One consequence of the triumph of the political left is the proliferation of fanciful psychiatric diagnoses for all manner of conservatives.

Now Kerry Bolton has written a factually based account of the pathology of the left – the vanity of Rousseau, the narcissistic personality of Karl Marx, the megalomania of Trotsky, the father-hating hedonist Mao Zedong, through to the paedophile promoting Allen Ginsberg, and the Oedipus complex of Louis Althusser who on release from a mental hospital strangled his wife.

Kerry Bolton’s The Psychotic Left not only makes fascinating reading, but it provides an insight into the hypocrisy of many of the leading figures on the political left, who despite their rhetoric were totally devoid of compassion or empathy for their fellow man.

A common thread of many of the personalities discussed in this book is an overwhelming narcissism – the arrogance of people who are absolutely confident in their prescriptions for redesigning society and absolutely ruthless in putting their ideas into action – whatever the cost in human lives and suffering.