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.
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
The first half of book is old information. Last half much better making it worth the time.
"A Fascinating Study"
This was a fascinating journey into the minds of some the most despicable people the world has known. A look into their brains however, raises more questions than answers.
The only problem I had with this book is the absence of the question of sin. Psychopathology will never be able to explain it away. At some point all of these people acted against their consciences and continued to act that way for their own benefit.
I the latter chapters, the author delves into a modern diagnosis of each of these men given the psychological data collected at the trials. There is nothing to explain why the millions of people who have the same diagnoses have not committed the same offenses
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