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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a study of the pathological personality
This is an astounding, essential reference when it comes to understanding and dealing with psychopathological individuals in the workplace. They are FAR more prevalent than most people imagine, and especially in positions of power and authority, to which they naturally gravitate.

As the authors point out, psychopaths rarely take the form of 'Hannibal Lectur',...
Published on Nov. 3 2007 by sleepyvinny

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, But a Tad Disappointing
I guess the title I gave for this review sums up my feelings about the book. It should be noted that I work in the public sector, so I wasn't really the target audience the authors had in mind.
Having said that, I felt rather disappointed with the hypothetical characters that were used in the case studies. I can readily understand the restrictions the authors...
Published on June 27 2011 by Daniel Kelly


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a study of the pathological personality, Nov. 3 2007
This review is from: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
This is an astounding, essential reference when it comes to understanding and dealing with psychopathological individuals in the workplace. They are FAR more prevalent than most people imagine, and especially in positions of power and authority, to which they naturally gravitate.

As the authors point out, psychopaths rarely take the form of 'Hannibal Lectur', but are much more likely to come in the guise of a slick, fast talking, charismatic high-flyer, who ruthlessly backstabs and manipulates his way into positions of power, for personal gain. Basically, they are invisible to anyone who does not have the knowledge of how they operate (ie: the majority), and this is what makes them so lethal.

Psychopathy is not a 'mental illness', it is a personality disorder, and as such, psychopaths are usually free of the normal quirks and neuroses of normal people, and instead operate under the blinding inertia of unquestioning self-confidence, without a hint of self-examination or internal doubt - for the psychopath, emotions are simply used as a dramatic tool, in order to evoke pity, guilt, fear or self-doubt in others, for manipulation purposes; and are completely lacking in connection to any deeper meaning.

This book is founded on extensive experience and clinical studies; eg. the Hare Psychopathy Checklists PCL-R; and builds on the established work of Hervey Cleckley ('Mask of Sanity', also recommended). It pulls back the curtain, shows all the tricks, how they work in practice in the modern corporate environment, and how to defend against them. It describes in some detail the scary surreal reality that the psychopath inhabits, in which conscience and emotion are somehow 'pretend' - how their brains are activated in a completely different pattern (as shown on ECG studies) - everything is a coldblooded 'game' of oneupmanship and self-interest, regardless of consequence.

Thoroughly recommended to anyone in a position of responsibility of assessing people - recruitment or management; and also to anyone studying psychopathy and its implications in the real wold.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Much-Needed Warning, June 22 2007
By 
Harrison Koehli (Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Psychopaths are ruthless, cunning, and conscienceless egotists. They will sell out their own mother in their quest for power. And yet they are loved and admired by many. How can we reconcile this contradiction?

Babiak and Hare demonstrate that psychopaths are masters of adopting a "mask of sanity" (a term coined by Hervey Cleckley in his masterpiece, "The Mask of Sanity"); that is they are extremely effective at impression management. They are con artists who can fool even the experts, donning whatever persona is needed to manipulate their victims.

If you can be of value to the social striving of a subclinical psychopath, you can bet that he will convince you of his good intentions, his honour, his kind nature, etc. But it is a lie. He is simply using you.

"Snakes in Suits" examines psychopaths in the corporate workplace: how to spot them and how to deal with them. But its lessons are applicable to a bigger picture. The moral relativism inherent in our Capitalist system is the perfect opening for opportunistic psychopaths to rise to the top.

And as the authors show, this can never be a good thing. Psychopaths are untalented narcissists who profit only on the work of others. And in a political environment, this can be disastrous. Witness, for example, the historical phenomena of Nazism and Stalinism, systems of government in which psychopaths occupied all positions of authority.

Without a general understanding of the reality of psychopathy, they will continue to operate freely, causing misery and suffering for their victims (more numerous by the day). "Snakes in Suits" should be read along with Lobaczewski's "Political Ponerology", an analysis of systems of government in which psychopaths rule. Both books contain information urgently needed not only by ordinary citizens, but by anyone in a leadership position.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read, Oct. 28 2007
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This review is from: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
This book explains how psychpathic personalities can easily get passed interviews with impressive results. How they can dress up their resume and work experience, and how they create divisions and generate conflict within the organization.

In reading that book, you will acquire the knowledge required to identify and protect yourself before you get burned by these remorseless and conscienceless individuals. Highly Reccomended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Essential Works on Psychopathy, March 14 2008
This review is from: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
"Snakes in Suits" is one of the most essential works on psychopathy, as well gives the reader the working knowledge of how psychopaths operate in the job industry, especially in the corporate workplace. Not only will this book to help the reader to understand how corporate psychopaths operate, but it will give a great deal of insights and helpful tips on how to deal with them and how to protect oneself from them.

I give high praises to Hare for this work on the subject. This book is well written and easy to read as well an eye opening experience. I surly would recommend this book.

Psychopaths are ruthless, emotionless, and consciousness individuals to which they only serve themselves at the expense of others. All words coming out of their mouths would be lies, and if you are appeared as "important" or special to them, it is a safe bet that they are using you.

With this book as a tool and a guide, the readers would be able to identify each pathological individual and understand them more clearly as well to protect oneself from them. I would recommend the readers to study other works that discussed with the certain aspects of the study on the psychopaths, including "Without Conscience" (by Robert Hare), "The Mask of Sanity" (by Hervey Checkley), "The Sociopath Next Door" (by Martha Stout), "In Sheep's Clothing" (by George Simon), and Andrzej Lobaczwski's "Political Ponerology." With these works, one will have a good deal of working knowledge of the phenomenon of psychopaths in our world, in our governments, in our workplace, in our neighborhood, and even in our homes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but needs more data, Nov. 7 2009
By 
A. Volk (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
Bob Hare is undoubtedly "the" expert on psychopathy. So you have to take this book seriously. However, it is not based on the decades of research that he has done in prisons. Rather, this book is based on a lot of case reviews, and limited empirical evidence, about psychopaths in normal business settings. That's a major limitation of this book. Take it with a grain of salt, because it's not nearly as hard and fast as his first book.

To be fair to the authors, they do point out that many of their subjects do not score clinical levels on the PCL-SV, rather, they just score highly on it. That's a very important distinction. Primarily because scoring really high means you're an impulsive person with a criminal record. That means you have a very high chance of committing another crime, barring you from working in a public company. Impulsivity means you're likely to get caught.

Instead, what I think Hare and Babiak are mostly talking about are Machiavellians and sub-psychopaths. Individuals who score very high on the personality factors of psychopathy, but not the behavioral measures. In other words, psychopaths with self-control. Whether they are psychopaths without those measures, or whether they're something else entirely, is an interesting question. Still, there's no debate that psychopathic traits are present in the business world, and that they can cause tremendous damage to people and companies. The book first talks about recognizing the signs, then gives practical advice on how to screen for these signs, and how to deal with people who show them.

Overall then, I found this to be an interesting look at psychopaths outside of a criminal setting. However, the book could use more data, and seeing as it keeps referring to psychopaths, yet is mostly based on "almost psychopaths", it would have benefited from exploring that avenue further. What is it about "almost psychopaths" that lets them operate in business while virtually all psychopaths end up in jail sooner or later? I think I gave the answer above (lack of impulsivity), but that's a fascinating theoretical question. For those outside of science/academic who are just looking for a practical book on avoiding/dealing with these kinds of people, this is an excellent choice. For those looking for a solidly researched book on psychopaths, this is a so-so choice.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Learn All You Can, June 8 2014
This review is from: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
Either learn beforehand about manipulators without conscience who will take all you have built up - or discover after the fact as you pick up the dreadful pieces. This is an important book as is Dr. Hare's first book, 'Without Conscience'.

Not all psychopaths are so compulsive that they end up in jail. Some are quite content to steal slowly and quietly - your job, your money, your home. They will turn your boss and loyal employees against you. They are expert at what they do.

I wish this must-read was taught in business schools before unsuspecting youth head into the workplace.

Eleanor Cowan, author of : A History of a Pedophile's Wife: Memoir of a Canadian Teacher and Writer
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book for High Trust Individuals, May 30 2014
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This review is from: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
For those of us that live by the golden rule, this book is a good education about 25% of the population and the things that are done in the name of business.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for anyone wanting to know why big corporations are what they are, May 22 2014
By 
Phung Minh Hoang (Singapore) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
This book examines in more detail a particular aspect of the psychopathy issue that is usually overlooked by the literature on the subject. It starts out by articulating the general characteristics of psychopathy and then goes into details how it manifests in companies, especially big corporations. It discusses how psychopaths can easily get into those big companies, weave their way to the top, and the damage they do in the process, both to the companies and the people working with them. The book also includes a lot of examples in the form of short stories, making it easy to read for the lay readers.

All in all, this is an excellent book and essential reading for anyone who wants to understand why big corporations are what they are.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enlighting, Nov. 10 2013
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This review is from: Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work (Paperback)
It was most enlighting, one takes peoples words for truth but actions speak volumns. I would advise anyone hiring to read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's scary how many psychopaths we know......., Dec 28 2007
By 
J. Tupone (Saskatchewan) - See all my reviews
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This is an excellent book and an easy read for anyone. The authors (being highly educated psychologists) did an excellent job in writing this book for the average person. They communicate the characteristics of workplace psychopaths in plain, clear language than anyone can understand and relate to. Readers will be shocked when reading the book because they will realize that there are psychopaths all among us in the work place; I easily identified two or three individuals in my short career who fit the bill perfectly.
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Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Paul Babiak (Paperback - April 26 2007)
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