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Making Evil Reviews

Making Evil by Dr Julia Shaw

Making Evil

The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side

Dr Julia Shaw

3.60 out of 5

3 reviews

Category: Non-fiction
Imprint: Canongate Books Ltd
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Publication date: 7 Feb 2019
ISBN: 9781786891303

How to understand the deviance that lies in ourselves and others - an original and rigorous exploration of the darkest recesses of the human mind

3 stars out of 5
Steven Poole
20 Feb 2019

"warmly, chattily written"

The book is warmly, chattily written, and its preference for “realistic harm reduction” over wanton vilification of others is laudably humane, though it is not to be relied on as an etymological source... Shaw draws knowledgeably on psychological and neuroscientific research, even if the latter can often be peculiarly unilluminating... But her main argument – that there is no such thing as evil – is one that science can’t settle one way or the other. And she seems to shy away from pursuing the implications of her position to their logical conclusion.


4 stars out of 5
17 Feb 2019

"rational, intelligent and necessary"

All of us are probably capable of murder. It is common for women to fantasise about being raped. Anyone can become an internet troll, even you. And paedophilia has always been with us and always will be. Julia Shaw, the criminal psychologist, has lots more of this kind of thing to say in her book Making Evil and most of it is unsettling, shocking or disturbing. It’s also rational, intelligent and necessary... It is when Dr Shaw starts to lay out the evidence in support of her position that her book becomes really fascinating and convincing...  

4 stars out of 5
Helen Rumbelow
8 Feb 2019

"a romp through the more disturbing of recent studies on rape, serial killing and sex trafficking"

I’m not sure this conclusion is as provocative or groundbreaking as Shaw thinks. This book is not the place to go for a deep reckoning with the worst of man’s inhumanity to man... She can be fun. Her style is perky... Making Evil is a romp through the more disturbing of recent studies on rape, serial killing and sex trafficking. This is a book that will provide you with the kind of anecdotes that I cherish, but will make you a terrifying date on Match.com.