Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Evil: A Primer

Evil: A Primer

A History of a Bad Idea from Beelzebub to Bin Laden

William Hart

Thomas Dunne Books



"Today our nation saw evil." - President George W. Bush, September 11th 2001

Evil! Like a zombie back from the grave, it has arisen--a word many of us had long ago relegated to Sunday sermons, video games and horror flicks. But of course, evil is not old fashioned, nor has it ever gone away, and may be as robust as ever.

So what is evil? Does it exist? Veteran journalist Bill Hart tries to drag evil out of the darkness and hold it up to the light. In doing so, he has written a very readable account of 5,000 years of philosophy, theology and human history as it reflects and refines its notion of evil.

More than an explanation of why bad things happen, Evil: A Primer is a tour through the nether regions in search of what we really know.


Praise for Evil: A Primer

“William Hart's Evil: A Primer is an engaging survey of the very complex problems that litter the conceptual geography of evil. He invites us to look at a roots of the concept and its relationship to religious beliefs and geopolitical issues. He explores the black depths of our intellectual and social history and reveals for us, in a clear and concise fashion, what we all need to be thinking about when politicians, religious leaders, and terrorists use the term 'evil' to describe their enemies. We have heard a great deal in recent years of evil empires and 'the axis of evil,' of evil people and evil actions. William Hart's book provides a foundation for all of us to put such evocations of evil in a proper context.” —Professor Peter A. French, Lincoln Chair in Ethics, Arizona State University and author of Cowboy Metaphysics and The Virtue of Vengeance

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

William Hart

William Hart is a former long-time newspaper reporter and editor who specialized in the coverage of criminal justice and mental health. He currently works as a public policy research analyst at Arizona State University and lives in Phoenix. Evil: A Primer is his first book.

William Hart

From the Publisher

Thomas Dunne Books

Latest on Facebook