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The New York Times bestseller
"Ghaemi isn't the first to claim that madness is a close relative of genius, or even the first to extend this idea into politics. But he does go further than others...His explanations are elegant, too - intuitively accurate and banked off the latest psychiatric research." -Newsweek
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 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.