The Dangerous Case Of Donald Trump

October 14, 2017:  “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump”  is now on the New York Times Non-Fiction Bestseller lists at #4 for Combined Print & E-book, and #8 for print!!!

Since the first stirrings of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, to the most recent outcry from media commentators, one question has quietly but urgently permeated the observations of concerned citizens: what is wrong with him?

Harper West was invited to write a chapter for a book titled The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President. (Thomas Dunne Books; October 3, 2017), edited by Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div.

The book explores what might be wrong with Trump and addresses specific issues surrounding diagnosing and assessing his emotional and behavioral issues: Could he be mad, bad, or both—and both is a toxic combination.

It also discusses in depth the ethical issues of whether mental health professionals have a “duty to warn” about dangerous emotional instability in a leader. Some feel constrained by the American Psychiatric Association’s “Goldwater Rule,” which inhibits mental health professionals from diagnosing public figures they have not personally examined. Others feel compelled to report his behaviors as dangerous, given the serious implications for the country and world.

The book includes more than two dozen eminent psychiatrists, psychologists, and authors, including:

  • Noam Chomsky, famed linguist and philosopher,
  • Robert Jay Lifton, Harvard psychiatrist and expert on sociopaths and brainwashing,
  • Gail Sheehy, author of Passages, named one of the ten most influential books of our times by the Library of Congress, and more recently many biographies of political leaders,
  • Philip Zimbardo, famed for the Stanford prison experiment you may have read about in Psych 101,
  • Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Trump: The Art of the Deal,
  • Dee Mosbacher, Oscar-nominated feminist filmmaker,
  • and Bandy Lee and John Gartner, leaders of the Duty to Warn group of mental health professionals, which organized this book project and a recent conference on the topic at Yale University.

Sample chapter titles include:

  • Pathological Narcissism and Politics: A Lethal Mix, by Craig Malkin
  • Tyranny as a Triumph of Narcissism, by Elizabeth Mika
  • Donald Trump is: A) Bad; B) Mad; C) All of the Above, by John Gartner
  • On Seeing What You See and Saying What You Know: A Psychiatrist’s Responsibility, by Henry Friedman
  • The Issue is Dangerousness, Not Mental Illness, by James Gilligan

West’s chapter is titled In Relationship with an Abusive President, and draws parallels between the behaviors of Trump and an abusive partner.

Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.Div., is Assistant Clinical Professor in Law and Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine. She earned her degrees at Yale, interned at Bellevue, was Chief Resident at Mass General, and was a Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School. She was also a Fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health. Lee has worked in several maximum-security prisons, cofounded Yale’s Violence and Health Study Group, and leads a violence prevention collaborators group for the World Health Organization. She’s written more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, edited eleven academic books, and is author of the textbook Violence. Previously nonpartisan and politically inactive, she recently held a conference at Yale School of Medicine on the ethical rules about discussing the dangerousness of a presidency due to mental instability.

THE DANGEROUS CASE OF DONALD TRUMP: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President

AUTHOR: Various, edited by Bandy X. Lee, M.D., MDiv

PUBLISHER: Thomas Dunne Books

PUBLICATION DATE: October 3, 2017



Bill Moyers


Lance Dodes Review in The Oregonian

Michael Tansey in Huffington Post


6/13                       Washington Post, op-ed, book mention, “Is Trump making America mentally ill?

8/23                       USA Today, book mention, “Stress, along with poor eating and sleeping habits, can challenge Trump

8/23                       USA Today, book mention, “Amid mounting bipartisan concerns, debate over Trump’s mental health takes off

9/15                       Kirkus, review

9/15                       POLITICO, book mention, “The Loneliest President

9/19                       Oregonian, review, “Is Donald Trump actually crazy? 27 mental-health experts offer up their conclusions

9/22                       Palm Beach Post, feature, “From lawsuit to book chapter, Boca lawyer pursues fight against Trump

9/22                       San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post review, “Is Trump mentally ill? Or is America? Psychiatrists weigh in.

9/24                       Washington Post, review, “Is Trump mentally ill? Or is America? Psychiatrists weigh in

9/24                       Baltimore Sun, mention in interview with contrib. John Gartner, “Baltimore psychologist heads effort to ‘warn’ about Trump’s mental health

10/6                       Newsweek, excerpt with teaser on cover (arranged by Subrights)

October               New England Psychologist, mention

10/7                     The New Yorker, review

10/12                   Esquire, review

10/13                 The News & Observer, Chapel Hill, NC, On Oct. 14 Duty to Warn Event

10/14.                 Newsweek

10/16                  The New Yorker

NATIONAL BROADCAST MEDIA (includes podcasts and online video)

9/28       CNN “New Day” (Tony Schwartz)

9/29       Al Jazeera English “The Rob Reynolds Show”

10/2       WNYC “The Brian Lehrer Show”

10/2       Al Jazeera English “Al Jazeera News”

10/3       MSNBC “Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (TENTATIVE)

10/3       Salon Talks (Facebook Live)

10/3       KGO Radio “The Brian Copeland Show” (SF)

10/4       SiriusXM “Stand UP! with Pete Dominick”

10/5       CNN “New Day” (Tony Schwartz)

10/5       MSNBC, Lawrence O’Donnell Interview with Tony Schwartz and Dr. Lee

10/6       Al Jazeera English “Up Front”

10/11     WYPR “Midday” interview with John Gartner (Baltimore NPR)

10/19 Comedy Central, The President Show

10/18 WGBH Boston 

TBD, video interview

TBD        KPFK “Ian Masters’ Background Briefing” (reaching out to Lance Dodes)

TBD        WKPT-AM, on air review and giveaway (ESPN affiliate, TN)

TBD        C-Span “BookTV” Philadelphia event under consideration


5/25       Salon interview, book mention, Psychiatrist Bandy Lee: “We have an obligation to speak about Donald Trump’s mental health issues. . . . Our survival as a species may be at stake”

7/12       Huffington Post, book mention, Is Donald Trump Mentally Ill? Part 2 – 5 Professors of Psychiatry Say Donald Trump is “unraveling” and Call on Congress “to remove him from office”

8/23       New Yorker “News Desk,” book mention “Will Trump Be the Death of the Goldwater Rule?

8/24       Huffington Post, op-ed, “What Mental Health Experts Can Say About The Presidency

9/13       Salon, contributor interview (book mention), Harvard psychiatrist Lance Dodes: Donald Trump is a “sociopath” and “a very sick individual”

9/15       Moyers & Company, Q&A (book mention), “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: Robert Jay Lifton and Bill Moyers on ‘A Duty to Warn’”

9/15       Commondreams, Bill Moyers Q&A, “’A Duty to Warn’ and the Dangerous Case of Donald Trump

9/15       Alternet, Bill Moyers Q&A, “Bill Moyers: Renowned Psychiatrist Warns That Trump Is a Danger to Us All

9/17       Real Clear Politics, mention, “Trump vs. Psychiatrists: Who’s Crazier?

9/19       Salon, Bill Moyers Q&A, “The dangerous case of Donald Trump: Robert Jay Lifton and Bill Moyers on ‘A Duty to Warn’”

9/20       Huffington Post, book mention, “Donald Trump: The Eye of the Hurricane

9/23       RawStory, Bill Moyers Q&A, “Renowned psychiatrist warns Americans: You have a duty to call out Trump as danger to others


9/25       Daily Kos, Wash Post review link, “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up


9/28       The Independent (UK), “Donald Trump is ‘the most dangerous man in the world’, claim leading psychiatrists and academics

9/29       Mediaite, AC360 write-up, “Tony Schwartz: By Now ‘John Kelly Knows… Trump is Deeply Disturbed’


9/29       Huffington Post, AC360 write-up, “Trump’s Not Crazy Like A Fox, ‘He’s Just Crazy’”  

10/2       STAT, review by Sharon Begley

10/1       Patheos Review

10/7  The Intercept Review

10/12  Vice, interview with Dr. Lee

10/13 Robert Jay Lifton interviewed on Democracy Now

10/15 Review by Betsy Robinson

10/18 Psychology Today by Hara Estroff Marano


10/6                       BOSTON, MA                     Harvard Faculty Club with Harvard Book Store

10/14                     PHILADELPHIA, PA           Swarthmore Friends Meeting House (B&N Broommall to sell)

10/14                     PHILADELPHIA, PA           Barnes & Noble @ Rittenhouse Square

10/16                     NEW YORK, NY                  Columbia University (Book Culture to sell)

10/13                     NEW YORK, NY                 New York University (bookseller TBD)