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Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump Paperback – September 11, 2018
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“This welcome and insightful book joins a small shelf of essential titles—Arlie Hochschild’s Strangers in Their Own Land is another—that help explain why and how the Trump presidency happened.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“An unusual and important book.” (Elle)
“Allen Frances is right: the deep questions are not about Trump but about the society in which he became even a plausible candidate, much less the president. May Twilight of American Sanity be an opportunity to think more clearly about who we are and what we really want!” (Bill McKibben, environmentalist and author of The End of Nature and Free Radio Vermont)
“One of the world’s most prominent psychiatrists.” (The Atlantic (July/August, 2017))
“For some mental-health practitioners, the ethical debate [over Trump’s mental state] is a distraction from a larger point. In Twilight of American Sanity, Allen Frances argues that the more urgent concern is unravelling the national psyche that brought our politics to this moment.” (Evan Osnos, The New Yorker)
“An eminent psychiatrist.” (New York Times)
“Lively, provocative. ... Frances indicts our broader societal insanity for electing Trump and embracing his views, and offers wide-ranging insights into human behavior and the consequences for society and governance.” (Norman Ornstein, contributing writer, The Atlantic; columnist, National Journal; and resident scholar, the American Enterprise Institute)
“The State of the Nation according to the nation’s leading psychiatrist: Allen Frances’s Twilight of American Sanity is informed, insightful, illuminating, interesting, occasionally infuriating, but almost always right.” (Sir Simon Wessely, president of the Royal Society of Medicine and Regius Professor of Psychiatry at King’s College, London)
“Hard-hitting. ... A must-read.” (New York Journal of Books)
From the Back Cover
“One of the world’s most prominent psychiatrists” (The Atlantic), Allen Frances, MD—past leader of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—delivers 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. 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. “Blaming Trump for all our troubles,” Frances writes, “misses the deeper, underlying societal sickness that made possible his unlikely ascent.”
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For me this concern disappeared quickly, even after a quick skimming. The book is much more than “a psychiatrist’s take on the age of Trump.” As a renaissance-man, liberal arts guy, and wordsmith with a folksy sense of humor, Dr. Frances has produced an incredible piece of work. Along the way you can reflect on quotes from Charles Darwin, Mark Twain, the Pope, Fox news, and Theodor Adorno—just to name a few. And unless you are REALLY old, you’ll come away with heightened curiosity and a higher “tolerance for ambiguity”—- which is a good thing, according to Adorno and others.
I first discovered this book at our local library and I’d recommend the hardcover version for those with good near vision and plan to pass it on to others, Senior citizens like myself might find the Kindle version better.
Top international reviews
Thank You, Dr. Frances
for clearing my point of view!