By Justin A., M.D. Frank
With the Bush management in everlasting main issue, a popular Washington psychoanalyst updates his portrait of George W.'s public persona—and the way it has broken the presidency.
Insightful and available, brave and arguable, Bush at the Couch sheds startling new gentle on George W. Bush's psyche and its influence at the approach he governs, tackling head-on the query few appear keen to invite: Is our president psychologically healthy to run the rustic? With a watch for the subtleties of human habit sharpened by means of thirty years of medical perform, Dr. Justin A. Frank strains the improvement of Bush's personality from adolescence via his presidency, choosing and reading his styles of proposal, motion, and communique. the result's a troubling portrait packed with vital revelations approximately our nation's leader—including anxious new insights into:
- How Bush reacted to the 2006 Democratic sweep in Congress with a brand new surge of troops into Iraq
- His telling conduct and coping strategies—from his chronic mangling of English to his tendency to "go clean" in the course of crisis
- The tearful public breakdown of his father, George H. W. Bush, and what it says concerning the former president's courting to his famous sons
- The debacle of Katrina—the second while Bush's vanity ultimately failed him
With a brand new creation and afterword, Bush at the Couch bargains the main thorough and candid portrait so far of arguably the main psychologically broken president for the reason that Nixon.
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Extra resources for Bush on the Couch, Rev Ed: Inside the Mind of the President
Such rigidity of thought is not motivated by simple stubbornness; the untreated alcoholic, consumed with the task of managing the anxieties that might make him reach for a drink, simply can’t tolerate any threat to his status quo. Self-protection takes precedence over self-examination; it’s safer to hold on to an idea that has served him in the past than to try a new one that might not work. The need to protect the status quo also fuels swift and vigorous responses to any threats that may challenge it—often resulting in responses that are out of proportion to the magnitude of the actual threat.
M rarely treat alcoholics during the acute stage of their illness; like most psychoanalysts, I refer them to a hospital for detoxification and to Alcoholics Anonymous. Though not a medical program, AA is widely accepted throughout the medical profession as the most effective I 40 BUSH ON THE COUCH treatment for alcoholism. Its success rate is low—sometimes placed at 10 percent, sometimes even lower—but it still represents the best hope for recovery. Alcoholism is a potentially fatal, lifelong disease that is notoriously difficult to arrest permanently.
At this early stage, George W. Bush likely would have understood his father only as an inconstant presence, whose absences undermined the promises of love and affection the boy quite naturally craved. As we will see, this primitive dynamic registered in infancy would continue to resonate, in an expanding way, throughout his adult life. TWO AFFABILITY AND DISABILITY The more unstable life is the less one likes the small details to alter. —Graham Greene, The Comedians T HERE’S A LOT to like about George W.