Eric_W's Reviews > Seductions Of Crime: Moral And Sensual Attractions In Doing Evil

Seductions Of Crime by Jack Katz
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Dec 16, 08

bookshelves: current-affairs

Jack Katz, asks a deceptively simple question: What are people trying to do when they commit crimes? His answers, covering everything from juvenile delinquency to the most cold-blooded murder, prove the inadequacy of all conventional explanations of criminal behavior. Indeed, this brilliant book may revolutionize the way we think about crime.
Hany would argue that impassioned murder, often striking at close friends and loved ones, must be an act of temporary insanity. Not so, argues Katz, who not only uncovers its emotional logic but the special appeal of "Righteous Slaughter". Shoplifting, burglary, and vandalism offer valuable rewards to the young, but the rewards, Katz demonstrates, are the not obvious material ones. Rather, "Sneaky Thrills" offer the adolescent a magical way of concealing and testing censored desires. Professional robbers know that their profits are often puny and expect to spend long periods In jail. The professional robber, however, is not a cost-benefit accountant but a "Hardman," caught up in the allure of Action, Chaos, and Control. Finally Katz maintains, "cold-blooded, senseless killers" like Gary Gilmore, far from being InsensItive to the sufferings of others, are preoccupied with moral questions and seduced by the attractions of Primordial Evil.
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