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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 9/30/18

His Majesty, Baby Donald! (REVIEW ESSAY)

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Duluth, Minnesota (OpEdNews) September 30, 2018: Over the years, I have devoted a certain amount of time and effort to reading the Iliad and teaching it. In the opening, the poet (known as Homer) invokes the Muse to help him sing, to musical accompaniment, about the wrath of King Achilles.

In all honesty, I find King Achilles more interesting to talk about than Trump -- whose wrath is often expressed in tweets (by contrast, King Achilles expresses his wrath at times in carefully articulated speeches). I do not know if the psychiatrist and Kleinian psychoanalyst Justin A. Frank, M.D., is familiar with the wrath of King Achilles. But Dr. Frank has studied the wrath of Trump to the best of his ability in his new book Trump on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (New York: Avery/ Penguin Random House, 2018).

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Even though Dr. Frank's book is prose, his muse, figuratively speaking, is Melanie Klein. So we can think of Dr. Frank as the singer of tales singing about the wrath of Trump. However, Sigmund Freud has been quoted as referring to "His majesty, the baby." So we can think of his majesty King Donald -- and the wrath of Baby Donald.

Dr. Frank's new book should be extremely valuable not only to our international enemies but also to our international allies as they profile President Donald J. Trump and try to figure out how to play him to their own advantage. In the spirit of giving credit where credit is due, Trump profiles foreign leaders in his own way and uses an abundance of flattery as he tries to play them to his advantage.

Dr. Frank has previously published similar books about two previous presidents of the United States:

(1) Bush on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President, 2nd ed. (New York: Harper, 2007; orig. ed., 2004);

(2) Obama on the Couch: Inside the Mind of the President (New York: Free Press/ Simon & Schuster, 2011).

I have previously published three OEN pieces about Dr. Frank's books:




An overview of Dr. Frank's book Trump on the Couch is in order here. It includes the following parts:

(1) an introduction (pages xiii-xxiii);

(2) a chapter on President Trump's mother (pages 3-26);

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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; 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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