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Book details
  • Genre:PSYCHOLOGY
  • SubGenre:History
  • Language:English
  • Pages:384
  • Format:Paperback
  • Paperback ISBN:9781543997958

From Innocence to Evil

What Drove Hitler and Stalin

by Csaba Hegyvary

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Overview
They were two of the most evil dictators of all time. Each of them was responsible for the murders of millions of people, most often with unspeakable cruelty. Yet they had no hesitation or remorse. Why? What drove them to inflict the atrocities of torture and mass murder, while creating virtual secular religions to themselves? Were they born evil, or did something in their lives make them evil, dispassionate murderers? Discussion of their developmental years and adult lives gives strong evidence about "nature and nurture." The world would be different today if each of them had succeeded in their early ambitions: Hitler as an artist, Stalin as a priest and poet. What drove them through spiraling events of world wars to do what they did and become among the most feared people in history?
Description
They were two of the most evil dictators of all time. Each of them was responsible for the murders of millions of people, most often with unspeakable cruelty. Yet they had no hesitation or remorse. Why? What drove them to inflict the atrocities of torture and mass murder, while creating virtual secular religions to themselves? Were they born evil, or did something in their lives make them evil, dispassionate murderers? Discussion of their developmental years and adult lives give strong evidence about "nature and nurture." The world would be different today if each of them had succeeded in their early ambitions: Hitler as an artist, Stalin as a priest and poet. What drove them through spiraling events of world wars to do what they did and become among the most feared people in history?
About the author
Born in Debrecen, Hungary, in 1938, Csaba Hegyvary was a child on the front lines of World War II, seeing warfare through bombed-out walls, from inside a German tank, and between fingers of his mother's hands as she covered his eyes when German and Russian soldiers stormed into bomb shelters and shot each other. He learned to step around dead bodies on sidewalks, to watch overhead for planes and listen for the whirring of falling bombs. He still sees the horror of exploding bridges in Budapest, as scores of screaming people not killed by the blast fell into the icy Danube and drowned. As he says in this book, "Hitler ruined my childhood; Stalin my adolescence and young adulthood." He survived World War II and the Hungarian Revolution, finished the Medical University of Budapest in 1962, and emigrated to the United States as a refugee in 1967. For his research and teaching he received several awards from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, and from Rush University in Chicago. In his private practice he saw patients with a wide range of psychiatric disorders and did extensive forensic psychiatric consultation, while also serving as medical director of a psychiatric unit in Seattle. In 2005-2006 he was President of the Washington State Psychiatric Association. In 2010 he was elected Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Besides his publications in medical research, he has written and lectured on historical and literary themes. His life experience combined with professional work with both perpetrators and victims of violence led him to write this book.
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