Violence: Touching on Important Issues

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(8), 651–652. Reviews the book, Violence and Responsibility: The Individual, the Family and Society edited by Robert L. Sadoff (1978). The stated purpose of this book is to present a multidisciplinary perspective on issues relating to the responsibility of individuals, families, and the community in the area of violence. In defense of the book, it should be noted that its essays are based upon presentations at two separate 1976 conferences in Philadelphia to audiences that by and large were not likely to be well versed in the aggression literature. The content of the book may be meaningfully divided into three groups of essays. All in all, it is not clear what function the publishing of such conference presentations fulfills. If the goal was to introduce the relatively uninitiated to some of the thinking in the area, then it could have been better accomplished by eliminating much of the jargon and redundancy. If the goal was to provide practical information, to those working with violent individuals or to advances our scientific knowledge in areas that desperately need it, then the overall impression is of a work that has fallen short of its aims. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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