Most people are both repelled and intrigued by the images of cold-blooded, conscienceless murderers that increasingly populate our movies, television programs, and newspaper headlines. With their flagrant criminal violation of society's rules, serial killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are among the most dramatic examples of the psychopath. Individuals with this personality disorder are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and know the difference between right and wrong, yet they are terrifyingly self-centered, remorseless, and unable to care about the feelings of others. Perhaps most frightening, they often seem completely normal to unsuspecting targets. Presenting a compelling portrait of these dangerous men and women based on 25 years of distinguished scientific research, Dr. Robert D. Hare vividly describes a world of con artists, hustlers, rapists, and other predators who charm, lie, and manipulate their way through life. Are psychopaths mad, or simply bad? How can they be recognized? And how can we protect ourselves? This book provides solid information and surprising insights for anyone seeking to understand this devastating condition.
©1999 Robert D. Hare, Ph.D. (P)2011 Tantor
"A fascinating, if terrifying, look at psychopaths.... Hare makes a strong case for the view that psychopaths are born, not made.... A chilling, eye-opening report - and a call to action." (Kirkus)
Love the book as a window. Shocked by the number of definitions for the word "turn". Widowed and sad, but thankful. Trying hard to be useful. Have 28 years as a step-father to a fantastic grand-daughter and a not so fantastic drug addicted, step-daughter. Oddly focused on the fun of preparing to die well, and help those left behind, while eating, hot springing, and reading for pleasure.
I highly value this book for personal reasons. I have been suffering from a psychopath for years and never understood what was happening. Now the blindness has been penetrated and relief found in the increased clarity.One of the most important discoveries in the book is that psychoses are disorders of the mind and are treatable, while psychopathy is a disorder of the personality and not yet treatable. A clear cause was not put forth, nor was a set definition. Rather, psychopathy is said to be a matter of degree, with its primary characteristic being apathy towards others.The author made the claim that most psychopaths are not convicted criminals. They are members of society that find niches to pursue their own ends at the expense of others. He says 2% of the population measures high on the psychopathic scale, while they cause 20% of society's problems. Even with known mass murderers, only 47% measured high on the scale.I think this book is a must read for anyone who deals with people, especially if you are trusting by nature.
This book is well researched and written. The author is a genuine authority on this phenomenon - and understands it well enough to explain it to his proverbial grandmother. On the other hand, is a very difficult read. It's simply difficult to hear about the mental machinations of people in our society who simply do not have the ability to empathize or accept responsibility for their actions.
It is also reassuring for anyone who has ever had contact with a psychopath. As difficult as it is, it is also reassuring to know that our experience has been understood by the professionals who have chosen to expose this disorder for what it is. Unfortunately, too many professionals fall into the veneer of charm trap - and miss the underlying chaos and disorder within this dreaded disorder.
The topic of Psychopathy has been well documented and written-up in a plethora of recent books. Robert Hare basically repeats much of this knowledge, but also adds some more recent research towards the end of the book. It's well written and read; easily understandable. I would appreciate more new research and new insights, but so far so good.
Yes, but to a limited audience.
Plenty of case studies.
Presentation was a little flat and I had a hard time imagining the reader really wanted to be doing this one.
Like most books based on the authors own research, it was a little over the top with self-grandizement. It was, non-the-less very interesting and gave reason to think about things from a different perspective.
It takes time to absorb the information.
This is important information about humans that doesn't often come to light.
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