Jul 20, 2022 • 28M

The Chris Hedges Report Podcast with Dr. James Gilligan

Chris Hedges speaks with the Psychiatrist Dr. James Gilligan about our rash of mass shootings and his book Violence: Our Deadly Epidemic and it’s Causes.

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Chris Hedges
Covering US foreign policy, economic realities, and civil liberties in American society.
Episode details

American society is the most violent of any nation in the industrialized world. Nothing we do, from administrating the world’s largest prison system to militarizing our police, seems to help. Dr. James Gilligan, the former director of the Study of Violence at Harvard Medical School and the former director of the Bridgewater State hospital for the criminally insane, argues that childhood abuse, and the shame it engenders, is the engine that fuels America’s deadliest epidemic. This abuse and shame, he argues, fosters a dangerous numbness that breeds a deep self-loathing and inchoate rage. It is only by understanding the causes of our national epidemic, and addressing those causes, that we will have any hope of stemming the nihilistic violence that grips American society. Dr. Gilligan’s grounds his writing not only in case studies of the violent patients he works with, but Greek myths and Shakespeare. Joining me to discuss his book Violence: Our deadly Epidemic and Its Causes, as well his book Holding a Mirror up to Nature: Shame, Guilt, and Violence in Shakespeare, which he co-authored with David A.J Richards, is Dr. James Gilligan, professor of Clinical Psychiatry at New York University.