• The Mask of Sanity

  • An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So-Called Psychopathic Personality
  • By: Hervey Cleckley
  • Narrated by: Scott R. Pollak
  • Length: 21 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Although highly controversial, Hervey Cleckley's Mask of Sanity provides one of the most influential clinical descriptions of psychopathy in the 20th century. At the crux of his argument, Cleckley claims that many psychopathic personalities go undiagnosed because they maintain a social mask that conceals their mental disorder and enables them to blend in with society. Furthermore, many of these affected individuals appear to function normally in accordance with standard psychiatric criteria.

Intent on detecting and diagnosing the elusive psychopath, Cleckley has compiled an assortment of case studies and offers suggestions for palliative care. This ambitious work aims to define and examine every aspect of this abstract state of being. Ultimately, Cleckley refines the term "psychopath" and strips it of stigmatization.

This classic has transformed the psychiatric definition of sanity and continues to provide insight on American society and psychological introspection. This audio edition is expertly narrated by Scott Pollak.

Content Note: This audiobook is an exact reading of the original text as it was first published in 1941. The content and language have not been altered to reflect cultural shifts since the book's writing and as such may be jarring or upsetting. We encourage listeners to skip, fast forward, or listen with a critical ear as they deem appropriate for themselves.

Public Domain (P)2020 Echo Point Books & Media, LLC

What listeners say about The Mask of Sanity

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An Amazing Book that Holds Up Well Over the Years

Utterly fascinating. The writing is brilliant.

I listened in vain for the reason Audible had the Big Fat Warning about the chapter on homosexuals. The only thing I can tell that triggered such an absurd warning is the use of the word deviant.

Obviously, the people at Audible don’t know anything about science, so here’s a primer: astronauts, presidents, saints, hot dog-eating champions, Patrick Mahomes, and best-selling audio books are all deviants. That is, they deviate from the norm. That also includes homosexuals, bank robbers, non-smokers who die from lung cancer, people who live 112 years, and organic beef that tastes good.

Nice job, Audible, of sticking a warning label to a book. So original. And so stupid. You just make people more interested in reading something you don’t want them to.

3 people found this helpful

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  • RC
  • 07-01-21

Just. Wow.

It was quite difficult to hear these outdated views, and then you add a recording that doesn't have the decency to use a high pass filter making every P spike the volume so high that it makes listening almost impossible. Sadly this is an easy and inexpensive correction and not doing it makes me hope that the intent was keep anyone from actually listening to views of an author that would be considered so antiquated on the subject that it does more harm than good. If only the author knew that Autisim is not created by bad parenting, homosexuality is not a mental defect, and that frontal lobotomy is not a promising solution to psycopothy before he died what I can only imagine was a closeted life of moral superiority amongst us lessor savages.

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Amazing!

Thank you for releasing this on Audible! I waited for years... An Amazing examination of these human predators.

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You will definitely learn something new

I found this audiobook very interesting. It discusses the personality of the psychopath, not just the actions, as a lot of books on this topic tend to do. If you're looking to here despicable acts, you will not enjoy this. If you're looking to learn something new, you will enjoy this.