The Mask Of Sanity
Originally published in 1941 under the title Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So-Called Psychopathic Personality, this influential book became a landmark in psychiatric case studies and was repeatedly revised, expanded and reprinted in subsequent editions—here we present the 3rd edition published in 1955.
The Mask of Sanity is distinguished by its central thesis that the psychopath exhibits normal function according to standard psychiatric criteria, yet privately engages in destructive behavior. The book was intended to assist with detection and diagnosis of the elusive psychopath for purposes of palliation and offered no cure for the condition itself. The idea of a master deceiver secretly possessed of no moral or ethical restraints, yet behaving in public with excellent function, electrified American society and led to heightened interest in both psychological introspection and the detection of hidden psychopaths in society at large, leading to a refinement of the word itself into what was perceived to be a less stigmatizing term, “sociopath”.