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Publisher's Summary

In this engrossing journey into the lives of psychopaths and their infamously crafty behaviors, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals that there is a scale of “madness” along which we all sit. Incorporating the latest advances in brain scanning and neuroscience, Dutton demonstrates that the brilliant neurosurgeon who lacks empathy has more in common with a Ted Bundy who kills for pleasure than we may wish to admit, and that a mugger in a dimly lit parking lot may well, in fact, have the same nerveless poise as a titan of industry.
Dutton argues that there are indeed “functional psychopaths” among us different from their murderous counterparts - who use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society, and that shockingly, in some fields, the more “psychopathic” people are, the more likely they are to succeed. Dutton deconstructs this often misunderstood diagnosis through bold on-the-ground reporting and original scientific research as he mingles with the criminally insane in a high-security ward, shares a drink with one of the world’s most successful con artists, and undergoes transcranial magnetic stimulation to discover firsthand exactly how it feels to see through the eyes of a psychopath. As Dutton develops his theory that we all possess psychopathic tendencies, he puts forward the argument that society as a whole is more psychopathic than ever: after all, psychopaths tend to be fearless, confident, charming, ruthless, and focused - qualities that are tailor-made for success in the 21st century. Provocative at every turn, The Wisdom of Psychopaths is a riveting adventure that reveals that it’s our much-maligned dark side that often conceals the trump cards of success.
©2012 Kevin Dutton (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Jason W. Miller on 12-14-12

Interesting Study

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would and have because it is a very interesting topic and gave me a different perspective on psychopaths.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The individual stories of various psychopaths was intriguing.

Did Erik Bergmann do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

There really wasn't much cause to differentiate since it was a non fiction book. He fell flat while trying one accent though...he should just have read it straight.

Could you see The Wisdom of Psychopaths being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No. It is a non-fiction and scientific type book. It would not make a good movie.

Any additional comments?

You'll be talking about this book a lot to your friends and colleagues after you read it. It is very interesting.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Kevin on 04-03-13

Excellent Read!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely - as the title suggests, there are traits found within a serial killer's psyche that suggests we all have something to learn from the way their brains are wired.

What did you like best about this story?

The examples and cases provided by Sutton.

What about Erik Bergmann’s performance did you like?

It was clean and easy to follow.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction - just really enjoyed it.

Any additional comments?

Excellent read! This book was a quick and easy read for anyone interested in the fine line that separates psychopaths from heroes. Dutton does a great job outlining the traits that people attribute to psychopaths in an attempt to correlate those qualities with everyday, successful folks.

Dutton also does a good job keeping the topics concise and clear, rather than cluttering each topic with terms and theories that require a few psychology classes to understand. Aside from the format, the subject matter is really interesting to me and I appreciate the length and depth that was taken in this book.

I'll probably read this book a second and third time.

Pros: Great length and fascinating topics.
Cons: Could have used more insight to altruists; however I understand that altruism rests on the opposite side of the spectrum to psychopathy. The overlap that Dutton provided served as a great opportunity to go a little more into altruism to really appreciate the entire scope.
Bottom line: Highly recommended to anyone interested the dynamic between heroes and villains.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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