Associate publisher, Laura Hassan, acquired WAL rights from Anwen Hooson at Bird Literary Agency. Publication is scheduled for March 2021.
Why do people commit hate crimes? A world-leading criminologist explores the tipping point between prejudice and hate crime, analysing human behaviour across the globe and throughout history in this vital book.
As a Professor of Criminology with over 20 years of experience, and widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts in hate crime, Williams is uniquely qualified to address this issue and looks at it from multiple angles: from how evolution and biology predispose humans to favour the ingroup, right through to how financial meltdowns, global pandemics, AI and sporting events can create the conditions for hateful behaviour. In the book, Williams talks to perpetrators and victims, brain scientists and psychologists and makes use of the most cutting-edge scientific tools, to help reveal the science behind hate.
The book addresses the pressing questions of our times: Are our brains wired to hate? Why are parents more prone to hateful thoughts? Do divisive political leaders polarise communities and cause more hate crimes? Why has the COVID-19 pandemic increased hate against Chinese, Jews, Muslims and gays? Why do police murders of Black men, like George Floyd, make the hate crime problem worse? What part have tech giants like Facebook played in modern genocide? How do we use cutting-edge science to stop the rising tide of hate?
Williams is based at Cardiff University, where he directs ‘HateLab’, a global hub for data and insight to monitor and counter hate crime and online hate speech. He has conducted the largest dedicated study of hate victimisation in the UK, and advises and has conducted research for the Home Office, Department of Health, US Department of Justice and Google among others. @MattLWilliams
Laura Hassan said: ‘This will be the first trade book on this phenomenon and Williams is a world-renowned expert. It is truly fascinating, timely and revelatory.’
Matthew Williams said: ‘In my early 20s I became a victim of a hate crime. It damaged me physically and emotionally, but it also sent me on a scientific journey to find out why my attackers chose me that day. The last 20 years of my career have involved looking into some of the darkest parts of the human mind to work out what makes a prejudiced thought turn into hateful and sometimes violent action. Left unchallenged, the expression of hate in our modern connected society has the potential to become more widespread than at any other point in history. I’m thrilled to be working with Faber on the book, which I hope will help readers cut through the politics to better understand this increasingly prevalent human behaviour.’