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Dangerous Minds: A Forensic Psychiatrist's Quest to Understand Violence

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Dangerous Minds: A Forensic Psychiatrist's Quest to Understand Violence by Dr Taj Nathan

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By Dr Taj Nathan

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What drives someone to commit murder?

What makes some people lash out on those that they love?

Can we predict whether a child will grow into a violent adult, and what can we do to prevent it?

These are just some of the questions that forensic psychiatrist Dr Taj Nathan interrogates every day in his work with violent offenders. Stories about violent or deviant behaviour are the subject of sensational headlines or inflated dramatic portrayals, but infinitely more complex and intriguing are the real people behind labels like ‘psychopath’, ‘sex offender’ or ‘serial killer’.

Taking us from secure hospital wards to high-security prisons to courtrooms, Dangerous Minds offers compelling and deeply compassionate accounts of ten people whose lives have been shaped by violence. From the impact of traumatic events in childhood to the evolutionary and cultural influences on the emergence of the social mind, this book is an insider’s account of the origins of violence that asks its readers to re-evaluate all that they think they know about the people society deems most dangerous.

Reviews

25 Nov 2021

Julia M

A very interesting read. I do like ‘true crime’ and also have an interest in legal matters/court proceedings so this book fit the bill in many respects. I found it to be very thought provoking, especially aspects which addressed the ‘mad vs bad’ debate, which I remember from the Yorkshire Ripper case.

I guess I had never really considered before, the weight of responsibility which goes into a psychiatrist’s diagnosis and recommendations…and the potential consequences.

I found each chapter about the different patients and the associated case details to be very interesting. I enjoyed the reflections on and explanations of relevant case law, based on previous happenings - some way back in history - too.

Occasionally I felt that the book became a little too scientific but overall, it was an excellent read.

Julia - Methley Book Club

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