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Torture: A Collection

Torture: A Collection Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Torture is perhaps the most unequivocally banned practice in the world today. Yet within six weeks after September 11, articles began appearing suggesting that torture might be "required" in order to interrogate suspected terrorists about future possibilities of violence. The United States and some of its allies are using methods of questioning relating to the war on terrorism that could be described as torture or, at the very least, as inhuman and degrading. It is known that the United States sent some suspected terrorists to allied countries that are well known to engage in torture. And in terror's wake, the use of such methods, at least under some conditions, has gained some prominent defenders.

Torture: A Collection brings together leading lawyers, political theorists, social scientists, and public intellectuals to debate the advisability of maintaining the absolute ban on torture and to reflect on what it says about our societies if we do — or do not — adhere to it in all circumstances. One important question is how we define torture at all. Are "cruel and inhumane" practices that result in profound physical or mental discomfort tolerable so long as they do not meet some definition of "torture"? And how much "transparency" do we really want with regard to interrogation practices? Is "don't ask, don't tell" an acceptable response to those who concern themselves about these practices? Addressing these questions and more, this book tackles one of the most controversial issues that we face today.

The noted contributors include noted Ariel Dorfman, Elaine Scarry, Alan Dershowitz, Judge Richard Posner, Michael Walzer, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and other lawyers from both the United States and abroad.

Review:

"[C]omprehensive and thought-provoking." The American Lawyer

Review:

"Closely argued, well written, and quite readable, these essays jointly constitute a valuable contribution to the field." Library Journal

Review:

"The wall between the liberal campus and a conservative, utilitarian-minded military breaks down because the questions are so serious that few of this book's contributors want to engage in polemics, and few — to their credit — ever seem completely comfortable with their own conclusions." Robert D. Kaplan, The New York Times Book Reviews

About the Author

Sanford Levinson is the W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law and Professor of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the editor of innumerable books, the author of Constitutional Faith and Wrestling with Diversity, and a frequent writer for the History Book Club.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The Tyranny of Terror: Is Torture Inevitable in Our Century and Beyond?, Ariel Dorfman

Acknowledgments

1. Contemplating Torture: An Introduction, Sanford Levinson

Part I: Philosophical Considerations

2. Torture, Henry Shue

3. Political Action: The Problem of Dirty Hands, Michael Walzer

4. Reflection on the Problem of "Dirty Hands", Jean Bethke Elshtain

Part II: Torture as Practiced

5. The Legal History of Torture, John H. Langbein

6. American Interrogation: From Torture to Trickery, Jerome H. Skolnick

7. The Mental State of Torturers: Argentina's Dirty War, Mark Osiel

Part III: Contemporary Attempts to Abolish Torture through Law

8. Escalation and Necessity: Defining Torture at Home and Abroad, John T. Parry

9. Judgment Concerning the Legality of the General Security Service's Interrogation Methods, Supreme Court of Israel

10. Can the War against Terror Justify the Use of Force in Interrogations? Reflections in Light of the Israeli Experience, Miriam Gur-Arye

11. The Promise and Limits of the International Law of Torture, Oona A. Hathaway

12. The European Convention on Human Rights and Its Prohibition on Torture, Fionnuala N Aolin

13. The Prohibition on Torture and the Limits of the Law, Oren Gross

Part IV: Reflections on the Post-September 11 Debate about Legalizing Torture

14. Tortured Reasoning, Alan Dershowitz

15. Five Errors in the Reasoning of Alan Dershowitz, Elaine Scarry

16. Torture, Terrorism, and Interrogation, Richard A. Posner

17. Loose Professionalism, or Why Lawyers Take the Lead on Torture, Richard H. Weisberg

18. The Truth About Torture, Charles Krauthammer

19. The Abolition of Toture, Andrew Sullivan

Contributors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195172898
Subtitle:
A Collection
Editor:
Levinson, Sanford
Editor:
Levinson, Sanford
Author:
null, Sanford
Author:
Levinson, Sanford
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Subject:
Human Rights
Subject:
Law | International Law | International Human Rights
Subject:
Law | Public International Law | International Human Rights
Series Volume:
9
Publication Date:
20041028
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 line illus.
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
6.3 x 9.3 x 1.2 in 1.288 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Politics » Human Rights

Torture: A Collection
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 328 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195172898 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[C]omprehensive and thought-provoking."
"Review" by , "Closely argued, well written, and quite readable, these essays jointly constitute a valuable contribution to the field."
"Review" by , "The wall between the liberal campus and a conservative, utilitarian-minded military breaks down because the questions are so serious that few of this book's contributors want to engage in polemics, and few — to their credit — ever seem completely comfortable with their own conclusions."
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