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Publisher's Summary

When the ashes had settled after World War II and the Allies convened an international war crimes trial in Nuremberg, a psychiatrist, Douglas Kelley, and a psychologist, Gustave Gilbert, tried to fathom the psychology of the Nazi leaders using extensive psychiatric interviews, IQ tests, and Rorschach inkblot tests. Never before or since has there been such a detailed study of governmental leaders who orchestrated mass killings.
Before the war crimes trial began, it was self-evident to most people that the Nazi leaders were demonic maniacs. But when the interviews and psychological tests were completed, the answer was no longer so clear. The findings were so disconcerting that portions of the data were hidden away for decades, and the research became a topic for vituperative disputes. Gilbert thought that the war criminals' malice stemmed from depraved psychopathology. Kelley viewed them as morally flawed, ordinary men who were creatures of their environment. Who was right?
Drawing on his decades of experience as a psychiatrist and the dramatic advances within psychiatry, psychology, and neuroscience since Nuremberg, Joel E. Dimsdale looks anew at the findings and examines in detail four of the war criminals: Robert Ley, Hermann Göring, Julius Streicher, and Rudolf Hess. Using increasingly precise diagnostic tools, he discovers a remarkably broad spectrum of pathology. Anatomy of Malice takes us on a complex and troubling quest to make sense of the most extreme evil.
©2016 Yale University (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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By Tamara on 03-02-17

History Lover

enjoyed this book thoroughly. Delving into the Nazi hierarchy's phycology has been something I've pondered for years. listened to this book in one setting, couldn't stop listening it was so absorbing!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Farren Joy on 07-28-16


The first half of book is old information. Last half much better making it worth the time.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Carl Chivers on 08-22-17


Very technical but insightful. only worth a listen if you are into the deeper psychology. but a great listen.

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By John Telfer on 08-12-16


i am a student of war crimes and this gave nothing new...just really a rehash of old material.
The author refers to meeting the Nuremberg executioner (the event that prompted the book) bur never mentions what was discussed at the meeting - that wud have made for an interesting read

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By edna John on 11-21-17

Excellent book. Heavy going, well written.

Anyone of has the potential to be in that position when in the right environment.
A well documented study.
Thank you.

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