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The publication of a fourth edition must certainly attest to both the great popularity and value of this fascinating book with its even more fascinating title. Understandably, Dr. Cleckley has seized upon the fact that the psychopath's life history, more than that of any other type of psychiatric patient, is replete with the kind of action and experience that lends itself to profound absorption, gratification, and fascination (I hope I am forgiven for depending heavily on the use of this word, while endeavoring not to abuse it too much) in the reader, whose soul's share of a bit of larceny, associated with a more extensive conscience development, permits the combination of emotional reactions that often determines the ultimate popular success of a literary production.
The author's impressive style which is both picturesque and erudite, combined with what is unquestionably an impeccable and comprehensive clinical knowledge of and
Falstein EI. The Mask of Sanity.. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;13(2):188-189. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1965.01730020090011