Cover image for Love to hate : America's obsession with hatred and violence
Love to hate : America's obsession with hatred and violence
Roy, Jody M.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Columbia University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xx, 202 pages ; 23 cm
Reading Level:
1330 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HN90.V5 R69 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Why? is the simple, impulsive question we ask when confronted by horrible acts of hatred and violence. Why do students shoot fellow students or employees their coworkers? Why do mothers drown their children or husbands stalk and kill their wives? Love to Hate challenges us to turn this question upon ourselves at a deeper level. Why, as a culture, are we so fascinated by these acts? Why do we bestow celebrity on the perpetrators, while allowing the victims to fade into a second death of obscurity? Are we, as Pope John Paul II famously accused, "a culture of death"? And if so, how can we break free of this unacknowledged aspect of the cycle of violence?

Unlike those who point solely to media imagery, splintered families, or lax gun control laws in search of the roots of America's endemic violence, Jody M. Roy suggests that we all must be held responsible. She argues that we reveal our love affair with hatred and violence in the ways we think and speak in our daily lives and in our popular culture. The very words we use function as building blocks of callousness and contempt, betraying our immersion in subtexts of violence and hatred. These subtexts are further revealed in our complex attitudes toward street gangs, school shooters, serial killers, and hate groups and the paroxysms of violence they unleash. As spectators, driven by our impulse to watch, we become an integral part of the equation of violence. In the book's final section, "Freeing Ourselves of Our Obsession with Hatred and Violence," Roy offers practical steps we can take -- as parents, consumers, and voters -- to free ourselves from linguistic and cultural complicity and to help create in America a culture of life.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

"I will not tolerate hatred silently." "I will own up when I lapse into one of the flawed thought processes or language patterns that underlie hatred." "I will consume popular culture critically." These may be tall orders, but they're among the resolutions that Ripon College speech communication professor Jody Roy recommends in Love to Hate: America's Love Affair with Hatred and Violence. Roy looks at the glamorization of violence and hatred in American culture, showing that, whether cowboys or serial killers, violent criminals have long been "icons of cool." Roy also discusses how readers can disengage themselves from this national obsession, and suggests self-assessment questions and activities for both adults and children. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Part 1 Our Love-Hate Relationship with Hatred
Chapter 1 Us Versus Them
Chapter 2 Hate Talk: The Mind/Language Connection
Chapter 3 Hate Is Cool
Part 2 Hate, American Style
Chapter 4 Youthful Hatred: Are We Tough Enough?
Chapter 5 Glamorized Hatred: Our Obsession with Serial Killers
Chapter 6 Organized Hatred: Supremacy Movements
Conclusion: Freeing Ourselves from our Obsession with Hatred and Violence
Appendix 1 The Five Most Critical Resolutions Each of Us Can Make to Free Ourselves from Our Obsession with Hatred and Violence
Appendix 2 Self-Assessment Tools
Appendix 3 Twenty-Five Small Steps Toward Freeing Ourselves from Our Obsession with Hatred and Violence
Appendix 4 Tips for Parents (and Teachers): Raising Hate-Free and Hate-Proof Kids
Appendix 5 Resources