A Mind for Murder: The Education of the Unabomber and the Origins of Modern Terrorism

Overview

"With its unusual emphasis and sometimes surprisingly personal tone, this may become the definitive Kaczynksi volume."—Publishers Weekly
This is a radically new interpretation of the life and motives of the infamous Unabomber. Alston Chase's gripping account follows Ted Kaczynski from an unhappy adolescence in Illinois to Harvard, where he was subject not only to the despairing intellectual currents of the Cold War but also to ethically questionable psychological experiments. Kaczynski fled academia to the edge ...

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Overview

"With its unusual emphasis and sometimes surprisingly personal tone, this may become the definitive Kaczynksi volume."—Publishers Weekly
This is a radically new interpretation of the life and motives of the infamous Unabomber. Alston Chase's gripping account follows Ted Kaczynski from an unhappy adolescence in Illinois to Harvard, where he was subject not only to the despairing intellectual currents of the Cold War but also to ethically questionable psychological experiments. Kaczynski fled academia to the edge of the wilderness in Montana, but Chase shows us that he was never the wild mountain man the media often assumed him to be. Kaczynski was living in a book-lined cabin just off a main road when he formulated the view of the world that he used to justify murder. Through Chase's compelling narration of the planning and execution of Kaczynski's crimes, we come to know a thoroughly cold-blooded killer, but one whose ideas were uncannily close to those of mainstream America. Originally published in hardcover as Harvard and the Unabomber.

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Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe
“A chilling and provocative account of what made the Unabomber tick.”
Chicago Tribune
“Fascinating and revealing.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393325560
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/19/2004
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 454
  • Sales rank: 957,791
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Alston Chase is a writer and independent scholar specializing in intellectual history. He lives in Paradise Valley, Montana.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 11
1 The Crimson Killer 17
Part 1 The Unabomber: Crimes and Questions
2 A Man of Letters 37
3 The Scientific Method 47
4 The Perfect Detonator 64
5 The Face in the Mirror 83
6 Ah, Wilderness! 101
7 Gridlock at Last Chance Gulch 120
8 Kafka Comes to Sacramento 129
Part 2 The Education of a Serial Killer
9 The Loneliness of the Blue-Collar Intellectual 155
10 Growing Up Absurd 165
11 The Religion of Reason 181
12 Is Intelligence Evil? 190
13 Harvard's Culture of Despair 207
14 "Lumpenstudenten": Falling between the Cracks 214
15 The Experiment 228
16 The Dyad 240
17 The Old School Tie 251
18 Murray, the Zelig 267
19 The Cognitive Style of Murder 281
Part 3 The Descent of Ted Kaczynski and the Ideology of Modern Terrorism
20 Nightmares about Psychologists 297
21 Dawn of the Age of Aquarius 307
22 The Two Diasporas 318
23 Bonbons and Bombs 327
24 Jihad 346
25 Ted Kaczynski and the Rise of Modern Terrorism 358
Chronology 373
Notes 377
Index 421
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