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The Anatomy of Evil by Michael H. Stone

The Anatomy of Evil

by Michael H. Stone

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An in depth look at identifying evil traits in individuals and categorizing magnitude is presented in this scholarly work by Dr. Stone. The cases related in the book are truly frightening and often it was not comfortable reading of the depravity and cruelty exhibited by these individuals. Yet it was worthwhile to gain understanding as to how and why these people get to where they are and what they do.

Dr. Stone centerpiece is in creating a rating or ranking system numerically presented to gauge the level of evil they wrought. He delves into conditions that he believes contribute to what makes up the mindset of those that commit the acts. And in some it seems it is hard to reckon what goes on in their head.

Understanding is one thing, preventing and deterrence is the real challenge we face. It is clear that some slipped through the legal system. It is this system that needs reevaluation itself to help prevent the continued violence. The conclusion being these individuals must be identified early and never let back into society. ( )
  knightlight777 | Jun 3, 2013 |
Clear exploration of one of the most vexing problems facing humanity; why do some people perpetrate such evil? Are people born bad, made bad or a mixture of both? Dr. Stone carefully explores these issues using copious cases examples. The only criticism I have relates to the lack of focus on social psychological forces leading to evil action (e.g., decent person in a evil situation leading to evil action). ( )
  gkonopas | Apr 19, 2013 |
Essentially snapshots of endless case studies taken from newspaper & magazine articles, in addition to seemingly every book ever written on American sociopathic individuals. Ponderous, repetitive, sensationalist, superficial, non-academic, with a dopey, inconsistent "scale of evil" measurement. But what the heck, you learn stuff even from disappointing "compendiums" like this. Little things that make you shiver, make you nauseated, make you feel lucky you escaped alive. I now know I was married to a sociopath for 42 years. It's a very liberating piece of information ( )
1 vote C-WHY | Aug 16, 2011 |
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"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 book, renowned psychiatrist Michael H. Stone 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."… (more)

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