Elie Godsi examines the lives of the perpetrators of violence and offers us ways of making sense of acts that seem beyond our comprehension. He explores the roots of violence and distress in personal experience and offers a challenging exploration of the way in which society tries to make sense of madness and badness.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was so struck by the first edition of this book that I chose to purchase a copy of the second edition. The review of the first edition was:One of the most affecting books I've ever read. I bought a copy after hearing the author give a talk some years ago.As a criminal psychologist the author has had dealings with many of the most infamous criminals in recent British history. And his dealings with them has lead him to formulate his thoughts on the nature of 'madness', to try and find understanding when the press can only label people as 'evil'!It is important to realise that at no point are the actions of the various case studies being justified. The actions are all utterly abhoront. But understanding where the behaviour comes from helps us understand why these crimes happened. And only by really understanding can we hope to avoid similar problems in the future.Unfortunately the book has a very bleak edge to it. Essentially almost all of the most dreadful crimes are associated with people who have suffered chaotic, disordered lives, and all the indications are that as a society we are creating conditions that lead to more disordered and chaotic lives for young people. These children are therefore more likely to become disordered and chaotic and each generation is in a vicious spiral with the products of the disorder becoming progressively more violent.At times the book talks about real events (such as the killing of Jamie Bulger), at others the case studies are amalgams of various cases, but in each the correlation between the youthful experiences and the crimes is clear.Chilling, fascinating and still very readable...The only thing that changed between the two editions was to include a section on the motivations and experiences of someone who might choose to be a suicide bomber. Once again, it is important to note that this wasn't a justification, it was a consideration of why certain people may do awful things.