Civilizing Torture: An American Tradition (Hardback)W. Fitzhugh Brundage (author)
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Publisher: Harvard University Press
Number of pages: 416
Dimensions: 235 x 156 mm
That Americans as a people and a nation-state are violent is indisputable. That we are also torturers, domestically and internationally, is not so well established. The myth that we are not torturers will persist, but Civilizing Torture will remain a powerful antidote in confronting it.--Lawrence Wilkerson, Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Government and Public Policy, The College of William and Mary, and former Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2002-2005
A remarkable account of America's episodic engagement with torture over the course of the nation's history. Brundage uncovers 'an American tradition' marked less by legal and moral restraint than by strategies of rhetorical management designed to conserve American innocence and exceptionalism. A searing analysis of America's past that helps make sense of its bewildering present.--David Garland, author of Peculiar Institution: America's Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition
American claims to constitute a higher form of 'civilization' erode in the face of this sobering study of atrocity. With extraordinarily deep and wide-ranging research, Fitzhugh Brundage shows that the American state has repeatedly resorted to savage violence against marginalized groups such as Indians, slaves, and prisoners. Bringing a humane sensibility to an inhumane subject, Brundage forces us to confront our painful past.--Barbara J. Keys, author of Reclaiming American Virtue: The Human Rights Revolution of the 1970s
Understanding the history of torture in the United States will not prevent future violence, but Brundage views this information as providing an important framework for an engaged citizenry... Given that the current occupant of the White House has insisted that torture 'absolutely' works and has boasted he 'would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding, ' the lessons of Civilizing Torture feel positively urgent.--Australian Book Review (03/01/2019)
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