Disaster strikes. A ship goes down, a plane crashes, a party of travellers is cut off.
But when the panic and confusion subside and the dead are counted, the survivors must find a way to keep surviving. And in desperation, unconstrained by law or conventional authority, the tactics they resort to can be both horrifying and ultimately self-destructive.
Learmonth and Tabakoff outline the physical and neurological changes that typically affect the victims of disaster. Then, using true stories from history as case studies, they investigate the scenario famously imagined by William Golding in Lord of the Flies and borne out by the extraordinary Robbers Cave experiments of the 1950s. As this fascinating book unfolds the awful truth becomes clear. In extremis, humans are capable of a swift descent into murderous savagery that is both hard to believe—and impossible to forget.
‘Succinct yet considered, accessible yet authoritative, Learmonth and Tabakoff strike a happy balance between scholarliness and readability throughout…cogent presentation of some truly harrowing subject matter, which less responsible hands might have milked for vulgar sensationalism.’
‘Well researched and well argued, lively and energetic, No Mercy is full of insights into leadership, loyalty, sacrifice and compassion that will challenge readers to wonder what they might do if similarly tested.’
‘Sometimes adversity brings out the best in people, at other times it does the opposite. This is about those other times…excellent reading when you’re safely at home.’
‘A fascinating post-mortem of how certain groups manage to survive while others flailed about in drunken, murderous chaos.’
‘This fascinating book shines light on an awful truth.’
‘Incredibly descriptive and well-researched’
‘[No Mercy] vividly shows just how tenuous humanity’s hold on its existence can be.’
‘This is a compelling read…the authors write their terrible tales smoothly and convincingly.’
‘A fascinating account of how people die or survive under dreadful circumstances. It has been written with flair and veracity, is well-researched and documented, and it is never dull.’