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John Gartner, Ph.D.
is a psychologist living and working in Baltimore and New York. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Search of Bill Clinton
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WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON, the forty- second President of the United States, is the greatest American enigma of our age—a dark horse who Captured the White House, fell from grace, and was resurrected as a controversial elder statesman. John D. Gartner’s In Search of Bill Clinton unravels the mystery at the heart of Clinton’s complex nature and tells the story from the fresh viewpoint of a psychologist questioning the well-crafted Clinton life story.
Gartner, a therapist with expertise in treating individuals with hypomanic temperaments, saw in Clinton the energy, creativity, and charisma that leads a hypomanic individual to success. In Clinton he also saw the problems with impulse control and judgment that frequently result in disastrous decision making.
Gartner knew that if he wanted to find the real Bill Clinton, he couldn’t rely on armchair psychology. He had to travel to Arkansas and around the world to talk with those who knew Clinton and his family intimately. With his boots on the ground, Gartner uncovers long-held secrets about Clinton’s mother—the ambitious and seductive Virginia Kelley— her wild life in Hot Springs, and the ghostly specter of his biological father, Bill Blythe, and seeks to uncover the truth surrounding Clinton’s rumor-filled birth. He also considers the influence of Clinton’s alcoholic stepfather, Roger Clinton, to understand the repeated public abuse the president invited both by challenging a hostile Republican Congress and by engaging in a clandestine affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Of course, there is no marriage more dissected than that of the Clintons. Gartner looks at that relationship with a new focus and clearly sees, in Hillary’s molding of Bill into a more disciplined politician, the figure of Clinton’s stern grandmother, Edith Cassidy, the woman who set limits on him at an early age.
Gartner brings Clinton’s story up-to-date as he travels to Ireland and to Africa to understand Clinton’s current humanitarian persona and to find out why he is beloved in so much of the world while still scorned by many at home.
John Gartner’s In Search of Bill Clinton provides the richest portrait of Clinton yet, a surprising and compelling book about a man we all thought we knew.
JOHN D. GARTNER is a psychologist on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University Medical School. His book The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (a Little) Craziness and (a Lot of) Success in America was cited by The New York Times Magazine as contributing one of the notable new ideas of 2005. He lives in Baltimore and New York. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Jacket design by Steve Snider
Jacket photograph of Bill Clinton © Martin Schoeller/ Corbis Outline
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