Stanford Prison Experiment And The Wild Beast

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Stanford Prison Experiment and the Wild Beast


Peter Maass is a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and has reported from the Middle East, Asia, South America and Africa. He has written as well for The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Washington Post and Slate. Maass is the author of Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War, which chronicled the Bosnian war and won prizes from the Overseas Press Club and the Los Angeles Times. He lives in New York City.

After reading this book it can be figured out that Peter Maass went to the Balkans as a reporter at the height of the nightmarish war there, but this book is not traditional war reportage. It can be seen that Maass' brilliantly observed and moving memoir of the worst spasm of violence in Europe since World War II, the Bosnian War. In this account of what he witnessed in Bosnia during the two years he covered the conflict for The Washington Post, Maas offers "one of the definitive accounts of Bosnia's fin de siècle descent into madness" (The Cleveland Plain Dealer). Writing in the tradition of Ryszard Kapuscinski and Michael Herr's Dispatches, Maass eloquently captures the personal, national, and universal implications of a brutal civil war.

We can call Maass' work "angry, stinging, profanely eloquent and often painful," and wrote, "What Mr. Maass gives us in short is a view of ethnic cleansing in all of its cruelty, its absurd detail, its self-justification, its dehumanization of the other will take its place among the classics of an unfortunate genre: the portrayal of humankind at its worst.

Thesis Statement:

Throughout the book, Maass examines two themes: first how can human beings be so monstrous to one another or stand by when others are brutalized, and second, how could Western powers, including the United States, fail to stop aggression and appease the worst war criminals in Europe.

 The Stanford Prision Experiment

The Education of a Torturer' is an account of experiments that has similar results to that of Milgram's obedience experimentsthat were performed in 1963. Though both experiments vary drastically, both have one grim outcome, that is that, 'it is ordinary people, not psychopaths, who become the Eichmanns of history.' The Stanford experiment was performed by psychologists Craig Haney, W. Curtis Banks, and Philip Zimbardo. Their goal was to find out if ordinary people could become abusive if given the power to do so. The results of the six day experiment are chilling. The experiment took ordinary college students and had some agree to be prisoners and the rest would be guards for the prisoners. Both groups received no training on what to do or act like. They had to get all of their knowledge of what to do from outside sources, such as television and movies (The New York Times Book Review p. 8). The guards were given uniforms and night sticks and told to act like an ordinary guard would. The prisoners were treated like normal criminals. They were finger printed and ...
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