Becoming Evil by James Waller
How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review



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.

About James Waller

See more books from this Author
James Waller, Professor and Chair, Psychology Department, Whitworth College, Spokane.
Published June 27, 2002 by Oxford University Press. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Professional & Technical, History. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Becoming Evil

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

First considering factors in evolutionary psychology—such as humans' instinctive xenophobia and desire for social dominance—Waller examines psychosocial influences on the killers, from people's willingness to obey authority even when causing others physical pain (the famous Milgram experiments of...

| Read Full Review of Becoming Evil: How Ordinary P...

Reader Rating for Becoming Evil

An aggregated and normalized score based on 28 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review