Born to Destroy Reviews

Winifred Rule’s Born to Destroy, the story of her psychopathic mother and psychopathic sister, is not only a masterful fusion of intimate memoir, scholarly commentary, and compelling narrative, it is a literary achievement, a tour de force. I don’t recall ever reading a personal history related to the psychopathy of others, much less one that so vividly dramatizes the bewilderment and pain of growing up in a family dominated by such perverse egos. Among the wonders of this instructive tale is the ultimate triumph over the cruelty and evil of her mother and sister by the author who eventually is able to share support, love, and trust with her own husband and children.
– Sidney Offit, Author; Curator Emeritus, George Polk Awards; Member of the Faculty, New School University and Hunter College
Born to Destroy by Winifred Rule belongs on the bookshelf of every clinical psychologist and psychotherapist who deals with families and the abusive dynamics that plague them. Masterfully written, it is the true life story of Wini and her psychopathic mother, a woman who abused her daughter from early childhood through her marriage to a loving, decent man, through the birth of grandchildren and beyond. To survive the parentage of a psychopath is a stellar achievement. Born to Destroy is proof that Wini has not only survived, but triumphed.
– Paul Babiak, Ph.D., author of Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work. His work has been featured in countless news and media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, and Harvard Business Review
This book is a compelling and unforgettable reminder that not all psychopaths are men. The female psychopath walks among us. She may charm like a songbird, but will sting like a scorpion.
– J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D., author of The Psychopathic Mind; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego
A powerful, moving, insight-filled story about one woman’s life with a psychopathic mother and sister. Packed with tension, drama and hope, Born to Destroy is a book you will never forget.
– Betty Kelly Sargent, veteran book and magazine editor and published author. The former editor-in-chief of William Morrow, she has also held positions as executive editor of Harper Collins, executive editor of Delacorte Press, and fiction and books editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Winifred Rule’s Born to Destroy offers her readers a set of “lab notes,” as it were, on the mystery of the psychopathic personality: the who, the how and the why of this condition. From within her own family, Rule describes psychopathic behavior, helping readers to formulate anew a question long debated between religion and behavioral science: Is the demonic necessarily present in the psychopathic?
– Rev.Dennis McManus, Ph.D., Professor, Georgetown University and St. John’s Seminary, Boston
Born to Destroy is a riveting and nuanced journey through the interpersonal dynamics and life course of the female manifestation of psychopathy and the impact the disorder has within the family. Thank you, Winifred Rule for so courageously sharing these necessary details, connecting them with science and providing this opportunity to more fully understand psychopathy within the context of ordinary living and the years of mental minutiae and calamity that characterize the life course of psychopaths and the people they live, work and interact with.
– Jacqueline Helfgott, Ph.D., Professor/Chair of the Criminal Justice Department at Seattle University
This very well written, insightful book should be on the book list of every practicing psychoanalyst.
– Grace F. Edwards, Author and Professor, Hunter College, New York
Born to Destroy is a must-read for anyone who wants to get an in-depth view of the psychopathic personality. Winifred Rule’s courageous memoir of growing up with her abusive mother and sister offers a rare opportunity to witness the harm psychopathic individuals cold-heartedly inflict on others. Destruction, disrespect, and denigration chillingly dominate many pages of Wini’s book. Yet, this is not a story of defeat. On the contrary, Wini’s journey compellingly manifests the possibility of not only surviving, but triumphing in spite of the dark personalities in our lives.
– Dr. Iva Embley, former Director, Expertise Center for Forensic Psychiatry, the Netherlands
Born to Destroy is essential reading for anyone interested in psychopathy, especially how it manifests in females. It provides a ‘boots on the ground’ perspective of living with psychopathic individuals, as well as the ‘bird’s eye view’ from a person who survived this ordeal, and integrated these experiences with contemporary clinical research on psychopathy.
– Craig Neumann, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of North Texas
First I want to say thank you for sharing this intriguing, yet frightening book about human behavior and the family. By using personal family relationships, you have made evident in a most engaging way, what behavioral characteristics are common in the psychopathic female. In addition, the reader is made aware that this personality flawed person can easily function in society, while attempting to, and in many cases accomplishing, the destruction of those who are close to them. While reading, I could feel the pain you endured while trying to establish a loving relationship with your psychopathic mother — a relationship that everyone deserves. I, also, could not help but think of a person I grew up with. Her behavior very closely resembled that of your mother and sister. She was evil. Even after 20 years of psychiatric nursing, I wondered what was wrong with her. Now I believe I know! This book would be interesting read and valuable resource for anyone involved in psychiatric nursing. I really loved the book!
– Karen King, RN