The Man Who Shocked The World
The Life And Legacy Of Stanley Milgram
By Thomas Blass
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780738203997, 392pp.)
Publication Date: March 1, 2004
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The creator of the famous "Obedience Experiments," carried out at Yale in the 1960s, and originator of the "six degrees of separation" concept, Stanley Milgram was one of the most innovative scientists of our time. In this sparkling biography-the first in-depth portrait of Milgram-Thomas Blass captures the colorful personality and pioneering work of a social psychologist who profoundly altered the way we think about human nature.Born in the Bronx in 1933, Stanley Milgram was the son of Eastern European Jews, and his powerful Obedience Experiments had obvious intellectual roots in the Holocaust. The experiments, which confirmed that "normal" people would readily inflict pain on innocent victims at the behest of an authority figure, generated a firestorm of public interest and outrage-proving, as they did, that moral beliefs were far more malleable than previously thought. But Milgram also explored other aspects of social psychology, from information overload to television violence to the notion that we live in a small world. Although he died suddenly at the height of his career, his work continues to shape the way we live and think today. Blass offers a brilliant portrait of an eccentric visionary scientist who revealed the hidden workings of our very social world.
Thomas Blass, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is the undisputed expert on Milgram's life and work. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.