Disordered Minds: How Dangerous Personalities Are Destroying Democracy

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Zero Books
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5.4 X 0.5 X 8.4 inches | 0.56 pounds

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About the Author

Ian Hughes, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork. His writing on personality disorders has appeared on Psychology Today and Open Democracy. His successful blog disorderedworld.com focuses on dangerous personality disorders and their consequences. Ian lives in Dublin, Ireland.


Ian Hughes adds new scientific insight to one of the deepest conundrums of politics: that positions of power appeal to the narcissistic, paranoid psychopaths among us, with catastrophic results for humanity. His argument that human institutions, particularly liberal democracy, are needed to constrain the worst of human nature, is profound and (needless to say) timely. Disordered Minds is sometimes disturbing, but it is consistently fascinating, and ultimately constructive and hopeful.--Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now
Ian Hughes' book Disordered Minds is essential reading in the era of Donald Trump. Hughes explains with insight and eloquence how leaders with disordered minds - psychopathy, narcissism, and paranoia - can take control in unstable societies and create mass movements that empower other disordered minds as well. The results can be disastrous: murder, mayhem, starvation, and war. Hughes emphasizes not only the threats of today's mega-greed and massive inequality but solutions as well, including democratic institutions, a social democratic ethos, and the global movement towards sustainable development.--Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor, Columbia University
However they are formed, our world produces them - the psychopaths and those with narcissistic or paranoid personality disorders. You have met them, worked with them, maybe even lived with them or been victimized by them and you know just how bafflingly plausible they can be and how disastrously evil. Disordered Minds introduces us to the vast wastelands they are capable of creating when you and I, our neighbors, friends, families and colleagues fail to see just how dangerous they are, when we fail to underpin our democracies with the infrastructures capable of withstanding the onslaught of the deceptively charismatic lunatic leader. Read this exceptionally fine and accessible work of scholarship and make it your business to keep their disordered minds from disordering our universe.--Mary McAleese, Former President of Ireland
An excellent account of how malignant narcissism is evident in the lives of the great dictators, and how the conditions in which this psychopathy flourishes have returned to haunt us. Disordered Minds serves as a clear warning that tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin and Mao should not be seen simply as historical figures, but rather as dangerous contemporaries, as modern people, closer to us than we might like to think, who can tell us something vital about our dangerous present and our uncertain future.--Dr. Kieran Keohane, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University College Cork and editor of The Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization