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Becoming evil : how ordinary people commit genocide and mass murder

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Call Number364.151 W19b
Dates2007; ©2007
Statement of ResponsibilityJames Waller.
Creators & ContributorsWaller, James (author)
Stanton, Gregory Howard (contributor)
Browning, Christopher R. (contributor)
Summary"Social psychologist James Waller uncovers the internal and external factors that can lead ordinary people to commit extraordinary acts of evil. Waller offers a 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. Eyewitness accounts are presented at the end of each chapter. In this second edition, Waller has revised and updated eyewitness accounts and substantially reworked Part II of the book, removing the chapter about human nature and evolutionary adaptations, and instead using this evolutionary perspective as a base for his entire model of human evil." —Publisher
ContentsForeword to the Second Edition / Gregory H. Stanton
Foreword to the First Edition / Christopher R. Browning

Part I. What Are the Origins of Extraordinary Human Evil?
Introduction: A Place Called Mauthausen
  1. The Nature of Extraordinary Human Evil
    • "Nits Make Lice"
  2. Killers of Conviction: Groups, Ideology, and Extraordinary Human Evil
    • Dovey's Story
  3. The Mad Nazi: Psychopathology, Personality, and Extraordinary Human Evil
    • The Massacre at Babi Yar
  4. The Dead End of Demonization
    • The Invasion of Dili

Part II. How Do Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing?
  1. Beyond Demonization: A Model of How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
    • The Tonle Sap Massacre
  2. Cultural Construction of Worldview: Who Are the Killers
    • Death of a Guatemalan Village
  3. Psychological Construction of the Other: Social Death of the Victims
    • The Church of Ntarama
  4. Social Construction of Cruelty: The Power of the Situation
    • The Safe Area of Srebrenica
Part III. What Have We Learned and Why Does It Matter?
Conclusion: Can We Be Delivered from Extraordinary Human Evil?
Postscript: Past as Present
Physical Description xxvi, 351 pages ; 23 cm
Carrier Typevolume
LanguageEnglish
PublisherOxford : Oxford University Press
EditionSecond Edition
NotesIncludes bibliographical references and index
RecognitionGifted in 2013 by the Leo Krell Memorial Book Fund of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in honour of the 38th Annual Symposium on the Holocaust, May 2013