M.D. Allen Frances's Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump
Eighty years ago, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World predicted it would take 600 years to turn the American utopian dream into a nightmare of compulsive consumerism, bland uniformity, brain addling Drugs and subliminal thought control. In this provocative, timely book, internationally renowned psychiatrist Allen Frances argues that Huxley was wrong: it’s taken less than a century to reach this point of despair. The Twilight of American Sanity is Frances’ timely critique of Contemporary American Society and a thoughtful Meditation
on living the good life. Frances begins by examining the political, social and Personal problems we face—from the mass delusions that spurred Donald Trump’s rise to the spike in anxiety, depression and prescription Drugs to the generalized loss of existential meaning as we blindly pursue “happiness.” He explains how evolution has contributed to our malaise and reveals how the misguided desire for happiness can be at odds with living a life of depth and fulfillment—which often requires sacrifice and the experience of the full range of human emotions, including both joy and disappointment. Offering concrete Advice for overcoming our destructive primordial instincts, Frances reminds us that there is no “quick fix” for happiness and outlines what each of us can do to lead the worthwhile lives we want. Practical and wise, The Twilight of American Sanity is a much-needed guide that teaches us how to live well—and how to avoid the “happiness” Traps
that are actually detrimental to our emotional health. Contributor Bio Allen Frances, M.D., was the chairman of the DSM-IV Task Force and part of the leadership group for DSM-III and DSM-III-R. He is the author of Saving Normal and professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Psychiatry
and Behavioral Science at Duke University School of Medicine. He lives in San Diego, California.