About the Book

“Why do they hate us so?” Vamık Volkan has the most compelling, humane, and universal response to the riddle of our time. In this extraordinary and timely book, Volkan explains better than anyone the relationship between large-group identities and massive traumas and current events and ongoing conflicts around the world, including those related to the horrific attacks of 9/11. In his newest book, Killing in the Name of Identity, Volkan has taken us further, and deeper, into the dark and vulnerable collective mind of ethnic, religious, cultural, and national group conflict. Through his eyes and words, we find ourselves looking into and making contact with the universal elements present in humanity and in ourselves, which converge in producing the conditions for great human tragedies. No one understands nor writes about large-group terror and violence in a more compassionate and profoundly instructive way.

About the Author

Vamık D. Volkan is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia. His thirty books have been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Killing in the Name of Identity is the latest work in what I would call ‘Vamık’s gift.’ He shares with his readers an extraordinary portion of his own humanity as he describes with disarming modesty ways he has helped victims of traumatic political loss recover and heal. Psychopolitical writing often induces depression in readers. This volume evokes tears at the success of human triumph over tragedy.”

Joseph Montville, Director, Abrahamic Family Reunion

Op-ed in Los Angeles Times


ISBN: 0-9728875-7-1 (hardcover)

SRP: $29.95 (hardcover)

Page count: 308 pages

Trim size: 6 x 9

Pub date: July 2006

Introduction. Massive Trauma in the Republic of Georgia. Three Generations at the Golden Fleece. Waiting Ten Years to Mourn or Not Mourn. More on Refugees and Their Linking Objects. “Have You Read Sophie’s Choice?” From Natural Disasters to Ethnic Cleansing. AWON and Four Thousand Gold Stars. “Hot Places,” Memorials, Apologies, and Forgiveness. The Bataan Death March and Animal Killings. The Political Ideology of Entitlement and “Chosen,” “Acute,” and “Hot” Traumas. From Formal to Unofficial Diplomacy: An Overview. From Theory to Practice: The Tree Model. A Fourth of July Party with Heavy Artillery. Endnotes. Bibliography. Index.



Article on Dr. Volkan’s “unofficial diplomacy”

Allan King’s The Dragon’s Egg, which chronicles Dr. Volkan’s work in Estonia elaborated on in the book