Customer Reviews for

Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Pleasant surprise.

    I have always looked at environment as a reason for criminal thinking and was reluctant to read this book. However, I was pleasantly surprised and learned a great deal from this book. It applies to my clients completely. Need more work in this area of criminal justice.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2004


    Part of Left-wing theory of why people commit crime is, the 'system' turns them into criminals. This excellent book shows that that is not true, and that it is a disservice to the poor to say that their condition turns them into criminals. The truth is that the human mind is the most complex thing in the universe, it is not a 'lump of clay' that society forms and puts its imprint on. If the human mind were just a lump of clay, people would be extremely predictable. But how do you explain the kid from the ghetto who becomes a gang member, and enjoys the rush of the power that gives him, and actually enjoys abusing women and using violence, whereas his brother goes to college, law school, and then enjoys defending poor people and helping others. The answer is not 'society made them what they are today' - because they both grew up in the same societal conditions. The truth is, and the author states this, people decide very early in life what their value system will be. Some play within the rules, and some play outside of them. According to the author, criminals think of themselves are special, gifted, more deserving, and they use relativism to justify their own actions. They feel that there is right and wrong, but that it does not apply to them, because they are so special. Thus, criminals are in essence, relativists, egotists, narcissists, and they are 'grandiose'. They feel entitled to take what they want. Of course our DNA and biology plays a role there, but the author states in the book that, for example, twins studies have shown that there is a 60 %- 80% correlation between one twin's alcoholism, and the others. So, the author is not saying it is all about genes, but he also is not saying that it is not about genes. Of course, the reality lies in the fact that it is partly about genetics, but ultimately, the person decides whether he gets his kicks skydiving, or robbing banks. One good point in the book is that the author does not make a distinction between ghetto criminals and white collar, rich criminals (CEOS of companies, who lie and use relativism to justify their behavior). This is refreshing, and it actually helps the poor, because it says to them: 'being poor or underprivileged is not an excuse'. The truth is, this book places the blame where it belongs: on the criminal, and it gives the criminal a chance to change - to understand the effects of his actions, and maybe change them. Thus, prisons are not there to rehabilitate, but to punish. Ultimately, a John Malvo does not pull the trigger on his sniper rifle [the author worked for the prosecution on that case], because he is black and 'oppressed', he pulls the trigger on his rifle because he decided a long time ago that the rules don't apply to him, that he is special, and that if he wants somehting, he is entitled to take it, and that power and violence make him feel strong and powerful. One interesting thing in the book is an added chapter on terrorists. According to the author, terrorists are criminals, sociopaths, who use an ideology (Islamism) to justify the power trip that they go on. That is a very interesting new view of terrorism, too.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Haven't read this but....

    Everyone who is discrediting Dr. Samenow because he claims criminals choose to be criminals have obviously never studied psychology nor sociology, nor have they counseled such individuals on a one-to-one basis for an extended period of time. Every human being has a choice in life. Even if you were born into an alcoholic, abusive family (citing the environment argument you are all presenting), once you become aware of the difficult situation you are in, you can either choose a better life for yourself, or you can choose to make the worst of it. Criminals CHOOSE the worse path, they CHOOSE to be criminals. This is the mindset that "CRIMINALS" are born with. Every human being is presented with choices in life, unless they are determined to be completely criminally insane, and that is very very rare. In order for that to happen the subject must not comprehend right from wrong... and even sociopaths (anti-social personality disorder) understand right/wrong.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2006


    The book's primary focus is that criminals choose to be criminals and that neither society nor anything else factors in. The author demonstrates an extreme view, often contradicts himself and uses poor examples. I would not recommend this book to anyone. I wasnâ¿¿t even able to get through the whole thing.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2004


    This book has a one sided view. It claims that genes are the only determining factor that criminals are just born that way. Empirical researchers has found that environment, parenting, pathology in the brain, social status, and learned behaviors are all risk contributors to a life of crime. Children who had the same bad life chose a better life because they are resilient and we need to focus on what makes them resilient and take all other studies into account.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    Nicely done and eye opening book into the minds of criminals. Well worth reading by everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2009

    All roads lead to Rome...

    This "work" is full of flawed, circular logic. How he got it published is the real mystery. The good Dr. has some interesting points, but if conclusions were hurdles, he'd be in line for an Olympic gold medal. Some of his conclusions defy gravity with the leaps they take.
    His description of "criminal thinking" nails the criminal cold, the problem is that it also describes everybody else in the world as well. So, either we ALL think criminally every day of our lives, or his conclusion is way off the track. Which, disproves his theory that criminals have a separate thinking, logic, than the rest of us.
    If a criminal says he didn't do "it", then he's lying by commission and in denial.
    If he says he didn't do everything he's accused of, he's lying by omission and is minimizing.
    If he admits to everything they accuse him of without reservation, he's "lying by assent" and in a very dangerous (for us) "zero state" where he's capable of almost anything!
    His theories are full of holes big enough to drive trucks through.
    The only thing this "book" proves without a doubt, is how far a person is willing to go in terms of time, effort, and imagination to try and prove a ridiculous and obviously flawed theory. Maybe if he "works" on it for a few more decades, maybe then, the laws of rational logic will be suspended for a brief time and fate will shine of his "amazing work".
    Until then, his "work" and theories are only for the simple or lazy.
    Do yourself a favor and pass on this one, unless you like fiction.
    Think I'm overly harsh? Read the peer reviews. That this "work" is touted in public as scholarly, is the real "criminal thinking".

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2006


    This book is completely one sided. It simply says that criminals are criminals because they want to be...something completely disproved by every theory in criminology (except the classical school). Many factors contribute to criminality, such a social factors, parenting, peers, etc. The author is ridiculous and it is a wonder he has gotten so far in his career with such a bias viewpoint.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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