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From Hannah Arendt's 'banality of evil' to Joseph Conrad's 'fascination of the abomination', humankind has struggled to make sense of human-upon-human violence. Edited by two of anthropology's most passionate voices on this subject, Violence in War and Peace: An Anthology is the only book of its kind available: a single volume exploration of social, literary, and philosophical theories of violence. It brings together a sweeping collection of readings, drawn from a remarkable range of sources, that look at various conceptions and modes of violence.The book juxtaposes the routine violence of everyday life against the sudden outcropping of extraordinary violence such as the Holocaust, the Rwandan gecide, the state violence of Argentina's Dirty War, and organized criminal violence. It is edited by two of the most prominent researchers in the field. It also offers a thought-provoking tool for students and thinkers from all walks of life: an exploration of violence at the broadest levels: personal, social, and political.
Nancy Scheper-Hughes is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley where she also directs doctoral studies in Medicine, Science and the Body . As a critical anthropologist and outspoken public intellectual, Scheper-Hughes's lifework concerns the violence of everyday life from analyses of madness among leftover bachelors farmers in rural Ireland; the madness of hunger and the experience of mothering in Northeast Brazil; AIDS and sexual citizenship in Cuba, Brazil and the United States; violence, 'truth' and justice in the New South Africa; death squads, democracy, and the execution of Brazilian street children, to the global traffic in human organs. She is best known for her ethnographies, Death Without Weeping (l992) and Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics (l979, new, updated edition 2000). She has been the recipient of many awards and prizes including a Guggenheim, the Staley Prize, the Margaret Mead Award, the Wellcome Medal, the Bryce Wood Book Award, the Harry Chapin Media Award, and the Pietre Prize.Philippe Bourgois is Professor and Chair of the Medical Anthropology Program at the University of California, San Francisco. His most recent book, In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio (1995) was awarded the C. Wright Mills Prize and the Margaret Mead Prize. He has conducted fieldwork in Central America on political violence, ethnic conflict, immigration and labor relations, and street children and has published several dozen academic and popular media articles on political and intimate violence as well as on substance abuse, inner-city poverty and ethnic conflict.