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People of the Lie Paperback – Jan 2 1998

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Talking to Crazy Talking to Crazy

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 2nd edition edition (Jan. 2 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684848597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684848594
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #69,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

M. Scott Peck, M.D. is the author of the New York Times best-seller The Road Less Traveled, with six million copies in print. His other books include Further Along the Road Less Traveled, The Road Less Traveled and Beyond, Meditations from the Road and Golf and the Spirit.

From AudioFile

Scott Peck is a psychiatrist turned author and lecturer. His name is a household word with the self-help crowd. In People of the Lie, Peck takes on the topic of evil. The"volume" cited is not an abridgment but a group of case studies from the first chapters of the book, along with commentary. The presentations are consistently well done. Peck reads with a soft, yet strong voice that is both self-assured and reassuring. D.W.K. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Inside This Book

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First Sentence
GEORGE HAD ALWAYS BEEN a carefree person-or so he thought-until that afternoon in early October. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Di Sabatino on Jan. 9 2004
Format: Paperback
I remember picking this book up about 5 years ago and scanning through the first couple of chapters thinking to myself, "What is this guy talking about? I can't even fathom people that act like this." It just didn't ring true because my experience had not seen the likes of what he was trying to explain.
Fast forward 5 years later, and after going through a harrowing job experience with two people who could star in a movie representation of this book (which, come to think of it, has already been done in a film called SWIMMING WITH SHARKS in the character played by Kevin Spacey), I read it through in a single sitting. Peck so accurately diagnoses the "people of the lie" as being so self-absorbed and narcisistic that they continually make excuses about the abuse they heap upon other people, somehow turning every story 180 degrees in the opposite direction and always claiming victimization when the situation so clearly points to them as the perpetrator. It is a sad indictment of what must be a pandemic within institutions, as these folks clamor and cling to power, money and title oblivious to the human carnage left in the wake of their passing.
But even still, where our hearts are naturally inclined toward revenge, Peck cautions us, coaxing us toward pity for these wretched creatures. He suggests that whatever vile hellaciousness we could dream up as pay back should be tempered with the notion that these folks have consigned themselves to live in a hell of their own making (kind of like Annabella Sciorra in the movie, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME). The dark night of the soul sees their hearts scream out, "I hate you, you're nothing" when the worst some of us deal with is, "Ack... dumb mistake... oh well... keep going."
Bravo... this book rings true, even if it took a second reading. Context is everything!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jack Purcell on May 13 2004
Format: Paperback
I believe this book ought to be required reading for anyone who's considering becoming a parent, considering being born to a parent or a pair of them, contemplating being a brother, sister aunt or uncle or maybe having a wife, husband or friend.
The book is about power, manipulation, boundaries, lies and evil as they exist within ourselves and the people around us. They don't require that we believe in them to exist, but if we're able to recognize them for what they are it helps. Recognizing it doesn't make it easy, but it makes it possible.
Peck's premises mightn't be entirely correct, as some suggest. But whether it's 'evil' or merely something not evil that could get a job being evil if there was such an occupation, Peck's approach works.
I recommend this book for anyone who knows, loves, cares about and lives with the agonies of the phenomenon Peck calls 'evil'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bethany McKinney Fox on Jan. 9 2003
Format: Paperback
Reading People of the Lie is worth your time. First of all, it's not going to take a whole lot of your time--it's pretty quick reading. Second (and more importantly), the case studies and real-life examples contained in this book can be really helpful to getting you more attuned to narcissism and scapegoating characteristics in yourself and others. I did not agree with Dr. Peck that we need to call just this one specific type of character flaw "evil." He does not include much of a defense for saying why we need to name a characteristic as "evil," other than that in naming we gain some power over it; and this reason doesn't hold up. Dr. Peck is writing from a self-proclaimed Christian worldview, and in his worldview Jesus refers to everyone as evil ("If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children..." Matt. 7:11, Luke 11:13), and it doesn't make sense that he is choosing to define evil so specifically as to exclude what is normally thought of as evil in addition to that which Jesus referred to. Certainly Peck's given definition of evil falls under the heading of evil, but in this book he offers very little reasoning for why this specific and narrow definition should be sufficient to cover all real "evil." Many of his points are not made well, and his main goal to set a psychology of evil still is vastly incomplete (which he admits). However, this book is still well worth reading if only to become more aware of these types of evils in yourself and in the people around you so as to combat them with love, as he advises.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cade Foster on Aug. 4 2000
Format: Paperback
I read and enjoyed The Road Less Traveled, but I think Peck went off the deep end with this one.
I'm assuming that this book was published before the widespread acceptance of biological causes of mental illness, since Peck's "case studies" that appear to be primarily cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder, major depression, borderline personality disorder or some form of psychosis, all of which are now treatable with drugs. (I'm betting that Haldol, Seroquel and Prozac, as well as behavioral therapy, all have better treatment rates than exorcism). But even in the late 80's, these theories were gaining credence and psychiatrists were willing to experiment with treatment options other than the "talking cure." I find Peck's willingness to ascribe his patients' difficulties to "evil" or demonic possession not only ludicrous, but irresponsible. I hope he didn't write that on their charts.
The case studies he cites certainly illustrate that people are capable of evil--no secret to anyone who watches Court TV. But Peck seems curiously limited in his view. For example, there's Sarah, a woman who abuses her milquetoast husband. Sarah is evil, Peck maintains, but he's not really interested in how or why. If he's explored the dynamics of the relationship, he doesn't share it with us. Treatment appears to be the furthest thing from his mind. He insists that one can't "treat" evil. All right, but how did Sarah get to be this way? Original sin? Youthful experimentation with a Ouija board? Playing Dungeons & Dragons? It's more likely that she (and her spoouse) were abused or otherwise had traumatic events that caused them to accept their miserable existence as the norm and their due.
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