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The Anatomy of Evil

Narrated by: Charles Constant
Length: 16 hrs and 3 mins
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)
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Summary

In this groundbreaking book, renowned psychiatrist Michael H. Stone explores the concept and reality of evil from a new perspective. In an in-depth discussion of the personality traits and behaviors that constitute evil across a wide spectrum, Dr. Stone takes a clarifying scientific approach to a topic that for centuries has been inadequately explained by religious doctrines.

Stone has created a 22-level hierarchy of evil behavior, which loosely reflects the structure of Dante's Inferno. Basing his analysis on the detailed biographies of more than 600 violent criminals, he traces two salient personality traits that run the gamut from those who commit crimes of passion to perpetrators of sadistic torture and murder. One trait is narcissism, as exhibited in people who are so self-centered that they have little or no ability to care about their victims. The other is aggression, the use of power over another person to inflict humiliation, suffering, and death.

What do psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience tell us about the minds of those whose actions could be described as evil? And what will that mean for the rest of us? Stone discusses how an increased understanding of the causes of evil will affect the justice system. He predicts a day when certain persons can safely be declared salvageable and restored to society and when early signs of violence in children may be corrected before potentially dangerous patterns become entrenched.

©2009 Michael H. Stone; Epilogue copyright 2017 by Michael H. Stone (P)2018 Tantor

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No doubt this will be referenced as a seminal work

This was an absolutely fascinating and very accessible exploration of what constitutes "evil" as defined within the narrow boundaries outlined by society and the law (primarily around the American jurisdiction). I am not a clinical or forensic psychologist so I cannot attest to how up-to-date or relevant some of the theories are when compared to today's criminal landscape but the book tends to postulate upon the psychology of evil rather than try to faultlessly define it's meaning. I found the narration to be excellent; some of the descriptions in this book are extremely (I mean no-holds-barred) graphic - they have to be to necessitate the depravity of the crimes - and the narrator does an excellent job of keeping a measured pace throughout the more clinical parts of the book as well as when the crimes themselves are being narrated. This was completely riveting; anyone interested in the forensic psychology field or true crime genre should give this book a spin.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tommy Garou
  • 13-07-18

The pinnacle of true crime

I will start off by saying that this book is NOT for the faint of heart, or for those with a weak stomach. There were several points when I had to put it down for a moment to absorb the information. Stone does NOT pull any punches with details. That being said, this is one of my favourite books now. Period. It balances psychology, neuroscience and the art/science of detection brilliantly. There’s a chapter towards the end of the book that focuses predominantly on neuroscience that can be a bit challenging to grasp, but other than I couldn’t recommend it more for those willing to take a dive into the minds and motivations of some of the most “evil” people from modern times. Two big thumbs up!

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Domenic A Ciraulo MD
  • 16-07-18

Evil and Psychopathy



Dr. Michael Stone has produced a most impressive analysis of psychopaths that will serve as a leading reference. Weaving an intricate pattern that draws from many different disciplines he successfully argues for an improved classification system to differentiate the many subtypes of criminal personalities, clarification of how the term ",evil" is best understood , and puts forth a theoretical model incorporating social and behavioral evidence. He makes liberal use of well I own cases, which are edited to accommodate the sensitivities of the reader. His eclectic approach is demonstrated by his familiarity with Dante Alighieri, Puccini, and the prefrontal cortex. The search for transtheoretical hypotheses in exploring origins of criminal behavior is fortunate to have Dr Stone's
considerable talents.

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  • InventoryHeist
  • 05-12-18

Amazing and fascinating!!!!

This book is so detailed and kept me in the seat of my pants the whole time!
I will be listening to it again soon!
Excellent!!!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-10-18

way way too long

As it was mentioned before, it is too long for the concept that the author wants to tell. Too many anecdotes and conclusions do not supplement your own.