- Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books (July 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0671536060
- ISBN-13: 978-0671536060
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 621 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address 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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 1995
|New from||Used from|
See the Best Books of 2018 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
"Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations, and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please..." In Without Conscience Robert Hare argues convincingly that "psychopath" and "antisocial personality disorder" (a psychiatric term defined by a cluster of criminal behaviors) are not the same thing. Not all psychopaths are criminals, he says, and not all criminals are psychopaths. He proposes a psychopathy checklist that includes emotional/interpersonal traits such as glibness, grandiosity, lack of guilt, and shallow emotions, as well as social deviance traits such as impulsiveness, lack of responsibility, and antisocial behavior. His writing is lucid and illustrated with numerous anecdotes. The final chapter, "A Survival Guide," is especially recommended: as Hare writes, "Psychopaths are found in every segment of society, and there is a good chance that eventually you will have a painful or humiliating encounter with one."
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Hare offers more value with his descriptions of the latest research on how psychopaths' brains actually function, and how they think and use language. He weighs the merits and shortcomings of the latest theories on the origins and development of psychopathy, and offers the intriguing hypothesis that individuals born with the makeup of a psychopath will not change, although the quality of their upbringing may affect whether their disorders express themselves through violence and sexual deviance or less physically harmful behavior such as deception or fraud. He also proposes further research into the treatment of this disorder, rightly observing that such interventions will likely not help psychopaths develop empathy, though they may lead them to realize and assume responsibility for the destructiveness of their behavior.
However, despite Hare's assertion that the vast majority of psychopaths are not violent serial offenders, Without Conscience is littered with descriptions of killers like John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy. Even though these criminals may exemplify some of the traits of psychopaths, by Hare's own admission, he never interviewed them himself or diagnosed them with the disorder. At times it seems Hare is writing merely to maintain the attention of those readers who picked up his book in an airport after following a serial killer manhunt on the news. At one point, he even finishes a story about a psychopath who served a short prison sentence with the warning "he may now be in your community."
All in all, Without Conscience offers a solid introduction into the basics of the psychopathic disorder. Readers who would prefer a more scholarly treatment should look elsewhere, but this book is short, simplified and entertaining enough to capture the interest of most readers unfamiliar with the subject.
Hare does a very good job of making the symptomatic behaviors understood and raising our caution and perhaps our fears. He explains how we might minimize our contact with a psychopath. Otherwise the picture is grim. As someone who is experiencing emotional terrorism caused by a psychopathic personality, I was all-too aware of the failure of this book to solve the devastating problems he describes. I immediately went to his website, and I suspect others must also, as on the contact page he has a warning that he cannot give out advice or recommend clinical psychologists who will.