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Mass Hate: The Global Rise of Genocide and Terror

NCJ Number
Neil J. Kressel
Date Published
352 pages
This volume discusses the past 6 decades of research on the psychology of mass hate and focuses on situations around the world where large portions of countries or cultural groups have taken part in mass murder, terrorism, or other atrocities against unarmed civilians selected mainly due to their race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, or ideology.
The book explores why brutality had erupted and flowed more expansively in the 20th century than ever before. The text aims to present the perspectives of the perpetrators to learn why they are willing to act as they do, the circumstances under which they might be less likely to take part in violence, and the prospects for an eruption of mass hatred in the United States. The analysis focuses on ethnic cleansing and the tactics of rape and torture of women in Bosnia, Muslim extremists in New York, the genocide in Rwanda, and the systematic murder of Jews and others during the Holocaust. The discussion examines history, psychology, and political science for explanations of what causes a citizen to murder innocent neighbors. The analysis notes that mass hatred had reached murderous proportions in only a relatively small number of societies. Thus, the most important question for someone seeking to understand large-scale atrocities was not where prejudice or other raw material of mass hate originates. Instead, the crucial issue is how these ingredients combine to result in the atrocities. The analysis concludes that no clear, comprehensive, and convincing strategy exists for encouraging and maintaining a nongenocidal society exists. However, the two best strategies for addressing mass hatred were the relentless pursuit and punishment of the perpetrators of atrocities and the promotion of stable democracies wherever possible. Chapter reference notes and index