Discusses how the desire for revenge is part of human nature and argues that revenge is synonymous with justice.
"We call it justice--the assassination of Osama bin Laden, the incarceration of corrupt politicians or financiers like Rod Blagojevich and Bernard Madoff, and the climactic slaying of cinema-screen villains by superheroes. But could we not also call it revenge? We are told that revenge is uncivilized and immoral, an impulse that individuals and societies should actively repress and replace with the order and codes of courtroom justice. What, if anything, distinguishes punishment at the hands of the government from a victim's individual desire for retribution? Are vengeance and justice really so very different? No, answers legal scholar and novelist Thane Rosenbaum in Payback: The Case for Revenge--revenge is, in fact, indistinguishable from justice." -- Publisher's description.
Introduction -- Running away from revenge -- Just deserts -- The emotions of revenge -- The science of mad -- Why we punish? -- Other cultures and revenge -- When self-help is permissible -- Release revenge