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Bush on the Couch Rev Ed: Inside the Mind of the President Paperback – October 23, 2007
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"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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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.
More About the Author
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Once I read a quotation by the late French President Charles de Gaulle- "nations would be terrified if they knew by what small men they are in reality ruled! Read morePublished 17 months ago by T. Washington
Isn't it obvious there is something very wrong with this guy! Agree with most everything the book contends! Don't know how he ever got elected or stole the Seat! Read morePublished on February 8, 2014 by JAMES ROVNAK
Frank did a pretty good job of exposing the stupidity, incompetence, sadism, and lack of empathy or compassion in the worst US president in its history.Published on May 1, 2013 by Larry Hoffman
A frequently absent father and a cold, stern mother produced an emotionally impaired child with learning disabilities, George W. Bush. Read morePublished on February 25, 2012 by Cecile Farber
Justin A. Frank, M.D., is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst. As a psychoanalyst, he follows Melanie Klein's approach to psychoanalysis, using her model of our psychological... Read morePublished on January 13, 2012 by Thomas J. Farrell
Bush on the Couch: a first-rate psychoanalytical hatchet job. It took me less than 60 seconds to find a list of Dr. Read morePublished on October 31, 2011 by Zach B.
This book is way too long, it could have been written as an article. And it really doesn't validate it's claims, with documentation within the text. Read morePublished on July 7, 2010 by Gr8gazoo
This book explains so many things and is written so the reader can understand it without a M.D. in psychoanalysis. Read morePublished on December 12, 2009 by H. Amado
I'm sure it's done a great deal of good for others, but I've always found psychoanalysis to be the ultimate in senseless navel-gazing (maybe that's my own psychosis talking!). Read morePublished on July 23, 2009 by Tom Dupree