In this madcap journey, a bestselling journalist investigates psychopaths and the industry of doctors, scientists, and everyone else who studies them.
The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson's exploration of a potential hoax being played on the world's top neurologists takes him, unexpectedly, into the heart of the madness industry. An influential psychologist who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths teaches Ronson how to spot these high-flying individuals by looking out for little telltale verbal and nonverbal clues. And so Ronson, armed with his new psychopath-spotting abilities, enters the corridors of power. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud in Coxsackie, New York; a legendary CEO whose psychopathy has been speculated about in the press; and a patient in an asylum for the criminally insane who insists he's sane and certainly not a psychopath.
Ronson not only solves the mystery of the hoax but also discovers, disturbingly, that sometimes the personalities at the helm of the madness industry are, with their drives and obsessions, as mad in their own way as those they study. And that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their maddest edges.
In the Darwinian world of business and politics, what if psychopaths--who lack empathy or conscience--had an advantage? What if categorizing psychopathologies was itself a rather inexact science? And why are some forms of madness more socially acceptable than others? Those are just three of many insightful musings presented by journalist Jon Ronson (THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS) in his book examining the "madness business." In his research, he obtains fascinating interviews with, among others, Haitian death squad leader Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, British journalist and former spy David Shayler, and Robert Hare, the author of the original psychiatric inventory of the book's title.
- Social Science, Biography + Autobiography
- Popular Culture, General
- May 12, 2011
- May 12, 2011
- Jon Ronson