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A first-rate madness : uncovering the links between leadership and mental illness

Author: S Nassir Ghaemi
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"A First-Rate Madness" is an investigation into the surprisingly deep correlation between mental illness and successful leadership, as seen through some of history's greatest politicians, generals, and businesspeople. Nassir Ghaemi, who runs the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts University Medical Center, draws from the careers and personal plights of such notable leaders as Lincoln, Churchill, Gandhi, Martin Luther
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: S Nassir Ghaemi
ISBN: 9781594202957 1594202958
OCLC Number: 706784247
Description: 340 p. ; 25 cm.
Contents: Introduction : The inverse law of sanity --
pt. 1. Creativity --
Make them fear and dread us : Sherman --
Work like hell--and advertise : Turner --
pt. 2. Realism --
Heads I win, tails it's chance --
Out of the wilderness : Churchill --
Both read the same Bible : Lincoln --
pt. 3. Empathy --
Mirror neuron on the wall --
The woes of Mahatmas : Gandhi --
Psychiatry for the American soul : King --
pt. 4. Resilience --
Stronger --
A first-rate temperament : Roosevelt --
Sickness in Camelot : Kennedy --
pt. 5. Treatment --
A spectacular psychochemical succcess : Kennedy revisited --
Hitler amok --
pt. 6. Mental Health --
Homoclite leaders : Bush, Blair, Nixon, and others --
Stigma and politics --
Epilogue.
Responsibility: Nassir Ghaemi.

Abstract:

"A First-Rate Madness" is an investigation into the surprisingly deep correlation between mental illness and successful leadership, as seen through some of history's greatest politicians, generals, and businesspeople. Nassir Ghaemi, who runs the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts University Medical Center, draws from the careers and personal plights of such notable leaders as Lincoln, Churchill, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., JFK, and others from the past two centuries to build an argument at once controversial and compelling: the very qualities that mark those with mood disorders- realism, empathy, resilience, and creativity-also make for the best leaders in times of crisis. By combining astute analysis of the historical evidence with the latest psychiatric research, Ghaemi demonstrates how these qualities have produced brilliant leadership under the toughest circumstances.

A lifetime without the cyclical torment of mood disorders, Ghaemi explains, can leave one ill equipped to endure dire straits. He also clarifies which kinds of insanity-like psychosis-make for despotism and ineptitude, sometimes on a grand scale. Ghaemi's bold, authoritative analysis offers powerful new tools for determining who should lead us. But perhaps most profoundly, he encourages us to rethink our view of mental illness as a purely negative phenomenon. As "A First-Rate Madness" makes clear, the most common types of insanity can confer vital benefits on individuals and society at large-however high the price for those who endure these illnesses."--Provided by publisher.

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