Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream: A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior / Edition 2

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Robert Simon's Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream: A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior is that rare title that is both essential reading for the mental health professional and accessible in style and content to the fascinated lay reader. In twelve powerful and provocative chapters, the author introduces readers to a psychological perspective on evil, character and destiny, as well as the making of good men and women. Simon also illuminates the psychology of psychopaths, serial killers, rapists and all manner of evil characters who appall and challenge us by their very existence. He rejects the common belief that his subjects are "monsters" with nothing in common with the more "normal" among us. Simon posits that if we deny our dark side, it can only obscure our understanding of violent offenders and impede our ability to both know ourselves and control our own, at times, unacceptable impulses.

The author is among the foremost experts in forensic psychiatry. He is Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Author or co-author of more than two dozen books and editions, including the foundational Textbook of Forensic Psychiatry, Simon has made important contributions to the field of forensic psychiatry for more than 30 years. He is also an eloquent writer with a dramatic, yet nuanced, narrative style that takes the reader inside the mind of the evildoer.

The first edition of this groundbreaking work garnered uniformly superlative reviews and was translated into several languages. This updated version retains Simon's engrossing portrayals and keen insight, while offering a number of key enhancements. The highlights include: • Explorations of the Internet and violence, "corporate" psychopaths, cyberstalkers, perpetrators of school violence, and a new cast of serial killers, terrorists, and other evildoers.• A psychological perspective on evil, serial killers, and us.• Updates on the neuroscience and genetics of deviant behaviors.• Reflections on empathy, character, and destiny: the making of good men and women.• A new foreword by Thomas G. Gutheil, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Founder, Program in Psychiatry and the Law at Harvard Medical School, that illuminates Simon's thesis and grounds it in historical context.

Graphic but never sensational, unsparing but never cold, Simon's writing transcends the theoretical and achieves that most difficult of aims: leading readers to discover, contain, and transform the darkness within us all, to the betterment of our human condition.

American Psychiatric Publishing

The book contains no figures.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (Assurance Health and Wellness)
Description: Based on his own clinical experience and insight, Dr. Simon attempts to explain the fine line that separates people who commit unspeakable acts from those able to control their impulses.
Purpose: This is an update of the original book published in 1996 and is meant to provide a follow-up on many of the cases discussed in that edition and to offer additional insights Dr. Simon obtained during the last decade of his work.
Audience: While interesting for individuals familiar with mental health issues and/or the criminal justice system, this book is geared more for those in the community who have an interest in the darker side of human behavior.
Features: Both editions contain 12 chapters, though this update has been rearranged and includes a new foreword and preface. In addition, two chapters have been significantly restructured (one involving "Messianic Madness" in which religious cults are addressed). The original text is longer (324 pages, compared to this edition's 295 pages), though this is more likely due to the type font than to the deletion of information. Each book ends with a bibliography, separated by chapter for easier reference.
Assessment: Reading this update, I was reminded of the reason I originally found the book so appealing (though admittedly, the previous edition was absorbed about 10 years ago). The update completes the story, so to speak, on many of the individual cases discussed in the original version, and some of the dates have been removed to make the updated version seem more timely and fresh. While there is little in the way of astonishingly new information, the care and effort taken in compiling this new version is obvious, and it is an enjoyable, insightful, and, at times, disturbing look into an aspect of human behavior that is both fascinating and frightening to behold.
An accessible and extremely insightful examination of a wide range of frightening and repellant psychopathologies--rape, stalking, serial murder, etc. Simon (psychiatry, Georgetown U.) also goes beyond the glib characterizations of people as "good" or "bad" to reveal that this dark side is an essential component of human behavior. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585622948
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2008
  • Edition description: Updated
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 339
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert I. Simon, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and founder and Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. Preface. Introduction. Exploring the dark side of human behavior. Serial killers, evildoers and us. The predators among us: psychopaths. Why do they rape? Examining the inner life of rapists. Stalkers: forever yours. Workplace violence: is your job a dead end? Multiple personality and crime: a real whodunit. The ultimate betrayal: sexual misconduct in the helping professions. You only die once -- did you intend it? The forensic psychiatrist as sleuth. Messianic madness: killer cults to holy warriors. Your life for their orgasm: serial sexual killers. Character and destiny: the making of good men and women. Bibliography. Index.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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