According to this volume an understanding of violence has to be social because violence is so situationally contingent, culturally and subculturally patterned and historically variable. And yet for all its ubiquity its causes and contextual variations are not fully understand. Lonnie Athens's work on violence is applied, assessed, and extended in this publication by scholars from a wide variety of fields, including clinical psychology, criminology, history, psychiatry, and sociology. Athens, who is both a criminologist and sociologist, opens the volume with a restatement of his violentization thesis, which Richard Rhodes made famous in his book, "Why They Kill: The Discoveries of a Maverick Criminologist". Contributors to this volume extend and test the theory of violentization in the contexts of child abuse, clinical psychology, corrections, soldiers in wartime, and the Holocaust. The contributions subject the theory of violentization to both qualitative and quantitative analyses. Finally, sociologists Jeffrey Ulmer, Jay Meehan, and David Maines situate Athens's work in criminology and sociology, providing crucial insights into its contribution to the theory and methods used in these two fields.