The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Jon Ronson

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  • Publisher: Riverhead Books,U.S.
  • Format: Paperback | 275 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 203mm x 23mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1594485755
  • ISBN 13: 9781594485756
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 14,435

Product description

They say one out of every hundred people is a psychopath. You probably passed one on the street today. These are people who have no empathy, who are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive, and delusional. "The Psychopath Test" is the "New York Times" bestselling exploration of their world and the madness industry. When Jon Ronson is drawn into an elaborate hoax played on some of the world s top scientists, his investigation leads him, unexpectedly, to psychopaths. He meets an influential psychologist who is convinced that many important business leaders and politicians are in fact high-flying, high-functioning psychopaths, and teaches Ronson how to spot them. Armed with these new abilities, Ronson meets a patient inside an asylum for the criminally insane who insists that he s sane, a mere run-of-the-mill troubled youth, not a psychopath a claim that might be only manipulation, and a sign of his psychopathy. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud, and with a legendary CEO who took joy in shutting down factories and firing people. He delves into the fascinating history of psychopathy diagnosis and treatments, from LSD-fueled days-long naked therapy sessions in prisons to attempts to understand serial killers. Along the way, Ronson discovers that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their most insane edges. "The Psychopath Test" is a fascinating adventure through the minds of madness."

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Author information

Jon Ronson s works include "The Amazing Adventures of Phoenix Jones," and "Them: Adventures with Extremists" and "The Men Who Stare at Goats" both international bestsellers. "The Men Who Stare at Goats" was as a major motion picture, released in 2009 and starring George Clooney. Ronson lives in London."

Customer reviews

By Erica Lovell 27 Jun 2014 5

Thoroughly entertaining, insightful, and disturbing.

I bought this when researching for work. I was swamped in heavy, depressing books about psychopathy, sociopathy, murder, violent crime and so on. I needed some light in the dark, this book is it!

Though very funny and VERY witty, the gravity of the subject is never betrayed. Ronson is thorough, respectful, self-aware and frank.

Beautiful synthesis of humour and information.

Read it.

Review quote

"Because of Ronson's relentless self-deprecation and goofy, British humor, it's easy to tag along without fully realizing the rigor of his reporting, which is itself frenzied with compulsive questioning and obsessive research." -- "The Boston Globe" "A rollicking, page-turner of a book... no ordinary piece of investigative journalism... Ronson's storytelling skills are strong enough to enliven even the necessary reflections that would be one yawn after another if entrusted to a lesser writer." -- "San Francisco Chronicle" ..".A book that manages to be as cheerily kooky as it is well-researched." -- "Los Angeles Times" "Engagingly irreverent..." -- "New York Times " "[A] fascinating and humane book..." -- "Washington Post Book World" ..".Both terrifying and hilarious." -- "O, The Oprah Magazine"