Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology

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9780631223498: Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology

From Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” to Joseph Conrad’s “fascination of the abomination,” humankind has struggled to make sense of human-upon-human violence. Edited by two of anthropology’s most passionate voices on this subject, Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology is the only book of its kind available: a single volume exploration of social, literary, and philosophical theories of violence.


  • Brings together a sweeping collection of readings, drawn from a remarkable range of sources, that look at various conceptions and modes of violence.
  • Juxtaposes the routine violence of everyday life against the sudden outcropping of extraordinary violence such as the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the state violence of Argentina’s Dirty War, and organized criminal violence.
  • Edited by two of the most prominent researchers in the field.
  • Offers a thought-provoking tool for students and thinkers from all walks of life: an exploration of violence at the broadest levels: personal, social, and political.

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Book Description:

This book looks at various conceptions & modes of violence: physical, psychological, structural, political, & "gratuitous" violence. It takes these conceptions & links them to daily societal issues.

From the Back Cover:

From Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil” to Joseph Conrad’s “fascination of the abomination,” humankind has struggled to make sense of human-upon-human violence. Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology is the only book of its kind available: a single volume exploration of social, literary, and philosophical theories of violence.

Edited by two of anthropology’s most passionate voices on this subject, Violence in War and Peace is a sweeping collection that looks at various concepts and modes of violence. Drawing from a remarkable range of sources, the editors juxtapose the routine violence of everyday life---what scholars Taussig and Benjamin have termed “terror as usual”---against the sudden outcropping of unexpected, extraordinary violence such as the Holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, the state violence of Argentina’s "Dirty War", revolution, vigilante “justice,” and organized criminal violence. Despite the impulse to distance ourselves from such acts, Scheper-Hughes and Bourgois take care to remind us that concepts of violence and aggression have often failed to acknowledge symbolic and structural forms. Yet, the most violent acts often involve conduct that is socially permitted---even encouraged---rather than condemned as deviant. In Violence in War and Peace, the editors offer a thought-provoking tool for students and thinkers from all walks of life: an exploration of violence at the broadest levels: personal, social, and political.

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