Author, Political Psychologist, Psychoanalyst


taken in sj ducat

“…indeed, this may be regarded as a state-of-the-art application of psychoanalytic and social theory…”

- Joel Kovel, MD

Many journalists and scholars have marveled at the power of Reagan’s rhetoric, his charisma, and the durability of his Teflon exoskeleton in the face of multiple scandals. Taken In challenges those critics who have credited him with a Machiavellian intelligence and strategic cunning of such magnitude that he could successfully deceive and manipulate the public.

The majority of those who voted for Reagan were shown in polls to disagree with his positions on major policy issues. Moreover, they were the ones to suffer the most from his “trickle-down” economic initiatives. And yet, that was somehow irrelevant to their vote. Taken In analyzes what made Reagan such a perfect fit for the psycho-historical moment – how his own psychology as translated into his carefully crafted speeches and persona resonated with the psychological vulnerabilities of so many American voters.


Taken In attempts to solve a recurrent conundrum in political discourse: why do people accept propaganda that is manifestly irrational, contrary to their interests and even to their values? In this case, the problem is framed in terms of the appeal of Ronald Reagan to the American public.

…Ducat’s work is very soundly done…Indeed, this may be regarded as a state-of-the-art application of psychoanalytic and social theory…I was most impressed with his discussion of ideology and mass culture, which was masterful…In this catalogue of Taken In’s merits, should be mentioned the author’s style: vivid, terse, polemical, and aphoristic. In brief, the book was a real pleasure to read; I found myself frequently pausing to admire some turn of phrase.

…a significant, very insightful contribution to an important but neglected field. I should appeal to students of political science and psychology particularly, but might also have an appeal to a wider literate audience, especially because of the sharpness of the prose.”

-Joel Kovel, MD, author of Age of Desire and White Racism, a Psychohistory.