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From "one of the world’s most prominent psychiatrists" (The Atlantic), a profound and unsettling analysis of the national psyche, exposing the rise of Donald J. Trump as darkly symptomatic of a deeper societal distress.
Allen Frances, MD - one of the foremost experts on psychiatric diagnosis and past leader of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (“the bible of psychiatry”) - draws upon his vast experience to deliver 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. More than three years in the making, 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. "If we want to get sane," Frances observes, "we must first gain insight about ourselves."
Widely cited in recent months as the man who wrote the diagnostic criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Frances 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. While Frances concludes the president is sane - and all the more dangerous as a result - he believes Trump’s election poses graver questions about the nation’s collective health. "Blaming Trump for all our troubles," Frances writes, "misses the deeper, underlying societal sickness that made possible his unlikely ascent."
Twilight of American Sanity is an essential work for understanding our national crisis - and the way forward.