A First Rate Madness By Nassir Ghaemi

1524 Words7 Pages
The most prominent leaders in world history have mental illnesses that split them apart from other people. Against popular belief, mental illnesses may be beneficial towards leaders.The book: A First-Rate Madness by Nassir Ghaemi describes how leadership and mental illnesses may go hand in hand. The author describes this through famous leaders such as: General William Tecumseh Sherman, Ted turner, Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy. The book demonstrates how the mental illnesses within a person makes for a better leader. The author does this by taking italian psychiatrist Cesare lombroso’s view of insanity= genius. Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King…show more content…
This really makes me respect them even more. When you think of Martin Luther King and Ghandi, you idolize them. Knowing that Gandhi and King were depressed makes you think of them more as humans, makes you put yourself in their shoes. “Each man is now sanctified in the public mind, but few of us really appreciate them for who they were, for their weaknesses as well as their strengths, for the ejection they faced during their lives, and the depression they repeatedly endured and-in their empathy for others’ suffering-ultimately overcame” (Ghaemi, 2012, p.86). I also learned that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to kill himself twice before the age of thirteen: once when he thought his grandmother was dead, but she was just unconscious, and the second time when his grandma actually died. Both times, he jumped from the second-floor window but landed unhurt (Ghaemi, 2012, p.101). This again, amazed me. Honestly, thinking about such important leaders in history I usually think that they are perfect. I forget that just like any of us, they are human, they aren’t perfect. I knew that Churchill was a fiery leader who refused to submit to tyranny, however I did not know that many of his amazing and numerous leadership abilities derived from his mental illness. Apparently,Churchill 's family had a history of mental illnesses, his father was a sex addict, and his sister (Diana), committed
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