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Hitler's doctor, Morell, administered his notorious patient a wide array of sedatives. Many books present Napoleon and even Hitler and Stalin in the mold of tortured genius.

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A Brotherhood of Tyrants: Manic Depression & Absolute Power by D. Jablow Hershman

Schoolteachers simply excuse them as mad. This book is a real, honest and lifelike assessment of what these men really were. If mad, they would not have got to lead their countries. You get mad monarchs because they inherit the job. But these men had to persuade the people along with the ruling class to put them in power. Many historians argue that Hitler, Stalin and Napoleon were rational men; that they were great but great with a weakness. No one who kills by the millions simply has a "weakness". So this book will not be easy reading for people who need to believe that leaders are the best possible people for their time.

That politicians are father figures. That the nation elects and follows the brightest and the best. Now to the criticism. The authors write principally about these three politicians. Yet if "manic depressives" are driven to seize power, subjugate people, impose their own will upon others - surely that COULD apply to almost anyone who seeks power: CEOs, managers, coaches, social workers, film and theatre directors Clearly you cannot tar all with the same brush.

But if Hershman and Lieb are right, then we should be examining the mental health of anyone who takes it upon themselves to tell other people how to work or run their lives. Every corporate worker can tell multiple stories about bosses who put their own interests before those of the company; self-interest-driven corporate policies intended to do anything and everything - except simply what the company is good at. The key is not just manic depression but combined with the desire to do evil.

Beethoven and Mozart fit the manic depressive label. Yet they did not kill or seek to kill, to harm or to subjugate, to control or to steal. Thus Hershman and Lieb fail to distinguish between manic depression - and a desire to do harm. They are not the same! They show how genetically-inherited manic depression can combine with abuse and poverty to produce monsters - but only as juxtaposition, not causation.

Big gap in the analysis. I can accept these men were driven by their manias but so were some of our greatest creators. We must also blame the people: Why do the majority of people support obvious maniacs like Napoleon, Stalin and Hitler? Napoleon is a French national hero. He was not in his day. Hershman and Lieb quote the posters and protestors that show how hated was Napoleon at the time.

Yet enough people tolerated him to let him win power. And so many people "want to believe" that he was rehabilitated after his death. Napoleon's manic depression does not explain this. Nor Hitler's, nor Stalin's.

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Nor does it explain the loyalty of the followers of David Koresh or Jim Jones. Why do the tortured love their torturer? Even if Russians were afraid to stand up to Stalin during his life, why are so many Russians afraid to reject him even now? Or even to consider the idea that he may, just may have done wrong?

Ignorance is not an explanation. There is no ignorance when you are being purged. You pretty much know what is happening. There is no ignorance when the economy lies in ruins and there is no food on the table.

That is as true and real as it gets. Yet French and Russian people refused and some still refuse to connect the reality of impoverishment with the warmongering and mad adventures of their leaders. Germans to a larger extent have drawn the conclusion. Populations are complicit in raising manic depressives with an evil streak to be their leaders. Perhaps that concept is too sick for all but the strongest intellectuals to consider.

This book provides a new perspective with which to examine some of history's most notorious leaders. I agree that Hitler and Napoleon seemed to exhibit symptoms of mania, though I'm not sure about Stalin.

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I'd say in general, many leaders throughout history may have been manic or hypomanic. George Custer and Alexander the Great, for example. An entertaining and somewhat controversial read. Conner author of "Fevers of the Mind". I don't know why I bought this book, and I didn't read it for several years after I bought it, but one day I picked it up, and I couldn't put it down!

It is a most unusual and fascinating perspective on what drove three men to absolute power and madness - that all three of them shared similar mental illnesses.


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Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations. View or edit your browsing history. Get to Know Us. English Choose a language for shopping. Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. 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 They apply these clinical signs and symptoms to the pathologies of four notorious mass killers of recent times: 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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A Brotherhood of Tyrants: Manic Depression and Absolute Power

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Bipolar Story An interesting study which treats Napoleon, Hitler, and Stalin as people who were afflicted with severe manic depression who were unable to modify their behavior. He makes a fairly good case, though I don't know if it is accurate. Bradley Flood rated it it was amazing Jan 07, Cheloha rated it it was amazing Jun 20, Tony Chehrehgosha rated it liked it Dec 25, Maureen rated it really liked it Dec 26, Matthew rated it it was amazing Feb 10, Cathy Dosch rated it it was amazing Nov 11, Carine rated it really liked it Apr 25, Karen Jennett rated it really liked it Nov 02, Nicholas Schabert rated it really liked it Dec 20, Lindsay mizer marked it as to-read Mar 29, Elise Bergerson added it Sep 07, Kate Harper marked it as to-read Feb 20, Valentina Tkachenko marked it as to-read Nov 07, Mark marked it as to-read Apr 04, Angel marked it as to-read Dec 01, Natalia marked it as to-read Sep 03, Josh Resler marked it as to-read May 13, Max marked it as to-read Nov 24, Caspar de Groen marked it as to-read Jan 10, Maria Kalomallou marked it as to-read Mar 16,