Kindle Price: $13.99

Save $4.01 (22%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness by [Ghaemi, Nassir]
Audible Narration
Playing...
Loading...
Paused
Kindle App Ad

A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
$13.99

Length: 341 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Audible Narration:
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $3.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
Ready

Kindle Daily Deals
Kindle Delivers: Daily Deals
Subscribe to find out about each day's Kindle Daily Deals for adults and young readers. Learn more (U.S. customers only)
click to open popover

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“A glistening psychological history, faceted largely by the biographies of eight famous leaders… A First-Rate Madness is carefully plotted and sensibly argued.”
— BOSTON GLOBE

“Ghaemi isn’t the first to claim that madness is a close relative of genius, or even the first to extend the idea into politics.  But he does go further than others… His explanations are elegant, too—intuitively accurate and banked off the latest psychiatric research.”
— NEWSWEEK

“A provocative thesis… Ghaemi’s book deserves high marks for original thinking.” –THE WASHINGTON POST

“Ghaemi is a remarkably disciplined writer, and he examines both psychiatry and history with impressive clarity and sensitivity. A First-Rate Madness will almost certainly be one of the most fascinating books of the year, not just because of the author's lucid prose and undeniable intelligence, but because of his provocative thesis: "For abnormal challenges, abnormal leaders are needed."” --NPR.ORG

“Provocative, fascinating.” –SALON.COM

About the Author

Nassir Ghaemi, M.D., is a professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He has published more than a hundred scientific articles and several books on psychiatry.

Product Details

  • File Size: 939 KB
  • Print Length: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (August 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: August 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004IYIUN8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,527 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have read all year.
First of all, Dr. Ghaemi is a world-class psychiatrist; he is THE expert on issues of mood disorder (my wife is a psychiatrist and says that Dr. Ghaemi is the very best in the nation in his Continuing Medical Education teaching). So, he truly knows what he is writing about.
The structure of the book essentially follows the pattern of a chapter which describes the state-of-the-art in psychiatry as to a given diagnosis, followed by mini-biographies in two chapters of two historical figures who are exemplars of leadership with the particular diagnosis that Dr. Ghaemi has described. The manner in which he uses historical evidence to arrive at his diagnosis is seamless.
Among the historical figures profiled are Lincoln, General Sherman, Hitler, Gandhi, Churchill, Martin Luther King, Jr., FDR and JFK. There is a profile of Ted Turner, unusual because he is the only living example profiled (and the only non-political leader). Toward the end of the book there is extensive commentary about Nixon, Dubya, Tony Blair and some insights about Clinton, Truman, Eisenhower and even Newt Gingrich along the way.
I have read at least one biography of each figure he profiles (except for Ted Turner). I can vouch for the historical accuracy of Dr. Ghaemi's book in all regards except for two minor points about FDR: he was not a member of Woodrow Wilson's cabinet and he was not Secretary of the Navy (he was #2, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy).
The endnotes are also a magnificent treasure-trove of information.
Superb book, well-written by someone who knows his material.
Read more ›
10 Comments 193 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
First, let me say that Dr. Ghaemi deserves high praise for his premise, which is highly creative and deserving of respectful consideration. The effort he put into securing and analyzing the mental health records of the the leaders whom he studies is impressive. Next, let me say that Dr. Ghaemi carefully sought to be even-handed and even fair in his review of political figures. In ne instance, he comments on some admirable actions of Richard Nixon, which,in my experience, is unheard of. The book is worth reading.

However, my score reflects my belief that the connection between leadership and mental illness is unproven by Dr. Ghaemi's own examples. He uses Sherman's march through the South in the Civil War as an example of General Sherman's superior leadership caused by his mental illness. One may argue that the success attributed to Sherman might be better attributed to a better armed and trained army with the winds of victory at its back led by superior, and not so mentally ill, subordinate officers.

In my opinion, Abraham Lincoln stands as the equal of George Washington of the history of American presidents. Lincoln, by many accounts, struggled with depression and difficult personal relationships many times in his life. Did this increase his capacity for empathy and resilience? Possibly. Did this empathy with others affect his approach to the war? I am doubtful. In the dark days of the war, did resilience that he may have developed in the dark days of his personal life support him mentally? Perhaps.

As a approach to fighting the war, Lincoln's sought a general who "would fight," which General McClellan essentially failed to do and for which Lincoln fired him. But what Lincoln meant by "fight" was a general who would take casualties.
Read more ›
Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I am torn between a 4 and a 5 I read all the other reviews. I rate this book a five because it advances appreciation for the integration of psychology with history, and contributes somewhat--not the last word--to the rather vital discussion of why so many of our "leaders" are pedestrian, and what marks those who rise to extraordinary heights in the face of complex near catastrophic challenges.

Those critical of the book for the relatively brevity of the biographic sections, and the occasional mistakes, are in my view missing the huge point that really matters: in a time of extreme complexity and ambiguity, leaders with the most open of minds capable of very unconventional thinking are vital, and it just so happens that what what some call lunatic fringe or borderline personality have "the right stuff" for such times.

I have five pages of notes on this book. Below are some highlights and a few quotes.

The author refers to an inverse law of sanity and early on quotes Sherman as saying "In these times it is hard to say who are sane and who are insane." That is precisely how I feel as I watch Wall Street, Big Oil, the Military-Industrial Complex, and a two-party tyranny with a lame President pretending they have not already driven the Republic over the cliff.

The author's core argument is that in times of crisis, mentally ill leaders do better. While he exaggerates for effect, his essential argument is that "the establishment" produces sterile "well-adjusted" leaders who are best at following convention and staying within their "lanes in the road.
Read more ›
11 Comments 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness