Marian Volkman reviews
Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist
by Rhodes, Richard
A fairly badly written book, in my opinion, but still well worth reading, as nothing else that I am aware of covers this ground. Rhodes writes about the life and work of a criminologist named Lonnie Athens, who grew up in a violent family and a violent neighborhood. His early life experiences informed his alter studies. The outstanding contribution Athens has made to the world is his discovery of the key steps a human being needs to go through to reach the state of being willing to kill other human. This process he calls “violentization”. If Athens is correct, and he makes a very good case for his theory, we have the keys also to prevent the cycle of violence from perpetuating itself on through the generations. No small gift.
Rhodes shows how Athens’ work has been resisted by the establishment. Eventually I am sure that Athens will be understood to be correct, and his methods will be validated. Sooner would be good, rather than later. There is real hope here for a better, saner world. I highly recommend this book to you if you have interest in the topics of violence and crime.