Violence | Granta

Violence

Wolfgang Sofsky

Translated by Anthea Bell

A fascinating and timely study of violence and war and the psychology behind them. What makes people act violently, either alone or as part of a mob? Why do they commit atrocities in times of war? Why do gangs, tribes, and even football supporters resort so readily to violence? Wolfgang Sofsky pursues answers to these questions in a book highly praised by the German critics for its ‘great intellectual power’. He argues that our propensity for violence is a reaction we have evolved as a response to our own mortality, and one which has taken many different forms in the course of human history. His wide-ranging account takes in which-hunts, gladiatorial combats, and inter-tribal conflict, but his greatest concern is to explore the violence of the modern age. He writes with especial power about the Nazi atrocities of the Third Reich and his book’s conclusion amounts to a powerful condemnation of that era’s untrammelled brutality.

  • Published: 23/09/2004
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781862076693
  • 224 pages

The Author

Wolfgang Sofsky is a widely translated author, whose works include a prize-winning book on concentration camps. He teaches at the Universities of Gottingen and Erfurt. Anthea Bell’s recent translations include E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Life and Opinions of the Tomcatt Murr and W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. She has received a number of translation prizes and awards, including the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2002. Wolfgang Sofsky is a widely translated author, whose works include a prize-winning book on concentration camps. He teaches at the Universities of Gottingen and Erfurt. Anthea Bell’s recent translations include E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Life and Opinions of the Tomcatt Murr and W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. She has received a number of translation prizes and awards, including the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2002.

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