Becoming Evil How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing

ISBN-10: 0195148681
ISBN-13: 9780195148688
Edition: 2002
List price: $29.95
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Copyright year: 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 6/27/2002
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.540
Language: English

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.

Christopher R. Browning is professor of history at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. He is a contributor to Yad Vashem's official twenty-four-volume history of the Holocaust and the author of two earlier books on the subject.

Foreword
What Are the Origins of Extraordinary Human Evil?
Introduction: A Place Called Mauthausen
The Nature of Extraordinary Human Evil
"Nits Make Lice"
Killers of Conviction: Groups, Ideology, and Extraordinary Evil
Dovey's Story
The "Mad Nazi": Psychopathology, Personality, and Extraordinary Evil
The Massacre at Babi Yar
The Dead End of Demonization
The Invasion of Dili
Beyond Demonization: How Ordinary People Commit Extraordinary Evil
A Model of Extraordinary Human Evil
What Is the Nature of Human Nature? Our Ancestral Shadow
The Tonle Sap Massacre
Who Are the Killers? Identities of the Perpetrators
Death of a Guatemalan Village
What Is the Immediate Social Context? A Culture of Cruelty
The Church of Ntarama
Who Is the "Other"? Social Death of the Victims
The "Safe Area" of Srebrenica
What Have We Learned and Why Does it Matter?
Conclusion: Can We Be Delivered from Extraordinary Evil?
Notes
Selected Bibliography

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