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?
Dekleva KB. Hitler: Diagnosis of a Destructive Prophet. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002;59(2):190–192. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.59.2.189
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