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Bernard Chouvier

The Fanatics New edition - Publication date : May 11, 2016

Fanatics seem to have become ubiquitous in contemporary society, yet they have many faces and are known to have taken many forms throughout history. By establishing the psychological profiles of different types of fanatics, this book seeks to understand the motives, conscious but especially unconscious, that lead individuals to enter into such perilous existences.
How and why does someone become a fanatic? What are the internal forces that drive fanatics to adopt often-violent means to achieve their ends?
Based on analyses of concrete examples (the apprentice terrorist, the full-fledged terrorist, the sectarian follower, the kamikaze), the author outlines the basic characteristics (inversion of values, for example) and specific traits that constitute a fanatic, and shows how, given the appropriate situation, any human being can go down that path.


For more than twenty years, Bernard Chouvier has studied various forms of political and religious commitment and activism and their sectarian excesses. He provides here an original historical approach.