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Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream: A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0880486880
ISBN-10: 0880486880
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Editorial Reviews

Review

...Simon's fascinating book surely is a scintillating contribution to the literature on human behavior -- Leo Uzych, J.D., M.P.H., Wallingford, PA, in The American Journal of Psychiatry

From the Inside Flap

What sort of person kills, then cannibalizes his victim? Or stalks and terrorizes his prey? And what separates him from the rest of us? In Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream: a Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior, Robert I. Simon, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine, trains the Klieg light of his intellect and experience to illuminate our shadowy world and that of violent criminals -- a difference more of degree than of kind.

Mental health professionals will find this updated version essential reading, but its engrossing narrative, graphic case studies and powerfully compelling conclusions will fascinate lay readers and amateur sleuths, as well. Thickly populated with psychopaths, serial killers, rapists, and all manner of evildoers, Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream: a Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior is at once a fascinating exploration of deviancy, a look at the protective factors that grant most of us "normality," and a meditation on what it means to be fully human. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 362 pages
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Association; 1st edition (January 15, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0880486880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0880486880
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
...[T]his book has four or five chapters of differing criminal
behaviors (the serial murderer, the sexual deviant) told in
sensational stories with little serious discussion of the the
psychological basis or reasoning of why bad men do what good men
dream. In fact, the question of why bad men DO what good men dream is
never seriously examined. In fact, there is little, if any,
illuination of the causes or understanding of psychopathic behavior.
If this is a topic that interests you, you're much better off with
Charles Patrick Ewing's work or Henry Steadman.
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Format: Paperback
I was particularly interested in Chapter 8's account of what was called the "Oshkosh MPD rape case" at the time, because I was the victim advocate in the case. Sarah and her Others lived with my family and me for almost two months after hounding by the media precipitated a suicide attempt. I knew her/them well, and I know the facts of the case well.

Yes, the kindly neighbor testified that he explained Sarah's multiple personalities to Mark, a 32-year-old grocery bagger, while he waited to take Sarah on a date. Yes, Mark was convicted. But Mark never served a day in prison. Two months after he was found guilty, his conviction was vacated. Why? Because the kindly neighbor had been having sex with Sarah for over a year. If Sarah said no, he would call out a personality who would say yes. And he never explained anything to Mark, who probably couldn't have understood it in the first place.

The fact that Mark's conviction was vacated was widely reported. It is public record and easily accessible. Failure to fact-check something so significant is an error of such magnitude that it calls into question all the other assertions in the book. How many others are similarly misreported here?

Incidentally, there is one key player in this who went to prison -- the District Attorney. He's serving 7 years in federal prison for taking bribes to fix cases.
1 Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Robert I Simon's book Bad Med Do What Good Men Dream is an erudite and readable treatment of one of the knottiest questions in the history of humanity: what separates good men from bad men? Dr. Simon has applied his vast experience in clinical and forensic psychiatry to illuminate the similarities and differences between those who demonstrate remarkable psychopathology and "normal" people. He has explored the spectrum of violent and horrifying behavior, from killer cults to serial murderers to workplace violence, and provided a thoughtful discussion of the difficulties of identifying the good and evil inside us and around us. As a forensic psychiatrist, I found this book enlightening, thought provoking and well written. I highly recommend it to any professional or lay student of human nature.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The artist Paul Gauguin once said that "life being what it is, one dreams of revenge." In "Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream," Dr. Robert Simon explains that all people have "bad dreams"--thoughts of suicide, or revenge, or crime--but only a very few cross the line from bad dream to bad action.
This book explores the nebulous borderline between what people think and what they do. The topics covered include serial killing, workplace violence, multiple personality disorder, killer cults, suicide, sexual misconduct by professional caregivers, rape, stalking and pyschopathic behavior.
In each area, Dr. Simon's analysis shows just how complex and surprising the human mind can be. Even apparently straightforward questions, such as whether a given criminal is likely to be dangerous in the future, or whether a "suicide" is actually an accident, turn out to be very hard to answer.
At times, Dr. Simon's style is a bit academic, but on the whole he writes clearly and does a good job of covering a wide range of complex issues.
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Format: Paperback
Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream is a fascinating and well researched account of mankind's capacity for evil. Written by a forensic psychiatrist with years of clinical experience examining the human mind, the book not only provides the theoretical underpinnings of the subject, it provides the seasoned observer's inside account of what makes us "tick". In the humanist's tradition, it recognizes that dark thoughts are latent in all of us. Dr. Simon has produced a highly educational and riveting read without ever lapsing into the usual pomposity or sensationalism often found in writings on this topic. Readers will enjoy the many thought provoking discussions not only about why we do the things we do, but about what separates "good" people from "bad".
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By Ghostgum on December 30, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Parts of this casebook are interesting but the Author has a tendency to repeat his title so frequently that I wonder if he is too preoccupied with self-promotion. Some chapters are dull. I guess it depends on how much exposure a reader has had to the facts of forensic psychology as far as they are currently understood. If you havn't had much exposure you may find this book interesting. I found it disappointing.
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Format: Paperback
I love the idea behind the book: that everyone has a bit of whatever it is that makes a criminal a criminal in them. But the fact-checking is *horrible*. There are so many errors and, well, just made up stuff!

Other reviewers have pointed out some of them. Just one more example that I noticed: under the heading of Group Rape in Ch. 4, the author states "Perhaps the most notorious gang rape was that of the Central Park jogger [...] Her attackers were eventually put on trial and convicted." Well, sort of. Yes, a group of men were convicted, but later their convictions were vacated!

There were other statements that were presented as accepted fact that I'm sure have either been disproved or are controversial. Just sloppy research.
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