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The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson

Ronson visits purported psychopaths, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists who have studied them, and meets with Robert D. Hare, the eponymous author of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a 20‑part test administered to detect psychopathy. He explores the idea that many corporate and governmental leaders are psychopaths whose actions to others can only be explained by taking that fact into account, and he privately uses the Hare test to determine if he can discern any truth to it.
He meets Toto Constant, who he speculates is a psychopath, corporate leader Albert J. Dunlap, whom the magazine Fast Company speculated was a psychopath, as well as a young man imprisoned in Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital who claims to be a victim of the psychiatric industry's unfair diagnosis. He also researches unorthodox treatments.
The subject of how journalistic coverage of psychopathology is pursued – and whether that pursuit itself is sociopathic – is also covered.
Ultimately, he raises the question of where the line can be drawn between sanity, insanity, and eccentricity.

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  • Sarah

    Various people have asked for a list of books we've read. Here's the Goodreads shelf where I keep track of them:
    http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/4082522-sarah?shelf=book-club

    April 30, 2013

    • Sarah J.

      So many good ones.

      May 1, 2013

    • Alice

      Sarah L is our benevolent dictator. She takes suggestions for our picks, but is the ultimate decider. That seems to work a lot better than decisions by committee, which hinge on the majority having heard of a book.

      1 · May 1, 2013

  • frank

    I was wondering if anyone wanted to meetup at Professor Javas..They have a really nice library room to meet in.
    Frank

    April 29, 2013

    • Sarah

      Professor Java's charges to use their meeting room. They were really mean last time I went there (years ago though), and even though the place was empty they complained about the book club not reserving a space and then didn't want to make out separate checks for everyone.

      April 30, 2013

    • Karen

      Really? There's a go club that used to meet at Java's regularly; I saw them in the library room. The people not in the club were just eating at other tables in the library room. Java's is so weird sometimes. Yeah, they can get touchy about separate checks. It's very erratically run place. My one group routinely reserves the library room and shows up with 20 to 30 people (who mostly order real food, not just brownies), but one time they only had one guy in the kitchen. And they deliberately make their place baby and toddler-unfriendly, but there's an enormous armchair in the woman's room that screams breastfeeding.

      April 30, 2013

  • Alice

    I enjoyed the level of discussion this book sparked.

    April 29, 2013

  • Sarah J.

    Oh good. I'll remember that next time. :)

    April 29, 2013

  • Sarah J.

    I thought I could get the book read in a week, but alas, no. I'll have to catch the next one.

    April 27, 2013

    • Karen

      People who only read part of the book are always welcome too. :-)

      April 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I've been out of town this weekend and not going to make it back in time. Fascinating read though!! Looking forward to finding out the next read and date. Enjoy!

    April 28, 2013

  • Karen

    hubby's read it and dying to talk about it, so he's mad I haven't finished it yet. Will try to bring him along.

    April 19, 2013

  • Aaron T.

    Wow, totally forgot I hadn't already RSVPed. Just finished listening to the audiobook narrated by the author - anyone want spoilers? ;-)

    April 12, 2013

  • Sarah

    Hey fellow psychopath-spotters, there was an interesting interview/talk with the author of this book on NPR's TED Radio hour. Here's a link:
    http://www.npr.org/2013/03/22/171271561/are-we-all-a-little-psychopathic [18 min, 18 sec]. Ronson's TED talk is also linked on that page, but I like the radio interview better.

    April 7, 2013

  • Punit K J.

    I'm going to be out of town. :(

    March 24, 2013

    • Sarah

      Boo! We'll have to catch you next time...

      April 2, 2013

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