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Payback: The Case for Revenge Hardcover – April 10, 2013
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The answer, I'm happy to say, is a resounding, "No!" In fact, I believe this is one of the most important books of social commentary that I've ever read. Using evidence from game theory, psychological experiments, brain scans, and anthropological studies, Rosenbaum makes a convincing case for the human need for fairness and moral balance. He then takes us into the modern American courtroom where victims are silenced, truth is irrelevant, and the restoration of moral balance is no longer possible. In such circumstances, Rosenbaum asks, are we not at risk of provoking the kind of vengeance-seeking from victims of crime that our justice system was created to abolish?
Rosenbaum points out that the desire for revenge created by our dysfunctional justice system has found an outlet in art, and his use of fictional characters to illustrate some of his points is enlightening. Fiction is a useful tool for revealing the true nature of situations that in real life are often too nuanced or ponderous (a movie is over in a couple of hours; a crime may not be prosecuted for decades) to understand at anything other than a subconscious level. I found myself wondering if the preponderance of violent video games is a reflection of this human need to rebalance a world that seems devoid of moral balance and honor.Read more ›
I heard an interview on NPR with this author, and he seemed annoyed with anyone who called in questioning his premise continually stating that it was impossible to have a real conversation with these people, yet he continually dodged their questions, showing that he was the one who couldn't have a real conversation about the topic. When asked what revenge would look like for someone who was raped, he said that was a good question but then never answered it. It almost seems like he wrote this book with one purpose in mind - to provoke.
If you're someone who believes that unending cyclical retribution is the best path forward for the human race, then this book is for you. But it wasn't for me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The " author" is an NYU law prof. Such low standards these days? The book is a total waste and completely repetitive. The good reviews are likely from friends. Read morePublished on July 22, 2014 by Boils
oh...I can't get enough of your love. when the president does it that means its not illegal. read my lips no new taxes. I did not have sex with that woman. Read morePublished on July 8, 2014 by RAD
Chapter 2 entitled "Just Deserts" Not a typo. Deserts is used throughout. Not a pun either. Read morePublished on October 21, 2013 by Tori Muse
We ordered a few books off of Amazon that were sold by other sources. We did this for the cost effectiveness. Read morePublished on August 20, 2013 by Grammy
Though at times repetitive in examples, this is a thought provoking tour about, simply put, extracting one's "pound of flesh" and the fine line between and perception of... Read morePublished on April 28, 2013 by Colin Buzzard