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The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime

Adrian Raine.
Publisher Pantheon  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.45 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9780307378842
Pages/Publication Date 478/2013
Daedalus Item Code 62634
This item is not available.
Why do some kids grow up to become cold-blooded killers? Is bad biology partly to blame? For more than three decades, criminologist Adrian Raine has been researching the biological roots of violence, in the process establishing neurocriminology—applying neuroscience techniques to investigate the causes and cures of crime—as a scientific field. Through case studies of well-known killers in history, including Richard Speck, Ted Kaczynski, and Henry Lee Lucas, Raine illustrates how impairments to the brain—in areas controlling our ability to experience fear, make good decisions, and feel guilt—predispose us to violence.

"[The author] makes a good case that certain genetic, neurological, and physiological factors do predict violent behavior.... Many of his proposals focus on early development: encouraging pregnant women not to smoke and drink, and working to ensure that young children get proper nutrition and protection from toxicants—not to mention eating plenty of fish. He argues, convincingly, that such benign and relatively cheap interventions could have huge social benefits."—NYTBR

"Once reviled because of its ties to eugenics, the idea that criminal impulses are rooted in biology has been reinvigorated by the Human Genome Project. Criminologist Raine applauds a growing cross-disciplinary approach and the growth of neurocriminology that looks at the biological and social factors behind criminal behavior, but his focus is firmly on the biological. Raine explores famous criminal cases, from Ted Bundy to the Unabomber to more obscure figures, and offers compelling research, including brain scans of psychopaths, schizophrenics, and others, to demonstrate the hard science behind some criminal and antisocial behavior from domestic violence to murder. Raine also analyzes research on adoption and twins to study the different impacts of nature versus nurture, as well as environmental factors that affect brain development, including nutrition, smoking, and drug abuse. Finally, Raine explores the practical implications of neurocriminology on the legal system, public health issues, and the future treatment of criminal and antisocial behavior. Although the topic will certainly continue to provoke controversy, Raine offers a highly accessible look at the latest research on the biology behind criminal behavior."—Booklist

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