Snakes in Suits

  • by Robert D. Hare, Paul Barbiak
  • Narrated by Todd McLaren
  • 10 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Let's say you're about to hire somebody for a position in your company. Your corporation wants someone who's fearless, charismatic, and full of new ideas. Candidate X is charming, smart, and has all the right answers to your questions. Problem solved, right? Maybe not. Psychopaths may enter as rising stars and corporate saviors, but all too soon they're abusing the trust of colleagues, manipulating supervisors, and leaving the workplace in shambles. In Snakes in Suits, corporate psychologist Dr. Paul Babiak teams up with psychopathy expert Dr. Robert Hare to focus on the psychopath's role in modern corporations. They found that it's exactly the modern, open, more flexible corporate world that is the perfect breeding ground for these employees.
Snakes in Suits reveals psychopaths' secrets, introduces the ways in which they manipulate and deceive, and helps listeners see through their games. It is a compelling, frightening, and scientifically sound look at exactly how psychopaths work in the corporate environment, teaching you how they apply their "instinctive" manipulation techniques to business processes. It's a must listen for anyone in the business world, making you aware of the subtle warning signs of psychopathic behavior---before it's too late.


What the Critics Say

"Clear and complete, this is a handy overview for managers and HR, with enough "self-defense" techniques to help coworkers from getting bit." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What if there’s a Psychopath in the Next Cubicle?

In 2011, Simon Baron-Cohen published “The Science of Evil: On empathy and the origins of cruelty.” That book discusses psychopathy in detail, and the organic reasons someone may lack empathy. Autism is probably the most common reason, but psychopathy - which Baron-Cohen convincingly argues can arise from congenital or traumatic reasons - is the scariest. Autistics generally don’t blend in, and often lack the social skills to progress in a corporation. Psychopaths can fit in, and often do. Worse, psychopaths, unlike autistics, may enjoy hurting people.

Dr. Robert D. Hare and Dr. Paul Babiak’s 2006 “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work” provides tools to identify psychopaths in the workplace. The common mythology is that psychopaths are compulsive serial killers, but that is definitely not the case. Bernie Madoff, the mastermind of the biggest Ponzi scheme uncovered in US history (in 2008), meets Hare and Babiak’s definition of a psychopath. Madoff ruined so many lives, including his own son’s (Mark Madoff committed suicide in 2010), but he has never been accused of even throwing a punch - much less pulling a trigger.

Hare and Babiak provide guidance on how to deal with psychopaths. The best recommendation is to just get away from the psychopath - as you would from any dangerous snake. That’s not always possible - the economy is terrible, a move may not be possible, and the psychopath may be your child’s parent - or your own parent.

Babiak is actually listed as the first author of “Snakes in Suits”, but Hare is actually one of the pioneers who identified psychopathy as a mental disorder. Hare developed ‘The Psychopathy Checklist’, which is widely used to diagnose criminal offenders.

“Snakes in Suits” is an interesting, thoughtful book, and a reminder that while most of us are “neuro-typical” (in Temple Grandin’s [author of 2013’s “The Autistic Brain] parlance), there are people who think differently and may never be able to empathize.

The narration was good, and kept me engaged.
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- Cynthia "Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always.""

Bad acting ruins this one

What did you like best about Snakes in Suits? What did you like least?

A fascinating subject well-explored is all but ruined by the reader's attempts at voice characterizations. This seems to be ongoing problem with audible books -- don't know if the problem is with the readers or the directors. Office conversations are coming off as poor imitations of Simpson episodes, and action sequences suggest Power Ranger cartoons. Please, performers, face the music -- You are not real actors. You'd be lucky to score a role in your local community theater. Stop trying, and just read the text. You're good at that. Inflect the dialog slightly if you must, but please, please stop with the ridiculous impersonations. You're ruining the writing. Reading an interesting book written by a creative author doesn't make you creative. Either you are or you are not -- and you are not. Please, more respect for the text.

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- Frank "Bookman"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-26-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio