Press Release

Violence and Society

Making sense of madness and badness

Elie Godsi

ISBN 1898059 62 4  £16.00 (provisional)

How any given society at any period in its history defines deviancy, and particularly those whom it perceives as ‘evil’ or ‘mad’, always reveals more about  that society and the vested interests and values of those who are most powerful than about those who are being defined.

Elie Godsi, Violence and Society

Violence affects us all. While we find it abhorrent, violence also intrigues us. What led Fred and Rosemary West to carry out such brutal abuses and murders in their own home? How is it possible that two minors could carry out the terrible acts that culminated in the death of Jamie Bulger?  What motivates the terrorists who are willing to give their own lives to carry out such atrocities as the September 11th attacks?  Why do people behave violently?

The Book

  • After years of work with violent offenders and victims of violence, Godsi argues that ‘The expression of violence . . . arises out of people’s experiences. Once seen within this context then these problems cease to be ‘disorders’ or ‘abnormalities’ but make sense as adaptations to those experiences’.
  • Godsi invites us to consider that knowing about past childhood experience does not forgive or condone present violent crime but needs to be known about in order that society can find meaningful ways of addressing this issue.
  • His premise is that destructive childhood experiences occur within a social and political context, and that this context is the responsibility of society as a whole.
  • This challenging, at times disturbing, and continually thought-provoking, book discusses the issues accurately and without exaggeration, encouraging the reader to re-examine the reality behind violence in our society and our world.

The Author

  • Elie Godsi is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, therapist, broadcaster and author.
  • Over the course of his career he has worked extensively with violent men and women as well as their victims.
  • Godsi has worked with the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 on documentaries about violence.  He has taken part in numerous television debates and radio interviews, and has written extensively for national newspapers and magazines.
  • The son of Sudanese and Israeli parents, he was born in Nigeria where he spent the first few years of his life before coming to live in Britain as a young child, giving him a unique multicultural perspective

The Audience


  • For anyone with an interest in understanding human behaviour, particularly the subject of violence
  • Godsi has purposely written a book that is equally accessible to both the lay reader and the professional.



. . . the book goes on to deconstruct individual violent acts and symptomology, and places it within a wider context in a thought provoking and accessible way.

Annie Turner, Relate


He [Godsi] knows his violent offenders inside out and his comments about them are permeated with insight, understanding and compassion.

Masud S Hoghughi, Clinical Psychologist, Darlington

Contact details


For further information, a review copy of the book, or to reach the author please contact Heather Allan at:


PCCS Books Ltd, Llangarron, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 6PT

Tel: 01989 770707

Email: [email protected]


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