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People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil Paperback – January 2, 1998
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About the Author
- Publisher : Touchstone; 2nd edition (January 2, 1998)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0684848597
- ISBN-13 : 978-0684848594
- Item Weight : 8.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.7 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Then, suddenly, when the confrontation occurs, one is left trying to understand what one has experienced, and looking for answers high and low—perhaps in books, perhaps in religion, perhaps in talk with friends and mentors.
This is probably the most satisfying resource I've come across on the question of evil in human psychology. Peck doesn't avoid the question or the word; instead, he tackles them head on, proposing that if you've seen it, you understand that evil is real. He seeks to understand what the experience and the quality amount to when articulated through reason, rather than purely through theology.
His definition of evil ends up being quite concise, rather than wandering and metaphysical and listless as is so often the case, and more than that, it's a satisfying definition; it rings true to to me, at the very least, as someone that was confronted with the question. The case studies that he provides are fascinating and run the gamut from the individual scale to the nuclear family scale to the social scale.
While there isn't much in the way of actionable information presented, I suspect that most people reading on the topic of evil aren't looking for tips and tricks so much as they are trying to come to grips with their own thinking about the topic—to clarify their own experience and make sense of what they've learned and how it's changed the way that they look at the world.
If this sounds like you, get this book and read it. I suspect it will take what is already a dim light somewhere in your consciousness and bring it to full brightness and understanding—in a way that is somehow a relief and a balm.
Specifically, there are three glaring examples of faulty conclusions Dr. Peck came to based on debunked/false information. They are so bad that I must disregard the book in its entirety because they make his observations and conclusions suspect, to say the least. They are as follows:
---When Dr. Peck describes certain people as evil and that a necessary component of his "diagnosis" is that evil people are incurable and can't really be helped, what he is describing is borderline personality disorder.
---Dr. Peck is a Freudian. Freud's theories were debunked long, long ago---long before 1983. In fact, anyone who thinks that toddlers are sexual and wanting sex from their parent is sick himself. The Oedipal Complex is a fraud perpetrated on the ignorant by Dr. Sigmund Fraud and upheld by the perverse.
---Dr. Peck's definition of autism in NOT autism. In 1983, there was almost no information on autism as a spectrum disorder. That's even more reason for him not to have come to the conclusion he did with a patient who showed no autistic behaviors whatsoever. What he was describing with patient Charlene is narcissism, maybe even narcissistic personality disorder.
At the very least, this book should have been updated. My recommendation is not to waste your time or money on it.
Great information for anyone who wants to understand if they are associating with an evil person. If you have, you may find them in this book.
The part that stuck with me was the simple principle that evil is “live” spelled backward. Evil is the opposite of life and vitality.
Top reviews from other countries
After reading it through it and hundreds of notes I can say this is the most ‘impactful’ book I’ve read in a long time.
I believe there is no reason to not read this important work.