Illustrated with photographs, woodcuts and line-drawings, this study is an insight into the complex relationship between what a society believes and how it behaves. Driven by envy, idolatry, greed, racism, megalomania or lust, there is no end to the creativity of sinners and no greater challenge than to understand sin. Oliver Thomson's provocative theme is that morality is as subject to fashion and the whims of the rich and powerful in society as any other aspect of human life. What else links the Victorians' disdain for communal swimming to the stoning of grey-haired Zulu kings? What made it a capital offence to see the King of Dahomey eating his meals? How can one account for the Inquisition and the Holocaust, or the brutality of totalitarian regimes or the mass suicide of Jonestown? The common thread is the existence at certain times of moral codes which allow, and often encourage such actions and beliefs. The author's analysis encompasses an amazing breadth of information. Taking examples from virtually every culture and through every historical era. It is, in places, a catalogue of unrestrained evil, touching upon the careers of Attila the Hun, Gengh is Khan, Caligula, the early Popes, the Marquis de Sade, King Henry VIII, Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin, among many others.
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Book Description Canongate Books Ltd, 1994. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0862414067