This “immensely stimulating story of true crime down the ages” tells the history of human violence, from Peking Man to the Mafia (The Times, London).
This landmark work offers a completely new approach to the history and psychology of human violence. Its sweep is broad, its research meticulous and detailed. Colin Wilson explores the bloodthirsty sadism of the ancient Assyrians and the mass slaughter by the armies led by Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Ivan the Terrible, and Vlad the Impaler. He delves into modern history, exploring the genocides practiced by Stalin and Hitler. He then takes a chilling look into the sex crimes and mass murders that have become symbols of the neuroses and intensity of modern life. With breathtaking audacity and stunning insight, Wilson puts criminality firmly in a wide, illuminating historical context.
“A work of massive energy, compulsively readable, splendidly informative . . . it establishes Wilson in a European tradition of thought that includes H. G. Wells, Sartre and Shaw.” —Time Out London
“A tremendous resource for crime buffs as well as a challenging exposition for some of the more subtle criminological thinking of our time.” —Kirkus Reviews