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Bush on the Couch Rev Ed: Inside the Mind of the President Paperback – October 23, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Paperbacks; Revised edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006143065X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061430657
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,858,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.


More About the Author

Justin Frank M.D. is a highly regarded psychoanalyst and teacher. A clinician with more than thirty year's experience, Dr. Frank used the principles of applied psychoanalysis to assemble a comprehensive psychological profile of President George W. Bush in his 2004 New York Times bestselling book Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (HarperCollins). His newest book, Obama on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President is being published by Free Press/Simon & Schuster on October 18, 2011.

Dr. Frank currently writes a biweekly column for Time.com. He also contributes to HuffingtonPost.com, DailyBeast.com and Salon.com, and is a frequent writer and speaker on topics as diverse as politics, film, and theater. He is Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center, and the co-director of the Metropolitan Center for Object Relations in New York.

Dr. Frank did his psychiatric residency at Harvard Medical School and was chief resident at the Cambridge Hospital. He was also awarded the DuPont-Warren Fellowship by Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Frank lives in Washington DC.

Customer Reviews

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Overall, the book is a page turner.
Eva
I read Dr. Frank's book OBAMA ON THE COUCH (2011) before I read Dr. Frank's earlier book BUSH ON THE COUCH (2004; rev. ed.
Thomas J. Farrell
Those words hang briefly in the air like chaff, but your lies will rise as your epitaph.
John Wareham

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Gina Pera VINE VOICE on October 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
The reader who keeps an open mind about Adult ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) will find this book an eye-opener and its author incredibly astute and prescient.

Dr. Frank extensively and authoritatively documents his suggestion that Bush has Adult AD/HD. In fact, he does an astounding job linking untreated ADHD symptoms with Bush's lifelong patterns. In so doing, he demonstrates that, when ADHD is not recognized (in the child or the parent), fatal personality flaws might develop from what initially were minor or at least treatable symptoms.

For that reason alone, this book should be at the top of the bestseller list. Bob Woodward's book excellently records the facts of all that's transpired during this administration, but what's missing in his and all the other accounts is the WHY. The pundits always seem so flummoxed as to why Bush has done the things he's done - as if his actions have been deliberate and calculated, not unwitting but troubling neurobehaviors.

I read the first edition when it came out, so my memory is a bit foggy about that version. But I seem to recall that edition as being a more heavily swayed by the psychoanalytic side, which disappointed me. Moreover, psychoanalytic theory too often misses the genetic inheritance; that is, that the child has most likely inherited his or her brain "wiring" from one or both parents. For example, if the mother is narcissistic, did her behavior make the child narcissistic or did the child inherit the neurogenetic tendency to be narcissistic? After all, low empathy is a function of the brain; and narcissism is associated with low empathy. Could anyone witness Bush during Katrina (and many other examples) and not shudder at his obvious lack of empathy?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John Wareham on November 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Frank's insights into our tragically flawed, incurious and destructive 43rd president are first rate. This new edition, an easier read than the first, is both penetrating and profound on every page, and the elegant epilogue alone fully justifies the price of the book. It is intriguing to compare this work to GWB's own just released memoir, Decision Points. It seems to me (admittedly as the author of The President's Therapist: And the Secret Intervention to Treat the Alcoholism of George W. Bush) that in denying the facts of his abusive upbringing, "forgetting" that flamboyant huckster Arthur Blessit brought him to Jesus (naming instead rather more acceptable Dr. Billy Graham), and so strenuously asserting, on page one, no less, that not a drop of liquor passed his lips while he was president, Mr. Bush merely confirms Dr. Frank's central thesis that the management of anxiety is the key to understanding the late president's essentially infantile personality. Dr. Frank does an excellent job of dissecting W's use of frat-boy sarcasm as a persistent coping device, permitting him to evade the need to provide serious answers to serious questions. Some readers might argue that Bush On The Couch is insufficiently objective, too much the polemic. Unfortunately, as history will surely judge, the GWB presidency was an American tragedy of such proportions that to attempt to be "fair and balanced" is to fall into a Catch-22 conundrum. Sure, parts of George W.Read more ›
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Fussy About Clock Radios on November 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sometimes I think psychiatrists get carried away. This one seemed to stretch a bit in trying to explain Bush's personality. If he was not stretching..... Houston, we have a problem.
I am not a fan of Bush and his crowd. This book reinforced my feeling that he never should have been President.
Good read. If only 1/2 is true, Jan. 2009 can't come soon enough. Thing is, I don't think he will go willingly.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Herbert L Calhoun on May 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Whether you love or hate President Bush, or believe or disbelieve the analysis here, this is a serious book about the application of the latest psychoanalytic techniques.

That said, I found many of the author's examples of the President's behavior, just a bit too facile. Most of them could be explained equally as a result of his intense alcoholism or perhaps as a result of a brief but intense cocaine habit, neither of which were dwelled on at any length by the author. Thus the highlight of the book is not so much belief in the author's "psychoanalysis-at-a-distance," as it is in his comprehensive outline of, and use of Melanie Kline's paradigm for psychoanalysis.

As one who did read Dr. Henry Murray's psychoanalysis of Hitler, as well as Valmik Volkan's analyses of Richard Nixon (A Psychobiography of Nixon) and Anthony Storr's excellent Freudian analysis of Sir Winston Churchill, Franz Kafka and Sir Isaac Newton, I can say without a doubt that the tools of a serious psychoanalyst are prominently on display here. The book is worth five stars alone for demonstrating how Kline's psychoanalytic framework is to be put to good professional use.
If he had called his work "psychobiography," instead of "psychoanalysis," I would have felt better about the analysis, and perhaps would have given him a pass.

Giving the author his just due, the outlines for a sound psychoanalysis are certainly in place here, especially in regards to the inconsistent, if not poor parenting received by George Jr., from Barbara and George senior. But as he so carefully notes, that was a function of the pre-Freudian times that they became parents. And while Kline's analysis places a preponderance of weight on developments during the formative years, they are far from the full story.
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