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The Hypomanic Edge: The Link Between (A Little) Craziness and (A Lot of) Success in America

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  260 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Explores the American pervasiveness of hypomania, a genetically based, mild form of mania that endows certain people with high energy, creativity, and a propensity for risk-taking.
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Simon & Schuster
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Sheila Toro I'm just starting with the book, but according to what I've read so far, the author clarifies from the beginning that he refers to hypomania as a sepa…moreI'm just starting with the book, but according to what I've read so far, the author clarifies from the beginning that he refers to hypomania as a separate entity, not in the setting of Bipolar Disorder II (where people can be hypomanic but also have depressive episodes that impair their functioning). The people mentioned in the book don't meet the criteria for BPII. However, is definitely something worthy of been discussed with your doctor. Good luck!(less)
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Sandy
Apr 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
READ THIS BOOK!

The content of this book was no surprise to me. A first generation immigrant, my father was the founder and CEO of what became the tenth largest residential construction company in the USA. He could have jumped directly from Gartner's book. So could all his business buddies. Being born and raised in what became Silicon Valley, what Gartner says is somewhat old hat to me. It's true! Not only that, I've heard a number of psychiatrists say they known it for ages. So, what should we
...more
Michael Urias
Jun 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not what you expect

While this book briefly touches on hypomania....i was very disappointed that a majority of the book was biography of historical figures that may or may not have been hypomanic. I would not recommend this book
FAIZAN KHAN
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Hypomania In Many Ways Gives You An Unfair Advantage in Life,
If You're Able To Manifest It In Productive Ways of Course!
Don't Let People Tag You With Terms Like "Hyper-Active" / "OCD" So on...
Instead Thank God With What He Blessed You With.
...more
Sam Westby
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! In each chapter Gartner, a clinical psychologist, writes a biography for a different influential person of America's history. He writes about their life stories and ties in how their hypomanic tendencies led to their successes and failures. Even though this book was published in 2005, it still feels relevant for our world today. Five stars ...more
Charlie Mumford
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well written 👌👌👌👌
James M. Madsen, M.D.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
More readable, I think, than the more scholarly Exuberance (by Kay Redfield Jamison), John D. Gartner's The Hypomanic Edge is a very accessible explanation of the enthusiastic personality temperament correctly termed hyperthymia (and which Jamison is not incorrect in calling exuberance). Hypomania describes a relatively temporary elevation of mood rather than the long-term personality trait, and Gartner, a therapist, should have known better. Also, this work is not a rigorous scientific defense ...more
Chris
Jul 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Much to like here, particularly (for me) the author's perspective on Alexander Hamilton. Gartner's no writer and his chapters end on annoying, flowery notes. But the work is solid; sharper writing would have given it another star, but I still recommend it, given that caveat, to anyone. ...more
Henrik Haapala
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
4,5/5
Hypomania = Hypomania is a mild form of mania, often found in the relatives of manic depressives. Hypomanics are brimming with infectious energy, irrational confidence, and really big ideas. They think, talk, move, and make decisions quickly. Anyone who slows them down with questions ”just doesn’t get it”. Hypomanics are not crazy, but ”normal” is not the first word that comes to mind when describing them. Hypomanics live on the edge, between normal and abnormal. P.2

"Yet without their irrat
...more
Fabian
Mar 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shows that some „madness“ is essential for extraordinary results. Which makes logical sense, you can not expect different results than the masses if you act/ think the way they do. The introduction of the book pretty much sums the whole book up and saves you the time to read the whole thing.
Abhishek
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: valley-things
Interesting thesis. But could also be bullshit. I way say this, Gartner is a damn fine story teller.
Art King
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
America, the land of immigrants where we are almost all descendants of crazies (The Sensible People Stayed Home). A compelling story that explains a lot about who we are.
Ivo
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting read.
Madhur Ahuja
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ralopib
The description, traits and behaviours of hypomanics is useful. Rest is the useless biography of the people having this disorder.
Larkdesigns13 Assid
Great history

Like many authors I wonder if this individual hasn’t taken an idea and used confirmation bias for all his subjects, but the history and subject matter are fascinating!
Stephen Masri
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
mildly interesting. Mostly pop psychology
Steve Klein
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The rare book that combines two topics you know something about and wonderfully leverages them against one another to give you new insights. As someone on the bipolar spectrum (non-clinical) I can completed appreciate the types of people that manage to ride the “manic side” in a productive way to do incredible things. Attributing more recently identified mental health insights and applying them to historic characters based on their biographies, I found fascinating.
tyler wall
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an incredible book. World changers, history makers and razzle dazzlers alike shared a common trait of hypomania. When you need something done and you don't care how it gets done, send the crazy guy - maybe he will figure it out, maybe he wont but I'd be fun to watch. ...more
Troy Jensen
Jun 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It strikes me that there are two really interesting forms of writing in psychology; one that analyzes complex ideas in complex language, and one that breaks down complex ideas in simple language. Both have their place, yet neither is easy to pull off successfully. Gartner has captured the latter form of writing quite handily in The Hypomanic Edge. His central thesis, that a hypomanic character is actually a desirable way of being, is at once counterintuitive from prevailing cultural logic, and s ...more
Whitney
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Gartner's book is packed with information about fascinating leaders that have played a major role in America's history. I had no idea that so many hypomanic traits were consistently present in the development and advancement of our nation's industries.

They heavy amount of facts presented so succinctly and at such a quick pace lend to what feels like an almost hypomanic writing style. I had to put the book down many times and come back to it later, so as not to be too overwhelmed.

No matter ...
...more
Vasco
Excellent book. The book covers four distinct American personalities with what is defined as hypomania, a milder version of mania still characterised by excessive excitement, lack of sleep, confidence, charisma, and other attributes - and many times contrasted with episodes of depressions as well.

The book is very well researched, elaborated, and the lessons are clear in each chapter. It's a very interesting journey to the core of hypomania, its effects and consequences.
...more
Anthony
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
Fantastic book, I can't believe it took me so long to discover it. Reading this made me finally realize that there is a term for the way I am in my work pursuits and in my life. It seems so obvious that some of the greatest successes in the world have been hypomanic, but it wasn't laid out for everyone to see until Gartner put this book together. ...more
Nick Black
Oct 07, 2012 marked it as warily-considering
This looks like it could be a tremendous source of bullshit. Perhaps I'm being too cynical, though? I've heard about it from a number of people, but then again so did I hear of Malcolm Gladwell's latest tripe in each of its wretched installments. I think we'll hold off on this one for a minute. ...more
Kobe
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Extremely fascinating book. A page-turner IMO.

I thought it was really well-written and the author makes some fascinating arguments on the characteristic traits of men across a variety of fields across different time periods in America.
Robert
Feb 12, 2009 rated it did not like it
The myth of the artist (writer, poet, musician, etc.) as "crazy" has now been passed on to the the entrepreneur -- the new cool in an increasingly materialistic world. Give me a break! ...more
Ryan Pipkin
Feb 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
convincing argument. shared DNA of entrepreneurs
Jim O'shaughnessy
Fun book about America's DNA ...more
Alexis Pullen
I skimmed the parts of this I was interested in. It led me to some other things I want to read and research. Otherwise, it's not quite what I expected. ...more
Neseli
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although the book's content deserved 3 stars at most, it's fluent and easy to read style made me grant one more star to it. ...more
Jonathan
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very good. Very interesting.
Jen
Jan 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Fascinating read with information and perspective that would make history alot more interesting.
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111 likes · 35 comments
“Hypomania is the common thread that connects these world changers, a thread as invisible, as powerful, and stretching back as far in time as a strand of DNA.” 1 likes
“Ideas pour out of hypomanics, a mix of the ridiculous and the brilliant.” 1 likes
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