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Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing

by

Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Political or social groups wanting to commit mass murder on the basis of racial, ethnic or religious differences are never hindered by a lack of willing executioners. In Becoming Evil, social psychologist James Waller uncovers the internal and external factors that can lead ordinary people to commit extraordinary acts of evil.

Waller debunks the common explanations for genocide — group think, psychopathology, unique cultures — and offers a more sophisticated and comprehensive psychological view of how anyone can potentially participate in heinous crimes against humanity. He outlines the evolutionary forces that shape human nature, the individual dispositions that are more likely to engage in acts of evil, and the context of cruelty in which these extraordinary acts can emerge. Illustrative eyewitness accounts are presented at the end of each chapter.

An important new look at how evil develops, Becoming Evil will help us understand such tragedies as the Holocaust and recent terrorist events. Waller argues that by becoming more aware of the things that lead to extraordinary evil, we will be less likely to be surprised by it and less likely to be unwitting accomplices through our passivity.

Book News Annotation:

Having previously addressed specific prejudices concerning race, Waller (social psychology, Whitworth College, Spokane, Washington) outlines an explanation of extraordinary human evil in more general terms. He considers the wide range of factors involved in the process of ordinary people coming to commit extraordinary evil.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Table of Contents

' Preface: \"I Couldn\'t Do This to Someone\"


Part 1: What Are the Origins of Extraordinary Human Evil?


Introduction: A Place Called Mauthausen


1. The Nature of Extraordinary Human Evil


\"Nits Make Lice\"


2. Killers of Conviction: Groups, Ideology, and Extraordinary Evil


Dovey\'s Story


3. The \"Mad Nazi\": Psychopathology, Personality, and Extraordinary Evil


The Massacre at Babi Yar


4. The Dead End of Demonization


The Invasion of Dili


Part 2: Beyond Demonization: How Ordinary People Commit Extraordinary Evil


A Model of Extraordinary Human Evil


5. The Nature of Human Nature: Our Ancestral Shadow


The Tonle Sap Massacre


6. Defining the Killers: Identities of the Perpetrators


Death of a Guatemalan Village


7. Immediate Social context: A Culture of Cruelty


The Church at Ntamara


8. Defining the \"Other\": Social Death of the Victims


The Safe Area of Srebrenica


Part 3: What Have We Learned and Why Does It Matter?


9. Conclusion: Can We Be Delivered from Extraordinary Evil?


Genocide Warning: Sudan


'

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195148688
Subtitle:
How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
Author:
Waller, James
Author:
null, James
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Psychology, Social.
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Series Volume:
v. 1
Publication Date:
August 2002
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 halftones, 5 line illus.
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
6 x 9.2 x 1.1 in 1.513 lb

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Crime » Criminology
History and Social Science » Sociology » Crime

Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
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Product details 336 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195148688 Reviews:
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