I’m very happy to announce that it’s publication day for Disordered Minds: How Dangerous Personalities Are Destroying Democracy by Dr. Ian Hughes – published by Zero Books.
A compelling account of the dangers posed by narcissistic leaders and why their rise to power has become the hallmark of our age.
Ian’s credentials for writing this book are his background as a scientist, his postgraduate training in psychoanalysis, and his experience as a government policy advisor in science and technology policy for the Irish government. Ian has a record of scientific and popular publication, and has been lead author on a previous book – Power to the People: Assessing Democracy in Ireland’ (New Island Books, Dublin 2007).
Ian’s motivation for writing the book stems largely from his experience growing up in Northern Ireland during ‘the Troubles’ there, when he saw very clearly how a society can spiral into conflict when democracy fails, and how a minority can emerge, once the violence starts, who gain positions of power simply because of their propensity for ruthlessness.
Ian’s writing has appeared on journal.ie and factsandarts.com. His blog, disorderedworld.com, has been shortlisted in the top ten political blogs in Ireland in 2013, 2014 and 2016, and he has over 10,000 followers on Twitter @disorderedworld. He has been published in the Village Magazine (Ireland) and online with Psychology Today.
People are already talking about Disordered Minds. Take a look at these reviews ranging from top professors to radio personalities to the former president of Ireland!
“Ian Hughes adds new scientific insight to one of the deepest conundrums of politics: that positions of power appeal to the narcissistic, paranoid psychopaths among us, with catastrophic results for humanity. His argument that human institutions, particularly liberal democracy, are needed to constrain the worst of human nature, is profound and (needless to say) timely. Disordered Minds is sometimes disturbing, but it is consistently fascinating, and ultimately constructive and hopeful.” ~ Steven Pinker , Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and the author of The Better Angels of Our Nature and Enlightenment Now.
“However they are formed, our world produces them – the psychopaths and those with narcissistic or paranoid personality disorders. You have met them, worked with them, maybe even lived with them or been victimized by them and you know just how bafflingly plausible they can be and how disastrously evil. Disordered Minds introduces us to the vast wastelands they are capable of creating when you and I, our neighbors, friends, families and colleagues fail to see just how dangerous they are, when we fail to underpin our democracies with the infrastructures capable of withstanding the onslaught of the deceptively charismatic lunatic leader. Read this exceptionally fine and accessible work of scholarship and make it your business to keep their disordered minds from disordering our universe.” ~ Mary McAleese, Former President of Ireland, Personal email
“This brilliant book, pulls together a big picture like no other books on psychopaths and politics I’ve seen. Further, it addresses, like no other book I’ve found, the damage that is caused when what Hughes calls “the toxic Triangle” enables psychopaths to gain power at a national level. This is a book that legislators and leaders should read.” ~ Rob Kall, Founder of OpEdNews, host of the Bottom Up Radio Show and author of Bottom Up: The Connection Revolution
“An excellent account of how malignant narcissism is evident in the lives of the great dictators, and how the conditions in which this psychopathy flourishes have returned to haunt us. Disordered Minds serves as a clear warning that tyrants such as Hitler, Stalin and Mao should not be seen simply as historical figures, but rather as dangerous contemporaries, as modern people, closer to us than we might like to think, who can tell us something vital about our dangerous present and our uncertain future.” ~ Dr Kieran Keohane, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, University College Cork and editor of The Social Pathologies of Contemporary Civilization, Peer review of manuscript
“Ian Hughes’ fascinating book makes us reflect on the importance of electing leaders who are not just inspiring and effective but have a balanced personality. He has convinced me that every potential leader will one day have to publish not only their manifesto but also their psychological profile.” ~ Graham Farmelo, Costa Book Award Winner, LA Times Book Prizes Winner and author of Churchill’s Bomb: A Hidden Story of Science, Politics and War, and
“As one of the most impressive and respected multidisciplinary scientists today, Ian Hughes in Disordered Minds gives a compelling and timely account of the dangers posed by psychologically dangerous leaders and provides a stark warning that the conditions in which this psychopathy flourishes – extremes of social inequality and a culture of hyper-individualism – are very much the hallmarks of our present age. A must read!” ~ Professor Frederick M. Burkle, Jr, MD, Senior Fellow & Scientist, Harvard University