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.
James E. Waller, Professor and Chair, Psychology Department, Whitworth College, USA
Part I. What are the Origins of Extraordinary Human Evil?
1: The Nature of Extraordinary Human Evil
"Nits Make Lice"
2: Killers of Conviction: Groups, Ideology, and Extraordinary Human Evil
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?
5: Beyond Demonization: A Model of How Ordinary People Commit Genocide and Mass Killing
The Tonle Sap Massacre
6: Cultural Construction of Worldview: Who Are the Killers?
Death of a Guatemalan Village
7: Psychological Construction of the "Other": Social Death of the Victims
The Church of Ntarama
8: Social Construction of Cruelty: Power of the Situation
The "Safe Arena" of Srebrenica
Part III. What Have We Learned, and Why Does it Matter?
9: Conclusion: Can We Be Delivered From Extraordinary Human Evil?
Postscript: Past as Present