Making Evil

The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side

Julia Shaw

400 pages February 2019 full manuscript Original publisher: Primary agent: David Godwin AssociatesNon Fiction

Join bestselling author, psychological scientist, and criminology lecturer as she explores the dark side of the human psyche. The book offers an exploration of what evil is, and what lessons we can learn from science to understand why humans do bad things.

We talk about evil a lot, and yet we don’t really talk about it at all – discussing the concept of evil is still largely a taboo. Every day we hear of the latest human atrocities, and superficially engage with constant news chatter that makes us feel like humanity is surely doomed. We may have intuitive theories as to why people rape and kill and steal, but do we really understand why some people choose to do these things while others do not? Do we understand the contributing factors that can lead to severe digressions?

As a criminal psychologist, Dr. Julia Shaw, author of the highly acclaimed The Memory Illusion, deals with the topic of evil on a daily basis. In MakingĀ Evil, she uses the latest scientific research to show us why people behave so badly and how we can prevent evil acts by understanding more profoundly how such acts come about – and what truly makes us evil.


“A spryly paced, fun and sometimes frightening exploration” (Pacific Standard)

“Truly fascinating” (BBC Radio 2)

“Illuminating and illustrative” (Tablet)

Watch the trailer