Obama on the Couch Inside the Mind of the President

ISBN-10: 1451620640
ISBN-13: 9781451620641
Edition: N/A
Authors: Justin A. Frank
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Description: Even though he’s three years into his term as President, many Americans feel like they don’t know the “real” Barack Obama. From the idealistic campaigner who seemed to share our dreams, and who promised to fulfill our lofty expectations, to  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.99
Publisher: Free Press
Publication date: 5/1/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.528
Language: English

Even though he’s three years into his term as President, many Americans feel like they don’t know the “real” Barack Obama. From the idealistic campaigner who seemed to share our dreams, and who promised to fulfill our lofty expectations, to pragmatic politician who has repeatedly compromised on the promises of his campaign, it indeed seems as though there are two Obamas. What to make of this? How can the electorate get a better sense of its commander-in-chief, and how can the President more effectively lead a nation in a moment of turmoil and crisis? These questions are of great interest to most Americans, but the questions – and their potential answers – are especially intriguing for a psychiatrist eager to diagnose and help cure the ills that plague our country. Here, Justin Frank, M.D. ,a practicing psychoanalyst and the author of the New York Times bestseller Bush on the Couch - brings a new patient into his office, and the results of his sessions are not only fascinating, but they provide valuable insights that will help readers in their frustrating pursuit of the President’s character. Obama’s transformation over the course of his brief but incredibly well-examined political career has left some supporters disillusioned and has further frustrated opponents. To explore this change in behavior, and Obama’s seeming inability to manage the response to his actions, Dr. Frank delves into his past, in particular, the President’s turbulent childhood, to paint a portrait of a mixed-race child who experienced identity issues early in life, further complicated by his father’s abandonment. As he addresses everything from Obama’s approach to health care reform, his handling of the Gulf Oil spill, to his Middle East strategies, Dr. Frank argues that the President’s decisions are motivated by inner forces - in particular, he focuses on Obama’s overwhelming need to establish consensus, which can occasionally undermine his personal—and his party’s—objectives. By examining the President’s memoirs, his speeches, and his demeanor in public, Dr. Frank identifies the basis for some of his confusing or self-defeating behavior. Most significantly, he looks at the President’s upbringing and explores the ways in which it has shaped him—and what this means for our nation and its future. Obama is a complex and mysterious figure who inspires many questions and great interest from Republicans, Democrats, and from the rabid 24-hour news cycle; this book provides what everyone’s been looking for: an intriguing and provocative assessment of the President’s strengths, weaknesses, and even what could be called his destructive tendencies, ultimately drawing connections that will enable readers to interpret recent history in revealing new ways. As Obama’s first term comes to a close, speculation about the future will only grow more intense; Obama on the Couch will give average citizens and pundits alike a way to help all of us anticipate what the President will do next—and what the future of our country might hold. Dr. Justin Frank, a highly regarded national expert on psychoanalysis, is a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at George Washington University Medical Center.  He is a sought-after teacher and lecturer on psycho-political life in America. His numerous publications and media appearances range from articles in popular magazines to the New York Times-bestselling book, Bush on the Couch (HarperCollins 2004). Dr. Frank lives in Washington, DC with his wife and their two Portuguese Water Dogs, neither of which is related to Bo Obama.  

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.

Introduction
Born Split: Healing the Black/White Divide
Abandoned and Assuaged
Accommodator in Chief
Calming Words
The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Change Itself
The Achiever
The Company He Keeps
"Their" Obama: Obama in the Minds of his Critics
"Our" Obama, or My President, My Selves
Mission Accomplished
Epilogue: O'Bama on the Couch
Epilogue, Part Two
Glossary
Source Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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