Colin Wilson tells the story of human violence from Peking Man to the Mafia – taking into account the calculated sadism of the Assyrians, the opportunism of the Greek pirates, the brutality that made Rome the ‘razor king of the Mediterranean’, the mindless destruction of the Vandals, the mass slaughter of Genghis Khan, Tamurlane, Ivan the Terrible, Vlad the Impaler and more. Each age has a unique characteristic pattern of crime. In the past three centuries crime has changed and evolved until the sex killer and the mass murderer have become symbols of all that is worst about our civilization. But this is not just a study in human depravity; it is an attempt to place crime in perspective against human discovery, exploration and invention. The result is a completely new approach to the history and psychology of human violence.