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Though the causes of violence in our society are complex, the troublesome human emotions of anger and rage play a central role in the genesis of violent behavior and psychopathology in general. In this provocative book, clinical psychologist Stephen Diamond determines where rage and anger originate and explores whether these powerful passions are-as most people presume-purely negative, pathological, and evil or can be meaningfully redeemed and redirected into constructive activity. Using clinical and biographical case studies, as well as striking visual images, he traces anger, rage, and violence through their most destructive expressions to their creative and transcendent functions in art, psychotherapy, and spirituality.
"An excellent book.... I have always felt that Dr. Diamond's emphasis on the daimonic was extremely timely and important in our day. The myth of the daimonic covers vital, archetypal human experiences, as this work clearly illustrates. I find it very readable, and done like the true scholar." - from the Foreword by Rollo May
"[P]owerful.... [F]ascinating.... Diamond's reach is ambitious: to consider the 'meaning' of human violence and evil....He asks what produces serial killers, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Bobbitt castration case, the O.J. Simpson murder trial, and explores more generally the male response to the rise of feminist anger....[E]njoyable, extremely readable and accessible....[A] sincere, thought-provoking contribution to an important subject." -Journal of Analytical Psychology
"Evocative, very thorough and succinct, Stephen Diamond's superb book will remain the seminal work on this shadowy subject for a long time to come." - Jeremiah Abrams, author of Meeting the Shadow and The Shadow in America
"[A] comprehensive, [very valuable] work detailing the powers for good and evil of which humans are capable....[Diamond] presents disturbing and insightful biographies of Kipling, Melville..., van Gogh, Wright, Beethoven, and Bergman, each wrestling with their personal daimons through the creative process.... His cataloguing of the history of the phenomenology of the unconscious-from medieval beliefs that the voices people heard were demons or angels, to Freud's Id, to Jung's Shadow-is both brilliant and an indispensable resource for every student of human personality." - Ernest Becker Foundation Newsletter
Stephen A. Diamond is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist in Los Altos, California. Adjunct Professor at the John F. Kennedy University Graduate School of Professional Psychology and University of Antioch, he is Assistant Clinical Professor at the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology.