A compelling journey into the science and behavior of psychopaths, written by the leading scientist in the field of criminal psychopathy.
I bought this book as part of an ongoing research on psychopathy and other Cluster B personality disorders, and I have to say, I couldn’t have picked a better one. The book is in equal parts an account of how Robert Kiehl became a reference in criminal psychopath, as well as a perfectly written introduction (and much more) to the field. This reads as both a personal diary and an academic publication, and that’s why I can’t but recommend this book. It uses the best of both worlds, and the result is simply compelling.
In this book you will read all sorts of real stories, some about ‘popular’ psychopaths such as Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy, others about people you might already be encountering on a daily basis. Kiehl’s analysis goes well beyond a characterisation of the disorder, attempting to answer complicated questions such as do psychopaths have free will? and can a psychopathic child who has been in and out of juvenile detention be safely re-inserted in society?
Give this book a chance if you are interested in the field but don’t really know where to begin, or if you enjoy stories about scientists finding their inspiration and working hard to advance their discipline. The style of writing is really enjoyable, funny yet heartbreakingly honest. It will make you re-think everything you thought you knew about the disorder, from a purely scientific point of view (brain scans don’t lie) as well as from a moral one.
A must-have for psychology enthusiasts, or anyone interested in understanding to what extent our brain chemistry and structure can determine who we are.
- Learn about psychopathy from a historical and psychological point of view
- Real stories and popular characters
- Easy to read, hard to process