The Lay of the Land and the Currents of the River
  • Robert W. Rieber
Part of the Path in Psychology book series (PATH)


This is a book about social distress, violence, and the journey through the ever so complex terrain of the dark side of society. Social distress in postmodern America, which began with the dawning of the industrial revolution, embodies some of the greatest dangers facing us today. Given the breadth of the discussion, I first briefly describe the lay of the land I am about to explore and the underlying currents giving it life and breath.


Organize Crime Psychopathic Trait Organize Crime Group Political Tolerance Social Distress 
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  1. 1.
    Many authors have written about the steady decline and disintegration of family life in America in the last 50 years; C. Zimmerman’s book The Family of Tomorrow: The Cultural Crisis and the Way Out (New York: Harper Brothers, 1949) is one of the best on this subject.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The 1993–1994 international political arena seems to illustrate that world culture has slowly but surely assimilated and incorporated the psychopathy of everyday life in many ways. For example, a number of prime ministers have been forced to resign in Europe, and over half of the politicians in Italy are in the process of being brought up on charges of various forms of illegal activities. The political situation in Brazil is somewhat more complex in that the political corruption is so widespread and institutionalized that most experts feel that, at least in the near future, popular exposure of this problem and change are very unlikely.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    An interesting article by Edward Iwata describes serial killer Ted Bundy’s character as well as his tendency to engage in what I have chosen to call “the manipulation of meaning in the communication of deceit.” See E. Iwata, “The Baffling Normality of Serial Murderers,” San Francisco Chronicle, May 5, 1984.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Steven Cohen, professor of Russian Studies at Princeton University, has called attention to the fact that with the collapse of the Soviet Union the probability of a nuclear accident is even more of a problem than it was under the Soviets because we have more than one government or agency to deal with plus the possibility that they may sell to others.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Rieber
    • 1
  1. 1.John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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