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2022 Independent Press Award Winner

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Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander to Hitler to the Corporation

by Joseph N Abraham MD

Right wing movements are growing around the globe, but our attention is misdirected. The real problem is not the authoritarian leader, but the blinkered supporters who blindly follow him: without them the despot is irrelevant. Why do we attach ourselves to dictators & demagogues? Why do we defend even their most obvious hypocrisies & lies?  

The answer lies in the roots of civilization. Despite our romantic traditions, monarchs were never wise, just, nor generous. History shows that, without exception, kings were the most vicious psychopaths, narcissists, & sadists who ever lived.  And the only path for survival required unquestioningly believing & obeying— anything the king said.

“…concise, compelling, & challenging exploration of how humanity became what it is.”
—Publishers Weekly

“…the book’s scientific analysis, which spans Darwin’s concept of evolution to cutting-edge psychology, is a welcome addition to historical conversations…”
—Kirkus Reviews

“This book is unique, delving deeply into the worst horrors & most brutal leaders in history…”
—Psychiatric Times

“Why do we excuse an act, unforgivable if committed by an ordinary citizen, if executed or ordered by a leader?”
—Los Angeles Review of Books