SOCIAL SCIENCES

Obama on the Couch

Inside the Mind of the President
. 9781451620634. Political Science
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Elected officials sometimes do not live up to their followers' expectations. Campaign promises and statements that move the candidate into office seem to fall by the wayside or are given less importance once the individual takes office. Frank (psychiatry & behavioral science, George Washington Univ.; Bush on the Couch) presents a deep analysis of President Obama, using Kleinian psychoanalysis to understand why the President behaves as he does, behavior that often seems at odds with his style and message during his campaign. Frank bases his study largely on Obama's writings, speeches, and public appearances, arguing that many of the President's actions (or failures at fighting back, as the case may be) are caused by unconscious factors in his psychological makeup that developed during his childhood and early adulthood. These factors, which have previously served Obama well, are now blind spots that present problems for him as President.
VERDICT Whether the reader agrees or disagrees with Frank, this psychoanalysis of a political leader should interest many during 2012. The author also provides a short analysis of Obama's supporters and detractors, an important point in understanding the President's behavior.

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