Margaret Sankey's Reviews > The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
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's review
Dec 12, 12

Read in December, 2012

Jon Ronson's ability to get crazy people to tell him stuff strikes gold again, this time on the trail of a totally self-absorbed Swedish eccentric who has been mailing puzzle books to annoyed neuro-psychiatrists. Along the way, he talks to Bob Hare, who invented the checklist for psychopathy and becomes enthralled with diagnosing it in, well, everyone, and makes a good point that DSM standards have been used to diagnose really a lot of people, and to profile some of them with disastrous results. But then Hare points him towards some *real* psychopaths--charming Tony in Broodmoor prison, Toto Constant--who went from Haitian Death Squad leader to mortgage fraud without skipping a beat, and Al Dunlap, predatory executive, who manages to spin the items on the checklist into "leadership qualities." Ronson also gets to hear about some really serious underestimations of psychopaths, like the several experiments in 1970s Canada in which group therapy with LSD was briefly considered a good idea.

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