9780393323238 / 0393323234

Base Instincts: What Makes Killers Kill?


Publisher:W. W. Norton & Company



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About the book:

"[A] significant contribution to the national debate about violent criminal behavior."Senator Joe Lieberman

Neurologist Dr. Jonathan Pincus personally examined and probed into the family and medical history of numerous serial killers and other violent criminals to analyze what creates and triggers the violent instinct. He discovered that virtually all suffered severe abuse as children, as well as brain damage and mental illness. In these gripping, terrifying stories, Pincus concludes that violent criminal behavior is the catastrophic product of a dysfunctional brain coupled with an abusive environment. Focusing on these critical factors, how can we prevent the development of potentially violent persons from a young age before the damage becomes irrevocable? And how do we evaluate chances of rehabilitation? "[A] rigorous, troubling, and profoundly humane book."Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic "An urgent wake-up call for the nation...a must-read for every professional engaged in the administration of criminal justice."Samuel Dash, Georgetown University Law Center

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