• Friendless Childhoods Explain War by Dr Bob Johnson - book cover showing despondent child thinking of a tank

Friendless Childhoods Explain War

by Dr Bob Johnson, Foreword by Martin Brunt


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Friendless Childhoods Explain War uses the author’s groundbreaking discoveries working with the UK’s most dangerous offenders to cast an expert eye over international conflict. All such violence, he contends, is born of childhood experiences that lead to adult anger, grievance and revenge.

From Toddler Thinking to Nursery Nightmares and Guff Disease the book lays bare prevailing thought on violent conflict — which should be avoided by building truth, trust and consent from an early age — not instilling seeds of hate that continue into adulthood.

The author cites Mein Kampf, George Orwell, Shakespeare and his own professional records to show how negative experiences in childhood can lead to unspeakable adult acts of violence, even war. In a radical re-appraisal of the darkest side of human nature that no citizen or policymaker should ignore, he warns us that ‘No-one is safe (or sane) unless we are all safe (or sane).’

Explains Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine. Describes unique work with serial killers. Overturns standard thinking on war and violence. Contains exclusive clinical data. Distils a lifetime of investigation and analysis.


‘We are born loveable and peaceable as you say… But boy does that get screwed up along the way.’– Dr Cathy Wield, Author and Specialist Emergency Medicine Physician

‘A cracking read.’– Tim Newell, former Governor HM Prison Grendon

‘I’ve just finished your incredible book — bloomin ’eck!’– Erwin James, Guardian Correspondent

‘Original and authentic.’– Dave Marteau, former Head, HM Prisons Drug Addiction Service

‘Your work will certainly help many to eventually come out of their inner emotional prison … to live freely and responsibly.’– Alice Miller, Therapist

‘What Bob achieved was magical, he helped so many…’– Charles Bronson

‘I can’t recall coming across anything like these insights from any other doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, analyst, scientist, academic or philosopher.’– Dr Clive Sherlock, Consultant Psychiatrist, Adaptation Practice, Oxford

As featured in Inside Time (May 2023).

About the author

‘Dr Bob’ Johnson is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Visiting Professor at the University of Bolton. A member of both the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners his writings in this field have been widely published. A former Head of Therapy, Ashworth High Security Hospital and Consultant, Special Unit, Parkhurst Prison, the story of his groundbreaking work with serious offenders is told in his wife Sue’s acclaimed, The Prison Psychiatrist’s Wife (Waterside Press, 2023).

The author of the Foreword

Martin Brunt is crime correspondent for Sky News having been chief reporter at the Sunday Mirror. He has a longstanding reputation as an investigative journalist and being ‘first on the scene’.

Additional information

Weight230 g
Dimensions234 × 156 × 11 mm





Place of origin

United Kingdom

Publication date

4 July 2023


Waterside Press

Ebook (PDF)


Ebook (EPUB)



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