Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing romp through several million years of violent human history, 17 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Criminal History of Mankind (Hardcover)
This is a truly fascinating exploration of the violence inherent in mankind, its history and evolution, and why mankind out of all creatures is so prone to violence.

Every age is prone to its own particular brand of violence, and Wilson argues that can roughly be mapped out according to Maslow's hierachy of needs: that, for example, when mankind's primary concern was finding food, most acts of crime and violence were connected to obtaining food and water, i.e. robbery. When food was no longer a pressing concern, the violence became related to Maslow's next level - safety, security, domesticity - and violence became more a territorial issue. When food and shelter were secure, the next level kicked in - the need for love, companionship, intimacy - and this is were sex crimes and crimes of passion became more common. We, Wilson argues, are currently in the fourth level: the self-esteem and esteem of others. Crimes are now committed for fame, for recognition, to be on the news, to be known.

He also argues in humans crime is a result of our bicameral brain, that the left-brain, the conscious, the head, tends to dominate our actions and can override the right-brain, the unconscious or head - and this is why humans can commit acts that our unconscious or instinct insists is wrong or counter-productive. Most crime is a result of the left-brain seeking a short-cut to a desired end, rather than the 'right' but longer route. A man wants riches, and rather than work for them, he sees he can have wealth almost immediately by robbing his neighbour.

Wilson also argues that territorial issues play an enormous part in crime - that in any population, of any size, in any species, around 5% will be 'dominant' and require more space than others of the species. In today's overcrowded society this can lead to tension and aggression, and of this 5% a number will be prepared to use violence to get their way.

I'm not sure I entirely agree with all of Wilson's arguments - particularly his argument that if criminals could only look at their actions objectively and see the illogic they would no longer commit crime. But this is an intriguing romp through several million years of human history, and it certainly serves to demonstrate how much of history has been made by individuals, by dominant 'Right Men' asserting their will over others in search for 'short-cuts', from Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Hitler, Alexander the Great, the Caesars and Popes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.7 out of 5 stars (3 customer reviews)
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £28.05
Add to wishlist
Reviewer

C. Ball
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   

Location: Derbyshire

Top Reviewer Ranking: 398