Cover image for Why we hate
Why we hate
Levin, Jack, 1941-
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Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
276 pages ; 24 cm
In the aftermath of 9/11 -- Hate as violence -- Hate as fear -- Hate as revenge -- Hate and human nature -- The political uses of hate -- Hate and culture wars -- Hate in popular culture -- When the economy goes South, hate travels North -- Manufacturing hate -- Ordinary people; extraordinary courage -- Cooperation and community action -- Women as peacemakers -- Societies that resist hate and violence -- Ending hate and violence -- The modern madness of hate: an epilogue.
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HV6773.5 .L484 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Author Notes

Jack Levin, PhD, is the Brudnick Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University
Gordana Rabrenovic, PhD, is associate professor of sociology at Northeastern University

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The 9/11 terrorist attacks have fed into fears that Americans are hated by others abroad and have prompted questions about the genesis of that perceived hatred. Why do people hate to such an extent that they will commit violence? Criminologist Levin and sociologist Rabrenovic explore hatred, whether it is inborn or learned behavior, what triggers it, and how it can be curbed. Using research, news reports, and anecdotes to illustrate continued discrimination against and hostilities toward various minorities, the authors examine how hatred is provoked by envy, frustration, or the need to control. They examine the rising anti-Muslim feelings in the wake of the terrorist attacks, America's troubled history of hatred toward blacks and Jews, and ethnic hatred that has spurred continued violence in nations around the world. They note that when hatred is widely shared in a society, it becomes part of the culture. The authors examine the forces that cause nations, and individuals, to capitulate to hatred and the courage it takes to resist it and work toward peace. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

The title of this book lacks a question mark, but it needs one, because sociology professors Levin (The Violence of Hate, etc.) and Rabrenovic (Community Builders) ask far more questions in this hollow book than they answer. The project they have outlined, one made more immediate after September 11, is to understand hatred-and how that hatred so often leads to violence. Unfortunately, the project becomes mired in analytical quicksand. The problem is one of approach, and the authors include far too many isolated incidents and long-standing geopolitical disputes to offer a cohesive argument about, or prescriptions for, the admittedly complex nature of hatred. Rather than careening from instance to instance to diagnose the apparent pandemic of hatred (in the space of two pages, the authors move from Nazi Germany to violence against females in Uzbekistan and the anti-Semitic graffiti of disaffected youth), Levin and Rabrenovic would have done better to use fewer examples and offer more analysis to yield more valuable conclusions. Instead, they dance around the role in hatred of fear, revenge, evolutionary psychology and other factors. Also disappointing is the authors' tendency to oversimplify otherwise valid causes of hate and prescriptions for it with statements such as "[L]ike attracts like. When it comes to their peers, human beings seem almost universally to be predisposed to prefer being among people like themselves" and offer such advice as "Those who are victimized should seek help from the proper authorities, and they should act accordingly." Noble and worthy statements, but the authors' project proves unwieldy within the confines of this slim yet sadly inelegant volume. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

The world is confronted by a great deal of hate from a variety of sources and for a variety of reasons. In this book, Levin (Hate Crimes Revisited) and Rabrenovic (Community Builders) examine whether hatred is a propensity we are born with or something we learn. Other topics discussed include the growing worldwide anti-Americanism, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim sentiments, terrorism, "organized hate" (e.g., by white supremacists and civilian militias), and many of the trouble spots around the world. Levin, who frequently appears in the national media, is a well-established expert on hate crimes, and his expertise is clearly displayed here. Chapter 8, for example, provides an insightful review of how prevalent hate is in popular culture. In this chapter, the authors point out that media celebrities such as Don Imus, Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, and Howard Stern constantly bombard the airwaves with discriminatory talk, and certain rap stars promote "killing whitey." Provocative and well written, this book is recommended for all public and academic libraries.-Tim Delaney, SUNY at Oswego (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 7
Chapter 1 In the Aftermath of 9/11p. 11
Chapter 2 Hate as Violencep. 25
Chapter 3 Hate as Fearp. 39
Chapter 4 Hate as Revengep. 53
Chapter 5 Hate and Human Naturep. 63
Chapter 6 The Political Uses of Hatep. 75
Chapter 7 Hate and Culture Warsp. 97
Chapter 8 Hate in Popular Culturep. 113
Chapter 9 When the Economy Goes South, Hate Travels Northp. 127
Chapter 10 Manufacturing Hatep. 137
Chapter 11 Ordinary People; Extraordinary Couragep. 157
Chapter 12 Cooperation and Community Actionp. 171
Chapter 13 Women as Peacemakersp. 187
Chapter 14 Societies That Resist Hate and Violencep. 195
Chapter 15 Ending Hate and Violencep. 205
Epilogue: The Modern Madness of Hatep. 213
Appendix Flag-Waving and Attitudes Toward Arab Americansp. 221
Suggested Readingsp. 233
Notesp. 237
Indexp. 261