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Zero Degeres of Empathy - Simon Baron-Cohen

I don’t feel very strongly about this book one way or another.

It’s weird to write a review and just say “it was alright”, but I can’t give much more than that.

It was a very short book, which is surprising for this genre, and refreshing. It was also very clear and succinct, and I think anyone could fully grasp the thesis in one read. It accomplished its goals swiftly and didn’t waste any time.

The author used a scale of empathy, which is uncommon but very useful, and used the zero on that scale to bring together 5 disorders - borderline personality, psychopathy, and narcissism, as well as extreme autism and Asperger’s.

Though I have seen better overall descriptions of these problems, I haven’t seen anyone bring them all under the same umbrella, focusing on empathy as the common ground.

I suppose this would be a good introduction to any of these disorders if they interest you, but overall it is not as comprehensive as I would have liked it to be.

My review is probably tainted by the fact that I have read a lot on these disorders for many years, so it is hard for me to see this book as distinctly special - these books overlap quite a lot.

I don’t think I’d recommend this to a general audience, only if you’re interested in these disorders, and in that case you’ll still have to read other books to understand them more thoroughly.