Arnold M. Ludwig

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Arnold M. Ludwig, M.D., Psychiatrist, Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University (2006-present), Past Chairman and Professor of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky, College of Medicine (1970-1979). 1970 Lester B. Hofheimer Prize Annual Award given by American Psychiatric Association for Outstanding Research on Alcoholism and LSD. 1973 Roy M. Dorcus Award, outstanding research on multiple personality. 1990 Outstanding Book Prize (Understanding the Alcoholic's Mind), by British Journal of Addiction.


  • While mental disturbances may provide individuals with an underlying sense of unease that seems necessary for sustained creative activity, these disturbances are not the only source for inner tension... chronic physical ailments may give someone a heightened sense of urgency to leave a mark on the world and achieve immortality through creative greatness.
    • The Price of Greatness: Resolving the Creativity and Madness Controversy (1995)
  • There was no future and no past. The present was eternity.
    • Statement about perceptions he experienced in early clinical experiments with LSD. How Do We Know Who We Are? : A Biography of the Self (1997)

King of the Mountain: The Nature of Political Leadership (2002)

University Press of Kentucky
  • People may choose to ignore their animal heritage by interpreting their behavior as divinely inspired, socially purposeful, or even self-serving, all of which they attribute to being human, but they masticate, fornicate, and procreate, much as chimps and apes do, so they should have little cause to get upset if they learn that they act like other primates when they politically agitate, debate, abdicate, placate, and administrate, too.
  • Although humans and baboons may fight among themselves, dominate others, and keep harems, only humans have the ability to give pious excuses for what they do.
  • Paranoia is naturally common among all kinds of rulers, especially tyrants and visionaries.
  • There not only should be far higher percentages of women in power, but they should be well represented at every level: crucial cabinet posts, ambassadorships, and the highest military ranks. I believe that countries then might not be so confrontational.

Quotes of others about Ludwig

  • Ludwig’s penetrating observations, though presented in a lighthearted and entertaining way, offer important insight into why humans have engaged in war throughout recorded history as well as suggesting how they might live together in peace.
  • This is an excellent research report that should, once and for all, resolve senseless controversies about the correlation of creativity with psychopathology.
    • John Gedo, M.D. in a review of The Price of Greatness, in The Review of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
  • Ludwig's book is outstanding. It pulls together a mound of pertinent data, much of it new, into coherent patterns...Throughout the book the reader is offered a wealth of insights and serious questions...Ludwig's development of a Creative Achievement Scale [is] a valued contribution in its own right, allowing researchers a comprehensive objective tool for scoring subjects' degree of achievement... Ludwig has cleared up much of the confusion and opinionated muddleheadedness... that has been attached to the topic and the thinking regarding a relationship between psychopathology and creativity.
    • Imagination, Cognition and Personality, review of The Price of Greatness.
  • Ludwig also provides a brief, quite brilliant exposition and critique of the concept of an "authentic" self, noting that it is rooted in a male Victorian ethos and that it has been overshadowed by the more contemporary American notion of self-invention. Ludwig's beautifully written and intellectually provocative book is one of those rare works that offer fresh, profound insights, moving the reader to think probingly about his or her own life and self.
    • Kirkus Reviews on How Do We Know Who We Are?: A Biography of the Self (1997)
  • An outstanding effort filled with important information for those who treat alcoholics, live with alcoholics, or who are alcoholics.... A significant contribution to the field, and all who deal with alcoholics would benefit from reading it.
    • Science Books and Films, review of "Understanding the Alcoholic's Mind.
  • A thoroughly readable and rich introduction to...the process of recovery from alcoholism.
    • New England Journal of Medicine, review of Understanding the Alcoholic's Mind.
  • Ludwig offers a unique integrative perspective which encompasses the clinical wisdom accrued through twenty-five years of experience as an alcoholism researcher and therapist....The book serves as an excellent primer for clinicians and recovering persons on a practical and multiperspective approach to alcoholism treatment.
    • Contemporary Psychology, review of Understanding the Alcoholic's Mind.
  • An excellent little book — highly informative, full of challenging and stimulating ideas, and teeming with shrewd clinical insights.
    • British Journal of Psychiatry, review of Understanding the Alcoholic's Mind.
  • Useful for physicians who wish to understand alcoholism and the recovery process, and to gain anecdotal evidence of this process, which is presented by using the words of recovering alcoholics....Can be of great value to those many physicians faced with individual patients who are drinking too much.
    • New York State Journal of Medicine, review of Understanding the Alcoholic's Mind.
  • An arresting book that casts political science out the window and explains leadership through comparisons with chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans.
    • Washington Post Book World, review of King of the Mountain.