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Violence affects us all. There are daily reports of murders, shootings, abductions and child abuse in the media. We may be horrified and disturbed by violence but is also fascinates and intrigues us. Widely reported crimes profoundly affect the way in which we view our own humanity and leave us searching for explanations. How and why do such terrible events happen? Who are these people and what drives them to commit such appalling acts of brutality and destruction? Elie Godsi examines the lives of the perpetrators of violence and offers us ways of making sense of acts that seem beyond our comprehension. He explores the roots of violence and distress in personal experience and offers a challenging exploration of the way in which society tries to make sense of madness and badness. He is critical of current cultural and medical perspectives that exaggerate biological, genetic and psychological explanations and marginalise the contribution of brutalising social and environmental influences. He challenges us to consider a more critical and compassionate view of violence and personal distress, one that places these experiences within a global social, cultural and economic context.