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Chris Auman

Hurt: Notes on Torture in a Modern Democracy
Kristian Williams
[Microcosm Publishing]

Hurt is a collection of writings by, and interviews with, Kristian Williams, a Portland-based activist who is the author of two books on state-sponsored violence; Our Enemies in Blue and American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination. The essays, interviews and observations in this book were written and published during, or shortly after, the Bush Administration’s turn at the War on Terror and the subject matter was not something that I was necessarily anxious to revisit.

Torture is a topic that has mostly dropped off the radar of many Americans and the ordeal of the Bush Era has left a lot of us mentally fatigued even to this day. No doubt these abuses are still occurring under the current administration and torture certainly continues at home in our prisons and abroad in secret holding cells all over the globe.

There is an acknowledgement in the book's introduction of the failures of the Obama Administration to, among other things, close Gitmo, but more insight about where we are in 2012 would have been appreciated. I'm sure Williams continues to think and write about the subject and that work with be forthcoming in the months and years ahead. That said, these writings are the result of well-reasoned and researched thinking and go a long way in educating the reader on the causes and underlying factors of torture in the 21st century.

BUY: Hurt: Notes on Torture in a Modern Democracy (Real World)


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