Title: Obedience to Authority
Release Date: August 8, 1983
Genres: Non-Fiction, Psychology, Science
In the 1960s Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram famously carried out a series of experiments that forever changed our perceptions of morality and free will. The subjects—or “teachers”—were instructed to administer electroshocks to a human “learner,” with the shocks becoming progressively more powerful and painful. Controversial but now strongly vindicated by the scientific community, these experiments attempted to determine to what extent people will obey orders from authority figures regardless of consequences. “Milgram’s experiments on obedience have made us more aware of the dangers of uncritically accepting authority,” wrote Peter Singer in the New York Times Book Review. Featuring a new introduction from Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who conducted the famous Stanford Prison Experiment, Obedience to Authority is Milgram’s fascinating and troubling chronicle of his classic study and a vivid and persuasive explanation of his conclusions. (Source)
Closing Thoughts: This books review is (again) a little bit different from my normal book reviews. There aren’t really characters or a plot to evaluate. Similar to when I reviewed “the Law of Attraction,” it is more of something I found interesting and wanted to share. There isn’t a whole lot to “review” and it has been a little difficult to write this post. But I really wanted to show that I read all kinds of books, and there may be people out there who really enjoy books like this.
For those who don’t know, I am studying psychology in hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist. In one of my classes, this book was recommended to me by my professor. Stanley Milgram is a fairly known individual in the world of psychology. His controversial experiments are talked about in different ways: either to show how important research can be, or to show how to not conduct a study. This book is almost like one big research paper, only put into book form. This can be really boring for some people! I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t looking forward to reading it. But if you are at all interested in psychology- or even just human behaviors- this book is really interesting. I think Milgram does a very good job at taking something so scientific and confusing, and putting it into understandable and even enjoyable words.
This is a pretty small book review, but I just wanted to put this out there. If you enjoy non-fiction, psychology, science, or really just learning knew things, I think this is a very good book to read. You get to look at interviews, see how real scientific studies were done, and of course see his analyzing results about why we obey people (sometimes blindly). If you’re a psychology student, or really just find it interesting, I highly recommend this to you!
Where to find Obedience to Authority: