Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump

Allen Frances

Published by HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio, 2017
ISBN 10: 153845663X / ISBN 13: 9781538456637
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Synopsis: Eighty years ago, Aldous Huxley's Brave New World predicted it would take 600 years to turn the American utopian dream into a nightmare of compulsive consumerism, bland uniformity, brain addling drugs, and subliminal thought control. In this provocative, timely book, internationally renowned psychiatrist Allen Frances argues that Huxley was wrong -- it's taken less than a century to reach this point of despair. Twilight of American Sanity is Frances' timely critique of contemporary American society and a thoughtful meditation on living the good life. Frances begins by examining the political, social, and personal problems we face -- from the mass delusions that spurred Donald Trump's rise to the spike in anxiety, depression, and prescription drugs to the generalized loss of existential meaning as we blindly pursue ''happiness.'' He explains how evolution has contributed to our malaise, and reveals how the misguided desire for happiness can be at odds with living a life of depth and fulfillment -- which often requires sacrifice and the experience of the full range of human emotions, including both joy and disappointment. Offering concrete advice for overcoming our destructive primordial instincts, Frances reminds us that there is no ''quick fix'' for happiness, and outlines what each of us can do to lead the worthwhile lives we want. Practical and wise, Twilight of American Sanity is a much-needed guide that teaches us how to live well -- and how to avoid the ''happiness'' traps that are actually detrimental to our emotional health.

From the Back Cover:

From “one of the world’s most prominent psychiatrists” (The Atlantic), a profound and unsettling analysis of the national psyche, exposing the rise of Donald J. Trump as darkly symptomatic of a deeper societal distress. 

Allen Frances, MD—one of the foremost experts on psychiatric diagnosis and past leader of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (“the bible of psychiatry”)—draws upon his vast experience to deliver an unprecedented critique of modern American society’s slide away from sanity and offers an urgently needed prescription for restoring our collective health and protecting our fragile democracy. More than three years in the making, Twilight of American Sanity authoritatively situates the rise of Donald Trump within the context of a nation increasingly gripped by delusion and blind to challenges posed by inequality, technological displacement, global warming, resource degradation, and overpopulation—threats that could doom future generations. “If we want to get sane,” Frances observes, “we must first gain insight about ourselves.” 

Widely cited in recent months as the man who wrote the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Frances has been at the center of the debate surrounding President Trump’s mental state—quoted in Evan Osnos’s May 2017 New Yorker article (“How Trump Could Get Fired”) and publishing a much-shared opinion letter in the New York Times. While Frances concludes the president is sane—and all the more dangerous as a result—he believes Trump’s election poses graver questions about the nation’s collective health. “Blaming Trump for all our troubles,” Frances writes, “misses the deeper, underlying societal sickness that made possible his unlikely ascent.” 

Twilight of American Sanity is an essential work for understanding our national crisis—and the way forward.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist ...
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2017
Binding: Audio CD
Book Condition: New
Edition: Unabridged AUDIO.

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