Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Cold-Blooded Kindness: Neuroquirks of a Codependent Killer, or Just Give Me a Shot at Loving You, Dear, and Other Reflections on Helping That Hurts by Barbara Oakley

Rating: 3/5

This book was pretty interesting, part true crime and part behavioral science. I had to knock off a star, though, because it seems like Oakley wanted to write about pathological altruism so badly that even when she discovered her subject was actually a pathological liar instead, she tried to find a way to tie in the altruism angle anyway. I don't mind her talking about her original intent with the book, but for heaven's sake, change the title. There was NO cold-blooded kindness in Carole Alden's story, just masterful manipulation and its fallout. I'm a big reader of social science, so I'm surprised to find myself saying this book would perhaps have been better with less science exposition and politicizing about research. Still, Carole is a fascinating case study in how much chaos one person can cause.

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