Have I mentioned my probably very obvious obsession with books? How about my obsession with the popular science genre? No? Well, tonight it begins. I just finished reading this awesome book, which I purchased for myself as an early holiday gift.
The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton published in 2012. Interested? Purchase on Amazon.
My thoughts? I absolutely LOVED reading this book. I read it in two sittings cover-to-cover and then spent hours thinking about it and wondering if I have psychopathic tendencies. I must confess that I have enjoyed serial killer books since I was 17, however, this book ranks in the top pop-psychologyesque psychopath books I have read. It beats out The Sociopath Next Door. This book includes pictures, tables, graphs, and charts every few pages, which really kept me interested and helped me understand some of the more complex topics. It has an excellent index and ample references. Dutton writes in such an easy-to-read way. Some psychology background will help, but is not necessary to understanding and enjoying this book. The good news is, if you enjoy it as much as me, Dutton just came out with a new book The Good Psychopath. While I haven't read this book, it appears to be in the self-help category: helping readers foster some psychopathic qualities. Sounds interesting! Dutton himself is a really interesting guy, I would recommend following him on twitter or listening to some of his podcasts. He also recently had an awesome interview on NPR.
I included the official summary and author biography below. But what did you guys think though? I know I am a little biased because of my love of learning all things serial killer. Did I over rate it? After reading it, did anyone else start thinking they were a psychopath? Talk to me and let me know what you think!!
Official Summary: In this engrossing journey into the lives of psychopaths and their infamously crafty behaviors, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals that there is a scale of “madness” along which we all sit.Incorporating the latest advances in brain scanning and neuroscience, Dutton demonstrates that the brilliant neurosurgeon who lacks empathy has more in common with a Ted Bundy who kills for pleasure than we may wish to admit, and that a mugger in a dimly lit parking lot may well, in fact, have the same nerveless poise as a titan of industry. As Dutton develops his theory that we all possess psychopathic tendencies, he puts forward the argument that society as a whole is more psychopathic than ever: after all, psychopaths tend to be fearless, confident, charming, ruthless, and ... more
Author Bio: Dr. Kevin Dutton is a research psychologist at the Calleva Research Centre for Evolution and Human Science, Magdalen College, University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. Dutton is the author of Split-Second Persuasion. His writing and research have been featured in Scientific American Mind, New Scientist, The Guardian, Psychology Today, and USA Today. He lives in Oxford, England.
**As a quick follow up (12/16/2014)** Dr. Dutton continues to be super awesome!