World-renowned psychiatrist Dr.Aaron T. Beck, widely hailed as the father of cognitive therapy, presents a revolutionary and eye-opening look at destructive behavoir in Prisoners of Hate. He applied his established principles on the relationships bewteen thinking processes and the emotional and behavoiral expressions to the dark side of humanity. In fascinating detail, he demonstrates that basic components of destructive behavoir-domestic abuse, bigotry, genocide, and war-share common patterns with everyday frustrations in our lives. A book that will radically alter our thinking on violence in all its forms, Prisoners of Hate, provides a solid framework for remedying these crucial problems.
Noted as the founder of cognitive psychotherapy, Beck (emeritus, Pennsylvania State Univ.) here applies his work to greater social problems, from domestic violence to bigotry, crime, and war. Focusing on involuntary and usually unnoticed thought patterns, Beck's therapy emphasizes relearning. He wants patients--and, now, everyone from gang members to world leaders--to examine their cognitions rationally with a view to decreasing hostility. Beck's approach is so sweeping that economic, geographic, and racial issues all can be subsumed under it, and he makes a strong case. However, he oversimplifies when he argues that anger, hate, and hostility are the same whether the conflict is between spouses or nations. Unfortunately, he gives short shrift to the constructive aspects of anger and chooses to ignore the psychology of nonviolence, though his approach is consistent with Gandhi's and King's. Still, Beck's broad scope; valuable summaries on prejudice, altruism, and political psychology; and optimistic, humane, and rational treatment of a vital subject recommend this for lay and professional readers.--E. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, D.C. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.