Top positive review
on 24 December 2017
This was such an interesting book that I read it in less than 24 hours. The chapters that deal with Dr. Kelley's work with Nazi war criminals is by far the more fascinating part of this book, but the chapters at the end which follow Kelley's path after Nuremburg are interesting, although not nearly as exciting.
What truly disturbed me was that I found myself feeling really bad for these criminals, especially Goring, and in some odd way sympathising with their plight. But the author didn't manipulate me into feeling this way. On the contrary, he continually brings up their crimes throughout the whole book. I think it is just the natural reaction of having intimate contact with people, seeing them not as characitures, but as real people with real emotions, that would bring about these feelings, and probably what Dr. Kelley and the other psychiatrists felt themselves. Knowing what terrible crimes these people committed and yet seeing and interacting with them in an all too human format must have left a terrible ambiguity that would have been difficult to reconcile. Such a situation could have a profound effect on a person.
Although I do not buy into a lot of Dr. Kelley's psychiatric testing, the insights into these characters as they face justice was illuminating and for those interested in psychiatry, the discussion on his findings is worth reading. All in all, this is a worthwhile look at the all too human side of evil.