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The most acclaimed criminologist in the United States, James Q. Wilson, long concerned with the problem of evil deeds, now turns his attention to the reverse side of the coin: why most people perform honorably and well. Eschewing genetic and biological explanations, Wilson argues that most societies that survive do so because they require cooperation between people as a collective, while permitting advantages to accrue to individuals who excel. Wilson shows that questions of human character, of sympathy, and of our moral sentiments, can be treated in a serious yet compelling manner. His claim is that moral intuition is the mechanism by which humans can best evaluate moral philosophy. He tries to link personal sentiments to historical societies. The work attempts to show how subjective elements are not always irrational, and can in fact, help provide an objective, normative vision of key elements in a good society. James Q. Wilson is the James Collins Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, and prior to that, Shattuck Professor of Government at Harvard University. He is the author of fourteen books, including Crime and Public Policy published by Transaction. This is the second of the Hans L. Zetterberg Lecture Series delivered at the City University of Stockholm in 1998.