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Hatred: The Psychological Descent Into Violence

Willard Gaylin

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Prose: non-fiction, Psychology

We all get angry at the built-in frustrations and humiliations of everyday life. But few of us ever experience the intense and perverse hatred that inspires acts of malignant violence such as suicide bombings or ethnic massacres. In Hatred , Dr.Willard Gaylin, one of America's most respected psychiatrists, describes how raw personal passions are transformed into acts of violence and cultures of hatred. Such hatred goes beyond mere emotion. Hatred, Gaylin explains, is a psychological disorder, a form of quasi-delusional thinking. It requires forming "a passionate attachment," an obsessive involvement with the scapegoat population. It is designed to allow the angry and frustrated individual to disavow responsibility for his own failures and misery by directing it towards a convenient victim. Gaylin dissects the mechanisms by which cynical political and religious leaders manipulate frustrated and deprived people, leading to the acts of mass terror that threaten us all. Step-by-step, he leads us into an understanding of the psychological pathway to acts of terrorism, an understanding that is an essential to survival in a world of hatred. Hatred is a masterwork in Willard Gaylin's life-long study of human emotions. Writing for the educated lay audience in the eloquent, accessible language of his bestsellers Feelings and Rediscovering Love , he takes us to the very roots of hatred.

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