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Life Arts

Justin Frank, M.D., Puts President Obama on the Couch (BOOK REVIEW)

By       Message Thomas Farrell       (Page 3 of 5 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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(5) "Why is he so driven to compromise, settling for positions that leave so few people genuinely satisfied?"


(6) "Why is he drawn to charismatic, narcissistic men who ultimately let him down?"


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(7) "Why does he appear to resist confronting authority figures?"


(8) "What is the source of his famous, Zen-like calm, and how and at what cost does he maintain it?"

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(9) "Does his reluctance to challenge the relentless attacks by his opponents mean that he doesn't recognize the hatred behind those attacks?"


(10) "If the president doesn't see red states and blue states, what does he see?"


(11) "How was the raid on [Osama] bin Laden -- its planning, execution, and announcement -- consistent with his character, and how was it not?"

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Dr. Frank does not use these eleven questions to structure his book into eleven chapters, one chapter devoted to each question. In stead, the main body of his book unfolds with an introduction at the beginning and an epilogue at the end with ten roughly chronological chapters in between. But each roughly chronological chapter includes flash-backs and flash-forwards regarding Obama's life. A glossary of psychoanalytic terminology, source notes, acknowledgments, and an index round out the contents of the book.


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Thomas James Farrell is professor emeritus of writing studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). He started teaching at UMD in Fall 1987, and he retired from UMD at the end of May 2009. He was born in 1944. He holds three degrees from Saint Louis University (SLU): B.A. in English, 1966; M.A.(T) in English 1968; Ph.D.in higher education, 1974. On May 16, 1969, the editors of the SLU student newspaper named him Man of the Year, an honor customarily conferred on an administrator or a faculty member, not on a graduate student -- nor on a woman up to that time. He is the proud author of the book (more...)

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