Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump

By Allen Frances, MD
Read by Christopher Grove

12.63 Hours 10/03/2017 unabridged
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A landmark book, from “one of the world’s most prominent psychiatrists” (The Atlantic, June 2017): Eminent psychiatrist Allen Frances analyzes the national psyche, viewing the rise of Donald J. Trump as darkly symptomatic of a deeper societal distress. Equally challenging and profound, Twlilight of American Sanity makes sense of our time and charts the way forward. It is comforting to see President Donald Trump as a crazy man, a one-off, an exception—not a reflection on us or our democracy. But in ways I never anticipated, his rise was absolutely predictable and a mirror on our soul. … What does it say about us, that we elected someone so manifestly unfit and unprepared to determine mankind’s future? Trump is a symptom of a world in distress, not its sole cause. Blaming him for all our troubles misses the deeper, underlying societal sickness that made possible his unlikely ascent. Calling Trump crazy allows us to avoid confronting the craziness in our society—if we want to get sane, we must first gain insight about ourselves. Simply put: Trump isn’t crazy, but our society is. –from TWILIGHT OF AMERICAN SANITY More than three years in the making: the world's leading expert on psychiatric diagnosis, past leader of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM (“the bible of psychology”), and author of the influential international bestseller on the medicalization of ordinary life, Saving Normal, draws upon his vast experience to deliver a powerful critique of modern American society’s collective slide away from sanity and offers an urgently needed prescription for reclaiming our bearings. Widely cited in recent months as the man who quite literally wrote the diagnostic criteria for narcissism, Allen Frances, M.D., has been at the center of the debate surrounding President Trump’s mental state—quoted in Evan Osnos’s May 2017 New Yorker article (“How Trump Could Get Fired”) and publishing a much-shared opinion letter in the New York Times (“An Eminent Psychiatrist Demurs on Trump’s Mental State”). Frances argues that Trump is "bad not mad"--that the real question to wrestle with is how we as a country could have chosen him as our leader. To answer this, Frances looks deeply at at the American past and present, in hope of Twilight of American Sanity is an essential work for understanding our national crisis.

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Summary

Summary

A landmark book, from “one of the world’s most prominent psychiatrists” (The Atlantic, June 2017): Eminent psychiatrist Allen Frances analyzes the national psyche, viewing the rise of Donald J. Trump as darkly symptomatic of a deeper societal distress. Equally challenging and profound, Twlilight of American Sanity makes sense of our time and charts the way forward.

It is comforting to see President Donald Trump as a crazy man, a one-off, an exception—not a reflection on us or our democracy. But in ways I never anticipated, his rise was absolutely predictable and a mirror on our soul. … What does it say about us, that we elected someone so manifestly unfit and unprepared to determine mankind’s future? Trump is a symptom of a world in distress, not its sole cause. Blaming him for all our troubles misses the deeper, underlying societal sickness that made possible his unlikely ascent. Calling Trump crazy allows us to avoid confronting the craziness in our society—if we want to get sane, we must first gain insight about ourselves. Simply put: Trump isn’t crazy, but our society is. from TWILIGHT OF AMERICAN SANITY

More than three years in the making: the world's leading expert on psychiatric diagnosis, past leader of the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM (“the bible of psychology”), and author of the influential international bestseller on the medicalization of ordinary life, Saving Normal, draws upon his vast experience to deliver a powerful critique of modern American society’s collective slide away from sanity and offers an urgently needed prescription for reclaiming our bearings. Widely cited in recent months as the man who quite literally wrote the diagnostic criteria for narcissism, Allen Frances, M.D., has been at the center of the debate surrounding President Trump’s mental state—quoted in Evan Osnos’s May 2017 New Yorker article (“How Trump Could Get Fired”) and publishing a much-shared opinion letter in the New York Times (“An Eminent Psychiatrist Demurs on Trump’s Mental State”). Frances argues that Trump is "bad not mad"--that the real question to wrestle with is how we as a country could have chosen him as our leader. To answer this, Frances looks deeply at at the American past and present, in hope of Twilight of American Sanity is an essential work for understanding our national crisis.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In this wide-ranging and enlightening book, Allen Frances, one of America’s most distinguished psychiatrists, shows how most of the current problems facing the United States—from denial of climate change to grotesque inequality—arise from mass delusions similar to the delusions of psychiatric patients. Twilight of American Sanity leaves no topic untouched. Readers might disagree with some of his conclusions, but they will always find them provocative and well argued.” Marcia Angell, MD, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor-in-chief, New England Journal of Medicine
“[A] cogent analysis…This welcome and insightful book joins a small shelf of essential titles…that help explain why and how the Trump presidency happened.” Kirkus Reviews
“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, author of Free Radio Vermont

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Allen Frances MD

Allen Frances, MD, was the chair of the DSM-IV Task Force and part of the leadership group for DSM-III and DSM-III-R. He is professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University School of Medicine.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Psychology
Runtime: 12.63
Audience: Adult
Language: English