Shelvy Haywood Keglar

Underdog to Top Dog

An Improbable Rise

IBJ 2017

New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PsychologyNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books Network June 14, 2017 Eugenio Duarte

Most psychology books are written by experts with knowledge deriving from professional experience–for which we are grateful. Occasionally, a psychologist ventures to write a...

Most psychology books are written by experts with knowledge deriving from professional experience–for which we are grateful. Occasionally, a psychologist ventures to write a book that draws from intimate personal experience to illuminate important psychological phenomena. Such is the case with our guest this week, Shelvy Haywood Keglar. In his book Underdog to Top Dog: An Improbable Rise (published in 2017 in association with IBJ Book Publishing), Dr. Keglar describes his journey from poverty and rural life, through racism and segregation, to the fulfillment and success he enjoys now. He talks with me about what inspired him to document his personal journey and the hard-earned lessons he imparts to young Black men in search of hope and guidance. To the extent that dreaming is a basic human enterprise, Dr. Keglar’s experiences and wisdom strike universal chords.

Shelvy Haywood Keglar is a psychologist, and founder and president of Midwest Psychological Center, Inc. He also serves as staff member at Community Hospital and Fairbanks Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has taught at Indiana University Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry. Prior publications have been in the areas of personality assessment, addictions, and adolescent psychology.

Listen to the interview by clicking below. To subscribe to the New Books in Psychology podcast, click here.


Eugenio Duarte is a licensed psychologist and psychoanalyst practicing in New York City. He treats individuals and couples, with specialties in LGBTQ issues, eating and body image problems, and relationship problems. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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