Peter Cawdron's Reviews > The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil

The Lucifer Effect by Philip G. Zimbardo
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's review
Dec 17, 2011

it was amazing
Read from December 17 to 23, 2011

This is a tough book to review. On one hand, I'd like to give it five stars. Everyone needs to understand the effects of Group-Think and situational/opportunistic evil. The way Zimbardo exposes both his own failings in this regard, the Stamford Prison Experiment and Abu Graib are chilling to read. But from a readability perspective, this is a three star book. It's difficult to hang in there until the investigation of the Iraqi prison fires up, and I almost didn't make it. This reads more like a university textbook, a cure for insomnia, than anything else.

It is well worth the read, though, as you really don't know quite how you'll act personally until you're in a situational/authoritative position. Power corrupts. A lack of power imprisons. Few have the strength of internal moral compass to navigate these treacherous waters without falling into one hole or the other. Both, ironically, are victims of human nature.
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