," then Karl Rove, the Cabinet, and both houses of Congress belong in group therapy with him.
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Book Description Regan Books/HarperCollins, New York, NY, 2004. Hard Cover. Book Condition: NEW. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition, 2nd Printing. BRAND NEW COPY. Case study. A psychological portrait of George Walker Bush (1946 -), 43rd President of the United States from 2001 to 2009, and the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000. A study by psychoanalyst, Clinical Professor in the Dept of Psychiatry at George Washington Univ Medical Center and columnist, Dr. Justin Frank M.D., for whom, alas, George W. did not recline on the couch for. Nevertheless, a compelling portrait. "Obama on the Couch" followed. Bookseller Inventory # 015161

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