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June 12, 1996

Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream: A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior

Author Affiliations

Center for Forensic Psychiatry Ann Arbor, Mich

JAMA. 1996;275(22):1772. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530460076039

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The title of this book immediately reminded me of former President Jimmy Carter's comment about lusting in his heart. A good man, Jimmy Carter dreamed, but unlike the rapist, he never acted on his dreams or impulses. Unfortunately, the public had difficulty distinguishing among thoughts, impulses, and behavior and never recognized that good men are tempted and may even think about what bad men do. However, good men and women resist their impulses.

Dr Robert Simon, clinical professor of psychiatry and director of the program in psychiatry and law at Georgetown University, is a distinguished clinical forensic psychiatrist. From his vast clinical experience, Dr Simon has looked at the "darker side of human behavior" and written a fascinating treatise on the worst of the worst among us and those who are bad and mad. He has culled newspapers, journals, and professional literature, supplemented with his own experience with murderers, rapists,