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.
Acknowledgments. Preface. Introduction. Exploring the dark side of human behavior. Serial killers, evildoers and us. The predators among us: psychopaths. Why do they rape? Examining the inner life of rapists. Stalkers: forever yours. Workplace violence: is your job a dead end? Multiple personality and crime: a real whodunit. The ultimate betrayal: sexual misconduct in the helping professions. You only die once—did you intend it? The forensic psychiatrist as sleuth. Messianic madness: killer cults to holy warriors. Your life for their orgasm: serial sexual killers. Character and destiny: the making of good men and women. Bibliography. Index.
"Dr. Simon has upgraded his classic volume on "The Dark Side of Human Behavior" with new chapters, new insights and a clear understanding of the thin line holding good men from acting on inner impulses. His illustrations and case examples shed new light on the work he has done in forensic psychiatry. This book, as most of Dr. Simon's book, is a must read for the serious student of human behavior."—Robert L. Sadoff, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Center for Studies in Social-Legal Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadephia, PA
"it is a fascinating discussion of several varieties of abnormal, antisocial, often heinously violent human behavior from a psychiatric point of view. It offers insights into the so-called “dark side” of the human element by a very experienced, and very human, clinical professor and forensic psychiatrist. It is full of good information about topics that engender mystery and misunderstanding among both lay and professional readers. It is offered by a reputable publisher of clinical and academic books."—William H. Reid, M.D., MPH, Journal of Psychiatric Practice , 1/1/2010
Robert I. Simon, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and founder and Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.