Cults: Inside the World’s Most Notorious Groups and Understanding the People Who Joined Them by Max Cutler with Kevin Conley
Simon & Schuster (July 2022)
416 pages; $22.63 hardcover; $14.99 e-book
Reviewed by Haley Newlin
We’ve seen it for generations: a well-spoken, charismatic person derails the ingrained ideals of humanity. Take the most horrific war leaders of World War II, like Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini. Both men, with bloodied hands and a lack of empathy to such outlandish extents that many have argued exemplified psychopathy, not only led their armies down a wretched road of antisemitism, barbarity, and murder but did so with their recruits’ eagerness and even enthusiasm.
The same question is often asked throughout history, whether regarding dictators, crime bosses, or cult leaders: Why do people go along with this?