Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream
Robert Simon’s Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream: A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior is that rare title that is both essential reading for the mental health professional and accessible in style and content to the fascinated lay reader. In twelve powerful and provocative chapters, the author introduces readers to a psychological perspective on evil, character and destiny, as well as the making of good men and women. Simon also illuminates the psychology of psychopaths, serial killers, rapists and all manner of evil characters who appall and challenge us by their very existence. He rejects the common belief that his subjects are “monsters” with nothing in common with the more “normal” among us. Simon posits that if we deny our dark side, it can only obscure our understanding of violent offenders and impede our ability to both know ourselves and control our own, at times, unacceptable impulses.
The author is among the foremost experts in forensic psychiatry. He is Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Author or co-author of more than two dozen books and editions, including the foundational Textbook of Forensic Psychiatry, Simon has made important contributions to the field of forensic psychiatry for more than 30 years. He is also an eloquent writer with a dramatic, yet nuanced, narrative style that takes the reader inside the mind of the evildoer.
The first edition of this groundbreaking work garnered uniformly superlative reviews and was translated into several languages. This updated version retains Simon’s engrossing portrayals and keen insight, while offering a number of key enhancements. The highlights include:
- Explorations of the Internet and violence, “corporate” psychopaths, cyberstalkers, perpetrators of school violence, and a new cast of serial killers, terrorists, and other evildoers.
- A psychological perspective on evil, serial killers, and us.
- Updates on the neuroscience and genetics of deviant behaviors.
- Reflections on empathy, character, and destiny: the making of good men and women.
- A new foreword by Thomas G. Gutheil, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Co-Founder, Program in Psychiatry and the Law at Harvard Medical School, that illuminates Simon’s thesis and grounds it in historical context.
Graphic but never sensational, unsparing but never cold, Simon’s writing transcends the theoretical and achieves that most difficult of aims: leading readers to discover, contain, and transform the darkness within us all, to the betterment of our human condition.
Robert I. Simon