The author of Dangerous Charisma is an expert of political personality profiling. He ran a pilot CIA program to profile world leaders including Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat at the height of President Carter’s search for peace in the Middle East.
However, since Dangerous Charisma is about the most controversial President ever, Donald Trump, I can tell how you will rate it based on your party affiliation. Democrats will love it. Republicans will hate it. So if you are Republican move on and read Piety and Power about Mike Pence or Witch Hunt about Trump himself. There are books on each side of the aisle and actually the Pence book is very good.
Now, back to the Democrats. I don’t think calling Trump narcissistic or “mirror hungry” is particularly new. You hear it multiple times per day on MSNBC. That being said, it is new to wrap these issues in the official psychological jargon from the DSM, the manual to diagnose behavioral disease. Plus there are some great talking points for cocktail parties like that Citizen Kane is Donald’s favorite movie, which is about an unhappy wealthy narcissist much like Trump himself.
I enjoyed the look at the psychological underpinnings of Trump’s diehard supporters. It states that in times of stress, like being unemployed and seeing all their nearby factories close, leaves people looking for a voice in the wilderness stating follow me to the promised land where America is great again. Obviously, if you are a Trump supporter, you are not going to like hearing yourself characterized in this manner. You could be comfortably reading the Art of the Deal again and now you are so upset that you are planning on trolling me on social media. I’m just repeating what the author is saying. Please troll someone closer to the source material.
Speaking of the book, despite being a lifelong Democrat that held her nose while voting for Hillary in 2016, I don’t think Dangerous Charisma Is very good. It won’t change anyone’s mind and instead will just drive our fractured political system further apart. It also reads like an undergrad textbook. However, the cogent summary of the Trump presidency’s effects on the public’s mental health, strategies of the Democratic Party, and the United States’ ongoing foreign policy pulls my rating up to 3 stars.
Thanks to Pegasus Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.