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The Roots of Evil: The Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence Paperback – July 31, 1992

ISBN-13: 978-0521422147 ISBN-10: 0521422140 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Series: Origins of Genocide and Other Group Violence
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Reprint edition (July 31, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521422140
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521422147
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,067 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A valuable and important study." Dimensions

"Thoughtful, provocative work." Indochina Chronology

"...a serious, noteworthy effort to present a general psychosocial/cultural analysis of the causes of genocide and mass destruction in the modern age." Bridges

"Staub offers us a multi-textured psychological understanding of genocide and group violence generally, as well as some concrete proposals for promoting caring, connection, and nonaggression. The book is well written and well organized; largely devoid of psychological jargon, yet conceptually rich, it should be easily comprehended by all. While it is written from the analytical perspective of a scholar, it is illuminated by the humane spirit of a man who, as a Hungarian Jew, experienced the horrors of the Holocaust. It is a provocative book from which scholars, students and the general public can benefit greatly." Pearl Oliner, Shofar

"...a rich essay based on extensive and thoughtful scholarship....Staub's book...represent[s] major advances in understanding our vulnerability to become perpetrators and the responsibilities and opportunities that inhere in our unchosen roles as bystanders." Contemporary Psychology

"...a valiant effort to confront the horrors of genocide while trying to articulate something redemptive about human beings, which may guide future practice....a poetic vision." Jeffrey A. Atlas, New Ideas in Psychology

"...a clear, plausible study of the origins of genocide and other group violence." KLIATT

"...methodical and well done...a well-written, scholarly-researched book." George B. Palermo, International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology

Book Description

How can human beings kill or brutalize multitudes of other human beings? Focusing particularly on genocide, but also on other forms of mass killing, torture, and war, this study explores the psychological, cultural, and societal roots of group aggression.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Vachel W. Miller on January 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Roots of Evil is an important book, both in its application of a comprehensive theoretical lens to the problem of mass violence and in its practical usefulness for efforts to prevent genocide from happening again. Staub explains how difficult conditions combine with social/political events to enable inter-group violence using detailed historical examples. His analysis shines light on the darkest actions of human beings, making sense of how neighbors can turn against each other. The book also offers hope that mass violence can be prevented, especially through efforts to humanize the "other" and speak out during the early events that can lead to genocide. In a world in which dehumanization remains all too common, this book will remain critical reading for years to come. It has been an inspiration for me, and for many others working in diverse fields related to peacebuilding. I recommend it highly.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G. Weiss on December 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book, by one of today's most eminent genocide scholars, presents a simple to grasp analysis of the main human drives causing mass violence and genocide. Its ability to combine these drives into an easily understandable system makes it extremely useful for people that need to deal with this subject on the ground in combating ethnic violence. Professor Staub's book has inspired communication campaigns against the hatred fanning the genocide and mass killings in Rwanda, the DRC and Burundi. There, survivors of one of the last centuries' worst outbreaks of mass murder, find comfort in the way his analysis sheds light on how seemingly incomprehensible acts could be committed by the most seemingly normal people. around them.
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By Dorothy Simnett on June 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This author balances the blame for violent behavior on culture. The book is useful when using it in context with other authors' theories. Good basic text.
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