Lane Willson's Reviews > A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness

A First-Rate Madness by S. Nassir Ghaemi
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's review
Feb 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: clinical-reading, history, non-fiction
Read from February 22 to March 24, 2012

A First-Rate Madness by Nassir Ghaemi has a very interesting premise that mental illness has impacted many of our greatest leaders, and done so in a very favorable manor. General Sherman, President Lincoln, FDR, Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and others are legendary leaders each of who was either diagnosed with a mental illness or had one discovered by historians after their death. The attributes of their disorder, and the struggle they endured are the very things that helped them tackle tremendous struggles occurring in the world while they were in a position of leadership. Some disorders such as manic depression (now called bi-polar) helped in a time of crisis. Depression on the other hand, shared by Martin Luther King, Gandhi, and Lincoln enhanced their ability for empathy. To be sure, there is an extra resistance in looking at the troubles of those we choose to lead, not to mention fear, but the idea that many of our greatest leaders suffered with mental health issues is incredibly interesting and will hopefully help chip away at the stigma of mental illness.

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02/22/2012 page 15
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