Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing / Edition 2

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Overview


The first edition of Becoming Evil spoke unforgettably to a world shell-shocked by 9/11 that faced a new war on terror against members of an Axis of Evil. With this second edition, James Waller brings us up to date on some of the horrific events he used in the first edition to illustrate his theory of extraordinary human evil, particularly those from the perennially troubled Balkans and Africa, pointing out steps taken both forward and back. Nearly a third of the references are new, reflecting the rapid pace of scholarship in Holocaust and genocide studies, and the issue of gender now occupies a prominent place in the discussion of the social construction of cruelty. Waller also offers a reconfigured explanatory model of evil to acknowledge that human behavior is multiply influenced, and that any answer to the question "Why did that person act as he or she did?" can be examined at two levels of analysis-- the proximate and the ultimate. Bookended by a powerful new foreword from Greg Stanton, vice-president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, and a devastating postscript that addresses current outbreaks of genocide and mass killing, this new edition demonstrates that genocide is a problem whose time has not yet passed, but Waller's clear vision gives hope that at least we can begin to understand how ordinary people are recruited into the process of destruction.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...offers a psychological explanation as to why some human beings are so deliberately harmful to others...A fascinating glimpse of evolutionary psychology is presented... an eyewitness account of inhumanity."--Journal of American Medicine Association

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195314564
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/22/2007
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 741,251
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

1. The Nature of Extraordinary Human Evil
"Nits Make Lice"
2. Killers of Conviction: Groups, Ideology, and Extraordinary Human Evil
Dovey's Story
3. The "Mad Nazi": Psychopathology, Personality, and Extraordinary Human Evil
The Massacre at Babi Yar
4. The Dead End of Demonization
The Invasion of Dili
5. Beyond Demonization: A Model of How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
The Tonle Sap Massacre
6. Cultural Construction of Worldview: Who Are the Killers?
Death of a Guatemalan Village
7. Psychological Construction of the "Other": Social Death of the Victims
The Church of Ntarama
8. Social Construction of Cruelty: Power of the Situation
The "Safe Arena" of Srebrenica
9. Conclusion: Can We Be Delivered From Extraordinary Human Evil?

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