A First-Rate Madness by Nassir Ghaemi
Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness

80%

9 Critic Reviews

A diverting, exceedingly provocative argument—sure to attract both skeptical and convinced attention.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

This New York Times bestseller is a myth-shattering exploration of the powerful connections between mental illness and leadership. Historians have long puzzled over the apparent mental instability of great and terrible leaders alike: Napoleon, Lincoln, Churchill, Hitler, and others. In A First-Rate Madness, Nassir Ghaemi, director of the Mood Disorders Programme at Tufts Medical Center, offers 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 lacklustre leadership of exceedingly sane men as Neville Chamberlain, A First-Rate Madness overturns many of our most cherished perceptions about greatness and the mind.
 

About Nassir Ghaemi

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NASSIR GHAEMI is a professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and the director of the Mood Disorders Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. He trained in psychiatry at, and also serves on the faculty of, Harvard Medical School, and has degrees in history (BA, George Mason University), philosophy (MA, Tufts), and public health (MPH, Harvard). He has published more than a hundred scientific articles and several books on psychiatry.
 
Published August 4, 2011 by Penguin Books. 341 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Business & Economics, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for A First-Rate Madness
All: 9 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good

A diverting, exceedingly provocative argument—sure to attract both skeptical and convinced attention.

Read Full Review of A First-Rate Madness: Uncover... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Times

Below average
on Aug 19 2011

“A First-Rate Madness” goes most seriously wrong when Ghaemi explores a “corollary” of his main proposition, offering examples of how “mental health can hamper leadership.”

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Blog Critics

Good
on Aug 23 2011

Those who frequently read books on leadership and/or psychology will find A First-Rate Madness to be insightful and extraordinary.

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Washington Times

Excellent
on Oct 24 2011

The writing style is fluid and vivid, the personalities brought to life.

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Chron.com

Good
on Dec 13 2011

...Dr. Nassir Ghaemi...is saying something out loud that has whispered for years and that is there is something a little crazy about people who lead effectively...

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St. Louis Today

Excellent
on Jul 28 2011

Whether you are convinced by Ghaemi's thesis, the reasonable way he describes these leaders is nothing less than fascinating.

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New York Observer

Good
on Jul 12 2011

A First-Rate Madness is a sophisticated work of psychology, but it is also a gossipy work of celebrity history, a who’s who of the eminently unhinged.

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Ford Literary Blog

Good
on Feb 20 2012

This controversial idea is well supported by numerous examples in this thought-provoking book.

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Leading Blog

Excellent
on Aug 04 2011

Ghaemi's bold, authoritative analysis offers powerful new tools for determining who should lead us. But perhaps most profoundly, he encourages us to rethink our view of mental illness as a purely negative phenomenon.

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Reader Rating for A First-Rate Madness
70%

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