Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty

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Henry Holt and Company, Apr 14, 2015 - Social Science - 431 pages

Why is there evil, and what can scientific research tell us about the origins and persistence of evil behavior?

Considering evil from the unusual perspective of the perpetrator, Roy F. Baumeister asks, How do ordinary people find themselves beating their wives? Murdering rival gang members? Torturing political prisoners? Betraying their colleagues to the secret police? Why do cycles of revenge so often escalate?

Baumeister casts new light on these issues as he examines the gap between the victim's viewpoint and that of the perpetrator, and also the roots of evil behavior, from egotism and revenge to idealism and sadism. A fascinating study of one of humankind's oldest problems, Evil has profound implications for the way we conduct our lives and govern our society.

 

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User Review  - lbeaumont - LibraryThing

This remarkable book begins to give us a firm basis for hope, because it provides a deep and accurate understanding of evil. This well researched and well written book examines and discredits the ... Read full review

Contents

Chapter 1 The Question of Evil and the Answers
1
PART I Image and Reality
31
PART II The Four Roots of Evil
97
PART III HOW They Do It
249
PART IV Conclusion
373
Notes
389
Index
419
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About the author (2015)

Roy F. Baumeister, Ph.D., holds the E. B. Smith Professorship in Liberal Arts at Case Western Reserve University. Since receiving his doctorate in social psychology from Princeton University, he has received numerous fellowships and awards. He has published nearly 150 scientific works and is cited in numerous sources in the popular media. Baumeister has authored or co-authored a dozen other books, including Losing Control: How and Why Self-Regulation Fails and Meanings of Life. He lives on the shores of the Great Lakes.

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