- Paperback: 236 pages
- Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (January 8, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781572304512
- ISBN-13: 978-1572304512
- ASIN: 1572304510
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 623 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us 1st Edition
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"Fascinating, chilling, and accurate....The world's most renowned psychopathy researcher has leavened sharp scientific insights with page-turning case descriptions in a rare publishing feat: a book that is both highly readable and highly reputable." --John Monahan, PhD
From the Back Cover
A brilliant, in-depth handling of a most complex subject (Hugh Aynesworth, author of Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer).
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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.