It is difficult to say just what Violence is about. The introduction wonders aloud whether “there is a unifying thesis that runs through the bric-a-brac of reflections on violence that follow” (p. 1), whereas the epilogue confidently concludes that the “circle of our investigation is thus closed” and offers a tight chapter-by-chapter summary before drawing a few succinct lessons (pp. 206–7, p. 213). The pages in-between, meanwhile, are neither as diffuse nor as focused as these bookend assessments suggest. Instead, the middle pages contain a jumble of off-kilter thoughts that loosely treat the title theme.