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Book Cover
Author Brundage, W. Fitzhugh (William Fitzhugh), 1959- author.

Title Civilizing torture : an American tradition / W. Fitzhugh Brundage.

Publication Info. Cambridge, Massachusetts : The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018.


Location Call No. Status
 PAS Central Library Non-Fiction, 3rd Floor    363.254 BRU    Available
1 copy being processed for PAS Central Library On Order.
Description 407 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
text txt rdacontent
unmediated n rdamedia
volume nc rdacarrier
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 337-391) and index.
Contents Introduction. A question of civilization -- The manners of barbarians -- Discipline in a young democracy -- Cruelty and the paradox of slave property -- Torture in the brothers' war -- Imperialist excesses -- Police station trespasses -- Cold War brutality -- The enemy within.
Summary "The pilgrims and merchants who first came to America from Europe professed an intention to create a society free of the barbarism of Old World tyranny and New World savagery. But over the centuries Americans have turned to torture during moments of crisis at home and abroad and have debated its legitimacy in defense of law and order. From the Indian wars to Civil War POW prisons and early penitentiaries, from "the third degree" in police stations and racial lynchings to the War on Terror, US institutions have proven to be far more amenable to torture than the nation's professed commitment to liberty would suggest. Legal and racial inequality fostered many opportunities for state agents to wield excessive power, which they justified as essential for American safety and well-being. Reconciling state violence with the aspirations of Americans for social and political justice is an enduring challenge. By tracing the historical debates about the efficacy of torture and the attempt to adapt it to democratic values, Civilizing Torture reveals the recurring struggle to decide what limits Americans are willing to impose on the power of the state. At a time of escalating rhetoric aimed at cleansing the nation of the undeserving, as well as ongoing military involvement in conflicts around the world, the debate over torture remains a critical and unresolved part of America's tradition."--Jacket.
Subject Torture -- United States -- History.
Torture -- Moral and ethical aspects -- United States.
Justification (Ethics)
ISBN 9780674737662 (hardcover alkaline paper)
0674737660 (hardcover alkaline paper)
Standard No. 40028588529

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