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Book Reviews
February 2002

Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59(2):190-192. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.59.2.189

As the new millennium begins, psychiatrists with research interests in political psychology would do well to reflect on what we have learned to date about the genesis of destructive political leadership. Sadly, there exists no shortage of destructive, paranoid leaders in the world today. Witness the barbarism of Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, and Rwanda's leaders. Fritz Redlich, MD, brings us a new study entitled Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet, and rekindles the debate of whether Adolph Hitler's destructiveness was in any way related to the presence of a psychiatric diagnosis. This review takes Redlich's book as a starting point for questions relevant to future research in the field of political psychology and destructive leadership,1 asking specifically: What expertise and methodology can psychiatry bring to bear upon such questions?

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