In this searing exploration of deadly codependency, the author takes the reader on a spellbinding voyage of discovery that examines the questions: Are some people naturally too caring? Is caring sometimes a mask for darker motives? Can science help us understand how our concerns for others can hurt everything we hold dear? This gripping story brings extraordinary insight to our deepest questions. Is kindness always the right answer? Is kindness always what it seems?
Reviews for Cold-Blooded Kindness
"Cold-Blooded Kindness is a terrific book. It combines old-fashioned narrative skills with new insights from science and a tough-minded view of good and evil that is neither sentimental nor cynical."Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Blank Slate
"Cold-Blooded Kindness is a masterpiece. Our culture mistakenly teaches that all acts of kindness and altruism are good, but there are many overlooked victims out there who know that kindness can also control, manipulate, and harm. This book is their salvation."Dr. Helen Smith, forensic psychologist and author of The Scarred Heart: Understanding and Identifying Kids Who Kill
"Truly a tour de force. Barbara Oakley couples the story-telling gifts of a born novelist with the insights of a sophisticated neuroscientist. Beginning with a sensational crime, Cold-Blooded Kindness gradually pulls back to reveal labyrinthine depths of duplicity conducted on a grand public scale. I alternated between shivering in horror and laughing out loud. This book is a murder mystery, a case study in social pathology, an artist's biography, a courtroom drama, and a scientific detective story all at once. A lot is at stake: human decency; the integrity of the legal system; and the powers of science to illuminate human behavior in its strangest and darkest forms. Cold-Blooded Kindness is a triumphant achievement."Joe Carroll, Curators' professor of English, University of Missouri, St. Louis; author of EVOLUTION AND LITERARY THEORY and LITERARY DARWINISM: EVOLUTION, HUMAN NATURE, and LITERATURE