A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness

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Historians have long puzzled over the apparent mental instability of great and terrible leaders alike: Napoleon, Lincoln, Churchill, Hitler, and others.

A First-Rate Madness

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  • A First-Rate Madness


In A First-Rate Madness, Nassir Ghaemi, director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center, offers a myth-shattering exploration of the powerful connections between mental illness and leadership and sets forth a controversial, compelling thesis: the very qualities that mark those with mood disorders also make for the best leaders in times of crisis. From the importance of Lincoln’s “depressive realism” to the lackluster leadership of exceedingly sane men as Neville Chamberlain, A First-Rate Madness overturns many of our most cherished perceptions about greatness and the mind.

Additional Information

Author Nassir Ghaemi
Publisher Penguin Books
Page Count 352pp
Publication Size 5.5 x 8.5 x 1
Publication Notes trade papeback
Publication Date June 26, 2012
ISBN 978-0143121336

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