The Wisdom of Pyschopaths

What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success

Kevin Dutton

Dutton’s book on his research into psychopaths is a fast, easy read with little academic jargon to bog the reader down. Clearly aimed for the armchair lookie-loo (hello!), Dutton amused and horrifies readers with stories of his research.

Psychopaths, Dutton asserts, are all around us. And having these traits isn’t always a bad thing. They can prove immensely useful to those touted as having “nerves of steel.” In actually, many soldiers, surgeons and others in highly stressful jobs simply don’t have the nerves (or, he asserts, get the messages from the nerves) to be afraid. They just don’t feel fear.

Being a psychopath is not an “all or nothing” proposition, either. There are levels and areas where people exhibit psychopathic traits. There are monsters who have all levels turned to 11, the true remorseless killers. But there are plenty of other people who can perform half-day, life-saving surgeries without their heart-rate increasing an iota. However, they are no better at dealing with other, every day traumas and scares than “normal” people.

An intriguing read, especially the stories of Dutton’s own close psychopath friends and family members with, along his visits and conversations with those at the far edge of the curve.

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