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Books  >>  History

D. Jablow Hershman

A Brotherhood of Tyrants

D. Jablow Hershman A Brotherhood Of Tyrants Manic Depression And Absolute Power
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Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, and Joseph Stalin were three tyrants, and the effects of their brutal regimes are still with us. Each attained absolute power, and misused it in a gargantuan fashion, leaving in his wake a trail of hatred, devastation, and death.

In A Brotherhood of Tyrants, D. Jablow Hershman and Julian Lieb uncover manic depression as a hidden cause of dictatorship, war, and mass killing. In comparing these three tyrants, they describe a number of behavioral similarities supporting the contention that a specific psychiatric disorder - manic depression - can be one of the key factors in such political pathologies as tyranny and terrorism.

Manic depressive disorder has also produced the great destroyers in history - when in addition to ambition and egotism have been added large measures of ruthlessness, willfulness, utter intolerance of criticism, a consuming need to dominate others, paranoia, and megalomania.

Focusing on these three dictators, A Brotherhood of Tyrants argues that manic depression has always been, and continues to be, a critical factor in compelling some individuals to seek political power and to become tyrants. It powerfully demonstrates how this disorder is the source of many of the typical characteristics - including grandiosity and megalomania - of a tyrannical personality and provides a manual for the identification of the psychotic tyrant.

In their epilogue, the authors outline the clinical signs of manic depression as described in the classic studies of the German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin (1856-1926). They apply these clinical signs and symptoms to the pathologies of four notorious mass killers of recent times: David Koresh, Jeffrey Dahmer, Jim Jones, and Colin Ferguson. They argue that if these individuals had been identified in time as manic depressives, they could have been successfully treated, and hundreds of innocent lives could have been saved.

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