Saturday, January 17, 2015

Another book review and random musings

This book was provided by Blogging for Books. A good side effect of Blogging for Books is that I am finally blogging semi regularly. The downside is that I may need to rename my blog, since it is being overrun by book reviews. 

This week's book was Inside the Criminal Mind, by Dr Stanten Samenow. Dr Samenow is a psychologist who works with criminals and chronic law breakers. His basic thesis is that criminals act based on choice: they know they are harming others but don't care. The criminal mind is basically self centered, acting for their own benefit regardless of others. In the author's view, this is as true of a petty street thief as of a white collar crook and not everyone with a criminal mind is in the criminal system. This book is a revised edition of the original 1984 text.

The opposite view is the one that criminality is a result of poverty and circumstance. In this case, the way to end criminality is to attack poverty, to educate everyone and guide them to proper jobs.

Personally, I take both views as right and wrong. There are people with criminal minds and there are people who are the result of circumstance. There are people who see stealing from a corporation as a "victimless" crime and, therefore, justifiable. There are those who see some criminal actions as retribution in an unjust system. 

As an insight into a particular type of criminal, the book is fascinating. As a generalization, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Now, to other subjects.

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