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Books by and about 2020 presidential candidates
Crippled America,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
by Cory Booker (2016)
The Truths We Hold,
by Kamala Harris (2019)
Smart on Crime,
by Kamala Harris (2010)
Guide to Political Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2017)
Where We Go From Here,
by Bernie Sanders (2018)
Promise Me, Dad ,
by Joe Biden (2017)
Conscience of a Conservative,
by Jeff Flake (2017)
Two Paths,
by Gov. John Kasich (2017)
Every Other Monday,
by Rep. John Kasich (2010)
Courage is Contagious,
by John Kasich (1998)
Shortest Way Home,
by Pete Buttigieg (2019)
The Book of Joe ,
by Jeff Wilser (2019; biography of Joe Biden)
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Our Revolution,
by Bernie Sanders (2016)
This Fight Is Our Fight,
by Elizabeth Warren (2017)
Higher Loyalty,
by James Comey (2018)
The Making of Donald Trump,
by David Cay Johnston (2017)
Books by and about the 2016 presidential election
What Happened ,
by Hillary Clinton (2017)
Higher Loyalty ,
by James Comey (2018)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Becoming ,
by Michelle Obama (2018)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

The Dysfunctional President:
Understanding the Compulsions of Bill Clinton,
by Paul M. Fick, PhD

(Click for Amazon book review)

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is a... "different" biography of Bill Clinton. It's written by a noted psychologist, and it's a diagnosis of Clinton's personality. Dr. Fick diagnoses Clinton as suffering from "ACOA Syndrome," a personality disorder common to Adult Children of Alcoholics, based on his stepfather's alcoholism. The back-cover blurb summarizes the diagnosis: "Bill Clinton exhibits a strong tendency to lie, is indecisive, and often denies personal responsibility... indulges in behavior that is self-destructive and... seems unable to control his relentless sexual activity" because of ACOA Syndrome.

The author makes a convincing case that much of Clinton's behavior is attributable to the pattern of denial, and shameful secrecy, which comes from an alcoholic family. The author makes the analogy to Ronald Reagan, who also is an ACOA, but who does not suffer from ACOA Syndrome, because Reagan's mother avoided denial and secrecy in their home. Much of the book is dedicated to psychoanalysis, but OnTheIssues.org focuses more on the political aspects -- with many excerpts from numerous politicians, from a psychological perspective.

The author claims (p. 31), "It is hoped that this book will result in an increased understanding of alcoholism and ACOAs." We don't believe that's the author's real goal at all -- we believe the goal was to expose Clinton as too flawed for re-election. On the next page (p. 32), the author states, "I am not condemning children and adults who, through no fault of their own, grew up in homes in which one or both parents were alcoholics.... Similarly, this should not be construed as a condemnation of Clinton himself." But in fact, the author DOES condemn Clinton, many times, especially in pointing out that other ACOAs have no personality disorder.

On the very next page (p. 33), the author outlines a clear strategy for how this book might be used to foil Clinton's 1996 re-election: "Ross Perot failed to recognize why this information would predict a problem-ridden presidency.... If Bush had made the connection between Clinton's lies and his adult child of an alcoholic background, any spouse of an ACOA would have known exactly what he meant. That the media, the population, and the opposition parties were unable to focus on this issue demonstrates the high degree of national denial concerning ACOAs."

This book's publication date is June 2000. But it was mostly written in May 1996, under the title, "The Dysfunctional President: Inside the Mind of Bill Clinton." The author describes the earlier book as "the 1996 edition of The Dysfunctional President". The 2000 edition has a new introduction entitled "The Lewinsky Affair." We reviewed this book now because Hillary is being sworn in as Secretary of State this week, and voters still want to read about Bill & Hillary. So read on!

-- Jesse Gordon, jesse@OnTheIssues.org, Jan. 2009

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Foreign Policy
    Bill Clinton: 1994: Ousted Cedras and returned Aristide to power in Haiti.
    George Bush Sr.: Clinton promised to overturn "immoral" Haiti policy.
    Jimmy Carter: 1994: Dealt with Haiti's Cedras to assist Clinton's solution.
Principles & Values
    Bill Clinton: Tendency to lie results from being adult child of alcoholic.
    Bill Clinton: OpEd: Denied problem of father's alcoholism.
    Bill Clinton: OpEd: Appointing Hillary shows inappropriate boundaries.
    Bill Clinton: OpEd: Monica opened discussion of Clinton's compulsions.
    Hillary Clinton: Appointed to chair AR commissions despite obvious issues.
    Ronald Reagan: Child of alcoholic father, but mother was open about it.

The above quotations are from The Dysfunctional President:
Understanding the Compulsions of Bill Clinton,
by Paul M. Fick, PhD.

All material copyright 1999-2022
by Jesse Gordon and OnTheIssues.org
Reprinting by permission only.

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Page last edited: Dec 17, 2018