From an award-winning senior writer at Time, an eye-opening exploration of narcissism, how to recognize it, and how to handle it.
The odds are good that you know a narcissist - probably a lot of them. The odds are also good that they are intelligent, confident, and articulate - the center of attention. They make you laugh and they make you think. The odds are also that this spell didn't last.
Narcissists are everywhere. There are millions of them in the United States alone: entertainers, politicians, business people, your neighbors. Recognizing and understanding them is crucial to your not being overtaken by them, says Jeffrey Kluger, in his provocative new book about this insidious disorder.
With insight and wit, Kluger frames the surprising new research on narcissism and explains the complex, exasperating personality disorder. He reveals how narcissism and narcissists affect our lives at work and at home, on the road, and in the halls of government; what to do when we encounter narcissism; and how to neutralize its effects before it's too late.
As a Time writer and science editor, Kluger knows how to take science's new ideas and transform them into smart, accessible insights. Highly readable and deeply engaging, this book helps us understand narcissism and narcissists more fully.
©2014 Jeffrey Kluger (P)2014 Penguin Audio
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"Like Listening to a College Thesis"
This book is dry. Focuses too much on public figures like celebrities and athletes and gives too few examples of how to deal with or deflect the narcissist everyone encounters. The author states in the beginning that only 2% of the population is likely a diagnosable narcissist then goes on to label every CEO, politician, celebrity, or attention grabbing athlete as a narcissist. I found myself continually thinking "well no shit" every time he would outline a person like Hitler or Steve Jobs then label them a narcissist. My intention was to learn how to deal with the narcissist everyone encounters, especially in the work environment, instead I learned all reality stars, convicted violent inmates, politicians and every successful business owner is a narcissist according to Mr. Kluger. The book is well written, but I could have rummaged through some old psychology thesis' and gotten as much information.
Only if someone asked me specifically for a recommendation about a book on narcissism. So yes, I recommended it to my aunt.
Yes, the book although the attempts at humor were unsuccessful, it was very well written and organized. The author was a bad choice as the narrator. Not the right type of voice. Grated on the nerves.
I don't think there is even a remote possibility this will ever be a movie.
It feels like the author wrote this book as sort of a revenge piece. You learn his background with Time magazine, he outlines his character and the bosses and other journalist that have slighted him in the past and then goes on to talk extremely negatively about very public figures, most he has never met, and label them divas and raging egomaniacs. While it is true in some cases--yes we all know that LeBron James and Miley Cyrus are narcissist. I wish he had written more about what makes a narcissist that way, be it nature or nurture, does narcissism correlate with sociopathic tendencies? When addressing a narcissist what tactics can you use to take the wind out of their sails but not throw them into a state of rage? It's not hard to pinpoint narcissistic behavior, I just want to learn how to deal with it. That was not part of this book.
Any practical advice around how to manage a relationship with a Narcissist that you are obliged to be in.
The author used the book as a platform to castigate celebrities, professional athletes, business leaders and other public figures. The tone of the comments was hateful. He saved his deepest disdain for Republican or conservative politicians, torturing explanations to find fault with these while excusing Democratic or liberal contemporaries. Without the benefit of direct knowledge, he offered pop-culture psychological diagnosis on these targets more befitting of the National Enquirer than a serious work on this affliction.
No issues, well read.
One particularly amusing section of the book was the authors tortured logic in excusing the "Baby-Boom" generation from the Narcissist label. I'd guess this originates from the fact that he is one.
"Read Martha Stout instead"
- Kluger took an integrated global and local approach to understanding narcism. For example, ingroup/outgroup thinking in war, sports teams, personal relationships.
- He did a great job at times of using critical thinking and writing skills when discussing twin studies, as well as some other studies.
- The chapter on relationships was fantastic.
- One main point from the relationship chapter was that ongoing self-centered and exploitive behavior is as damaging as many other types of recognized abuse. I have been lucky enough to have avoided this in my own life but have seen others obliterated by such behavior. It was nice to see him so clearly name it. I would like to see that more in books.
- His perspective on how narcissist fiercely love their ingroup (don't hurt my kid. they are the most important person in the world) while having zero empathy for outgroup (narcissists don't realize other people are actually humans with feelings or they don't care. If the person is not important to the narcissist, then that person is not important to the world) was great.
- Kluger ripped of the title of his book from Marth Stout's The Sociopath Next Door. Dude, get your own title.
- He indulged in too many unsupported opinions (ie., kids these days need to play outside more.) He needs a refresher on control factors in studies and how they affect results.
- Clearly entertainers can be narcissists but dressing provocatively doesn't seem as much a sign of narcissism as it reflects what image sells. That said, his take on many public figures was pretty entertaining.
Even with the cons, it is without question one of the better books about narcissists I have read.
If you have an interest in learning more about personality disorders I recommend this book especially if your interested in the dramatic disorders.
"Not the book that I thought it was"
The book is a collection of stories about the great narcissists throughout history. Not what I wanted but I think others would like it
Yes - - I would just have to make sure that I got a more research based book
He read the book well. My only issue with the writing is I believe he sensationalized the columbine school killings. He got into more detail with the killings than he did with other murdering narcissists - I did not like that
"Good. Could go deeper."
This book is very interesting and worth a listen. It grabs you from the start and I learnt a lot. I thought at first I had narcissistic tendencies but this book and an online test showed I was way off the mark. (I recommend the test too.)
Two chapters go off track a bit. One about U.S. presidents which annoyingly was written before Trump and would now be far more interesting today, even though the beginning of the book discusses Trump, but it was written a few years ago so I guess a coincidence? The other is about Crowd mentality which seems incorrect to be classified as narcissism.
The book lacks deep psychological explanations or even how to counter, treat or control narcissism.
None the less a good book and I enjoyed it.
"Great stories of insight into a widespread problem"
Interesting vignettes of a condition best described that way.
Mistakes Were Made (But not by Me). Consideration of the hubris born of narcissism that have frustrated great promise.
Living memorable examples of all persuasions. He is brutally frank and not PC about any politician (which are visible easily known examples) or situation of any persuasion. Thin skin listeners will not be able to accept when their ox is gored, and all oxes are gored.
Descriptions of Lyndon Johnson which recalled my Father's distaste of the man.
In the pervasive plague of obsession with persona, narcissists and the chumps who are blindly devoted to them, Kluger provides insight every reader should consider thoroughly.
"Interesting material and a great reading by the author"
Great performance and great writing. I suspect the author has overreached a bit in his generalizations. But there is truly interesting research in here
"Lost the thread..."
Started out great but by the end, became more about the psychology of US presidents than narcissists, unless the author meant to presume that all presidents are narcissists.
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