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November 05 , 2009

Politics and Psychology

Contemporary Psychodynamic Perspectives


The world is a different place today.* Much of this has to do with the increasing volume and clarity of the people's collective voice. The power and pressing desire in man for autonomy, self-determination, and change are emerging as a demand. As a consequence, Communist governments are giving way to democratic re­ structuring, Europe is being recrafted, and the Cold War is slowly thawing. Simultaneously, back home, our government is becoming increasingly bogged down by media-created political images and psychodramas lacking in substance and value-the degree of exposure somehow determined more by commercial appeal (inherent sensationalism) than merit. The newborn child (Le., the budding democracies) is looking eagerly to Uncle Sam as a role model: throughout the world, people are quoting our political scriptures, our proclamations, our Bill of Rights, and yet as models we seem sorely lacking. Given this climate, this book intends to address a number of contemporary themes: the role of the media-symbolization, idealization, and projection – -on political choice; the roles of group fantasy; and the more rational force of II group governance" on political elections; the personalities of our presidents and leaders, their psychic vulnerabilities, their public versus private personas and how this division interacts with the complex unraveling of historical events (for example, Jimmy Carter's response to crises in Afghanistan and Iran, Michael Dukakis and the 1988 campaign, George Bush's emergence as president, John F. Kennedy and his private versus public personas, Anwar Sadat as myth and symbol).
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