"The present volume, I believe, is destined to become a classic in psychiatry, and a landmark in our understanding of severe antisocial behavior and criminality."
OTTO F. KERNBERG, MD
Professor of Psychiatry in the Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College/Cornell University
Director, Personality Disorder Institute
New York Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division
Past President of the International Psychoanalytic Association
"The fluid, articulate style of this studious yet accessible volume attests to the impressive breadth and depth of Dr. Stone's knowledge about the people who've committed the world's most evil acts. Using psychology, religion, philosophy and neuroscience, he dissects this complex concept in the form of case study and presents a concise and profound analysis. A great read for scholars and lay people alike. You won't forget these stories! It's everything you ever wanted to know about evil but were too afraid to ask."
DR. KATHERINE RAMSLAND
Professor of Forensic Psychology and Chair of Social Sciences at DeSales University
Author of Inside the Minds of Serial Killers and The Human Predator
The crimes of Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Dennis Rader, and other high-profile killers are so breathtakingly awful that most people would not hesitate to label them “evil.” In this groundbreaking book, renowned psychiatrist Michael H. Stone—host of Discovery Channel’s former series Most Evil—uses this common emotional reaction to horrifying acts as his starting point to explore the concept and reality of evil from a new perspective. In an in-depth discussion of the personality traits and behavior that constitute evil across a wide spectrum, Dr. Stone takes a clarifying scientific approach to a topic that for centuries has been inadequately explained by religious doctrines.
Basing his analysis on the detailed biographies of more than 600 violent criminals, Stone has created a 22-level hierarchy of evil behavior, which loosely reflects the structure of Dante’s Inferno. He traces two salient personality traits that run the gamut from those who commit crimes of passion to perpetrators of the worst crimes—sadistic torture and murder. One trait is narcissism, as exhibited in people who are so self-centered that they have little or no ability to care about their victims. The other is aggression, the use of power over another person to inflict humiliation, suffering, and death.
Stone then turns to the various factors that, singly or intertwined, contribute to pushing certain people over the edge into committing heinous crimes. They include heredity, adverse environments, violence-prone cultures, mental illness or brain injury, and abuse of mind-altering drugs. All are considered in the search for the root causes of evil behavior.
What do psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience tell us about the minds of those whose actions could be described as evil? And what will that mean for the rest of us? Stone discusses how an increased understanding of the causes of evil will affect the justice system. He predicts a day when certain persons can safely be declared salvageable and restored to society and when early signs of violence in children may be corrected before potentially dangerous patterns become entrenched.
FURTHER PRAISE FOR THE ANATOMY OF EVIL:
"Psychiatrist Michael Stone is the Einstein of Evil. Or, rather, Stone is the forensic psychoanalyst who has journeyed into the strange universe of murder, torture and savagery, to forge a Unified Theory of Evil he calls the 'Gradations of Evil Scale.' ... He has, in fact, solved murders before they were committed, including the case of Gail Bierenbaum – whom he warned away from her psychopathic killer, to no avail.... This is a scientific thriller and we are all victims of real evil, which is why this book is impossible to put down. Which of the many suspects will Stone finger for true Evil? Is it Nature or nurture? Or is it brain injury, sex abuse, drugs or the fabled 'Bad Seed?' To give away the ending of such a compelling thriller would itself be an act of evil."
KIERAN CROWLEY, New York Times bestselling author of Almost Paradise
"For centuries we have defended against the incarnate reality of evil by intellectualizing it, often traveling along the meandering and ethereal avenues of philosophy and theology. Dr. Stone brings evil to earth – the perpetrators, the acts, and the victims – as a force that is instantly recognizable because it makes our skin crawl."
J. REID MELOY, Ph.D., forensic psychologist, author The Psychopathic Mind
"Stunning insights and in-depth assessments of the causes and development of some of the most violent and heinous behavior we have seen in this century. This is a must read not only for the general public but for every criminal justice professional involved in the investigation, analysis, prosecution, or treatment of individuals who engage in extreme, often unexplainable acts of violence."
MARY ELLEN O'TOOLE, PhD, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI (Retired)
Behavioral Analysis Unit (Profiling Unit), FBI Academy
"The Anatomy of Evil is a unique and remarkable book. Michael Stone, with decades of experience as a psychiatrist and educator in forensic psychiatry, brings careful scholarship and unflinching attention to the problem of evil – a world that most of us know about only from the tabloids. This book requires the reader to sit up straight, not look away, and participate in trying to understand the unimaginable in human behavior."
JOHN M. OLDHAM, MD
Senior Vice President & Chief of Staff, The Menninger Clinic
Professor and Executive Vice Chair
Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences
Baylor College of Medicine
Pages: 430 (color photos)
Shipping Weight: 2lbs
Michael H. Stone, MD (New York, NY) is professor of clinical psychiatry at the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is the author of ten books, most recently Personality Disorders: Treatable and Untreatable, and over two hundred professional articles and book chapters. He is also the host of Discovery Channel’s former series Most Evil and has been featured in the New York Times, Psychology Today, the Christian Science Monitor, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, the New York Post, the London Times, the BBAC, and Newsday, among many other media outlets.