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Drawing on firsthand experience as a prison psychiatrist, Dr. James Gilligan has written a pathbreaking book on the tragic epidemic of violence in the United States. Violence is a pioneering work that examines the roots of violence and offers a startling conclusion: that shame is a driving force behind violent behavior and that current methods of punishment and many of our current social policies exacerbate rather than reduce tendencies toward violence. A brilliantly argued book, Violence is must-reading not only for students of social problems, criminology, and current affairs, but for anyone concerned with our national epidemic and its widespread consequences.
PRAISE FOR Violence:
"This extraordinary book connects us to violence that we usually prefer to consider inhuman, outside or ken, that we try to sequester in inner cities and lock away in prisons, shut out of sight. Gilligan not only brings our attention back to an urgent social problem, but retrieves an understanding of human violence that bears importantly on all our personal lives. His recommendations concerning what does work to prevent violence--and what can never work to prevent it--are extremely convincing, informed as they are by conclusions drawn from his extensive, intimate, firsthand experience. A wise and careful, enormously instructive book."
--Owen Renik, M.D., editor, Psychoanalytic Quarterly
"Important and absorbing...a valuable book deserving a widespread and thoughtful readership."
--Norval Morris, Dean Emeritus, University of Chicago Law School, The Boston Globe
"Gilligan has written a stunning book about violence. As a psychiatrist who has spent twenty-five years of his professional life treating men who committed murder, Gilligan draws poignantly on his work with prisoners to help us understand what motivates desperate men. In the end, he offers a compelling psychoanalytic explanation of violence while calling on society to take social, economic, and cultural measures to help prevent the 'deadly epidemic' from spreading."
--Judith Friedlander, Ph.D., Dean of the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, The New School for Social Research
"Dr. Gilligan offers a personal and passionate summing up of his decades of empathic clinical work with men who have committed horrible crimes, and he succeeds in deepening our understanding of their inner lives, the dark world of prisons they inhabit, and the violence that pervades American society."
--Donald J. Cohen, M.D., Director, Yale Child Study Center