December 1966

Mask of Sanity.

Author Affiliations

By Hervey Cleckley, MD. Price, $9.75. Pp 510, with no illusrations. The C. V. Mosby Company, Medical Publishers, 3207 Washington Blvd, St. Louis, Mo 63103, 1964.

Arch Intern Med. 1966;118(6):622. doi:10.1001/archinte.1966.00290180098033

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This is the fourth edition of the classic on psychopathic personality. The first edition was published twenty-five years ago as an excellent monograph on this colorful yet miserable clinical picture of a significant fraction of the population coming to the attention of physicians, psychiatrists, police, ministers, and social workers. From a legal standpoint they are sane, ie, without psychosis and cannot be held against their wishes by way of court commitment. When they are reviewed by the staffs of mental hospitals they are now classified as sociopaths and as not having either a psychosis or neurosis. Dr. Cleckley has considered them as wearing a mask of sanity and this describes them in an interesting sort of way. For practical purposes, they represent major disability personality-wise.

Since the first edition the author has continued to give these individuals exhaustive study and has had reports by interested specialists from many countries. It

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