Views & Reviews Medical Classics

The Mask of Sanity

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 18 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2701
  1. Mohammad Shaiyan Rahman, clinical research fellow, National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH), Centre for Mental Health and Risk, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL
  1. mohammad.rahman2{at}

It would be an understatement to say that The Mask of Sanity is one of the most important books in the discipline of psychopathy. This book not only inspired clinicians, but provided momentum for research into people whom before its publication had mostly been neglected by researchers.

The public is fascinated by so called psychopaths; a quick peek at the bestseller list will attest to this. Yet this book is much more entertaining than these novels of murder and mayhem. In addition, readers benefit from the clinical observations of one of the foremost psychiatrists of his …

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