“Sister Dianna’s story will interest anyone wishing to understand how rape and torture break down the human spirit, and how it is possible to survive such assaults. Students of political science will also find this book intriguing.” June Pulliam, Booklist
Buy “The Blindfold’s Eye: My Journey from Torture to Truth.” by Sr.Dianna Ortiz
A headline-making story of love, war, and courage, this is the personal account of an American woman and her unrelenting fight to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of her husband, a Guatemalan guerrilla leader.
Buy “Searching for Everardo,” by Jennifer Harbury
Buy “Bitter Winds,” by Harry Wu
“Partnoy’s glimpses of her life in prison are understandably disjointed and meandering, but they stand as a record of character and fortitude.” Louise Leonard, Library Journal
Avoiding sensationalism or self-pity, what Mr. Wu has given us is the unemotional and authoritative reference work long needed to complement the vivid but anecdotal accounts of individual prisoners. . . . a comprehensive . . . expose, laying out, in the greatest detail yet available, the history, policies, command structure and scale of the largest remaining communist gulag.–Wall Street Journal.
Buy “Laogai: The Chinese Gulag,” by Harry Wu
Timmerman, an Argentine-Jewish journalist and newspaper editor whose preoccupations were corruption and anti-Semitism, published the habeas corpus to the Argentine courts by the families of the disappeared and was jailed on April 15, 1977, after 20 civilians under army orders stormed his apartment. This is Timmerman’s chronicle of 30 months of torture and jail time spent primarily in a tiny, wet cell. The Argentine junta, under international pressure, finally set him free by exiling him in Israel. This work first appeared in English translation in 1981.
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. The noted contributors include Ariel Dorfman, Elaine Scarry, Alan Dershowitz, Judge Richard Posner, Michael Walzer, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and other lawyers from both the United States and abroad.
Buy “Torture: A Collection,” edited by Sanford Levinson
In this first book to systematically investigate extraordinary rendition, an award-winning investigative journalist and a military geographer explore the CIA program in a series of journeys that takes them around the world. They travel to suburban Massachusetts to profile a CIA front company that supplies the agency with airplanes; to Smithfield, North Carolina, to meet pilots who fly CIA aircraft; to the San Francisco suburbs to study with a planespotter who tracks the CIA’s movements; and to Afghanistan, where the authors visit the notorious Salt Pit prison and meet released Afghan detainees.
Buy “Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA’s Rendition Flights,” by Trevor Paglen
This urgently needed book offers both well-documented evidence of the CIAs continuous involvement in torture tactics since the 1970s and moving personal testimony from many of the victims.
Buy “Truth Torture, Torture, and the American Way,” by Jennifer Harbury
“An indispensable and riveting account” of the CIA’s development and use of torture, from the cold war to Abu Ghraib and beyond (Naomi Klein, The Nation)
American Methods reveals torture not as a recent or rogue phenomenon, but a veteran tool of the American state. As Williams suggests, torture is not, as claimed, a means of interrogation used only by others, elsewhere. Instead, it is a tried-and-true weapon of social control and terror, right here in the US.
Buy “American Methods,” by Kristian Williams
This volume captures the arguments on torture that have been put forth by legislators, human rights activists and others, raising key moral, legal, and historical questions that have led to current considerations on the use of torture.
Buy “The Torture Debate in America,” edited by Karen J. Greenberg
The Torture Papers consists of the so-called ‘torture memos’ and reports which US government officials wrote to prepare the way for and to document coercive interrogation and torture in Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and Abu Ghraib. It presents for the first time a compilation of materials that prior to publication have existed only piecemeal in the public domain. The Bush Administration, concerned about the legality of harsh interrogation techniques, understood the need to establish a legally viable argument to justify such procedures. The memos and reports document the systematic attempt of the US Government to prepare the way for torture techniques and coercive interrogation practices, forbidden under international law, with the express intent of evading legal punishment in the aftermath if any discovery of these practices and policies.
Buy “The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib,” by Karen J. Greenberg and Joshua L. Dratel
A disturbing and revelatory exploration of the human capacity for evil, renowned psychologist Zimbardo examines how everyone is susceptible to the power of malevolence. He also offers hope and guidance, elucidating the importance of true heroism and disobedience.
Buy “The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil,” by Philip Zimbardo
“Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People,”`is a riveting book that exposes the potential in each of us for acting unspeakably. John Conroy sits down with torturers from several nations and comes to understand their motivations.
An award-winning journalist reveals the shocking truth about the CIA’s international torture program that paints a disturbing ethical picture of the war on terror and lays the responsibility for abduction and torture at the doorstep of Washington, D.C.An award-winning journalist reveals the shocking truth about the CIA’s international torture program that paints a disturbing ethical picture of the war on terror and lays the responsibility for abduction and torture at the doorstep of Washington, D.C.
Buy “Ghost Plane,” by Stephen Grey
In 1997 the National Institute of Mental Health assembled a working group of international experts to address the mental health consequences of torture and related violence and trauma; report on the status of scientific knowledge; and include research recommendations with implications for treatment, services, and policy development. This book, dedicated to those who experience the horrors of torture and those who work to end it, is based on that report. (Note: Chapter on “The Survivors’ Perspective” by Sister Dianna Ortiz)
At the Side of Torture Survivors provides an intimate portrait of the difficulties facing torture survivors and the therapists who strive to help them. Written by specialists at the Berlin Center for the Treatment of Torture Victims, the book covers topics ranging from physical rehabilitation to advocacy for those seeking asylum and justice. The authors describe traumatic aftereffects of torture such as memory loss, nightmares, and psychosomatic disorders, and outline therapeutic treatments such as dream therapy and storytelling. Throughout, the authors document their work without hiding the limits and failures that often accompany it. They tell of the difficulty of diagnosing torture symptoms, discuss the problems impeding therapeutically effective contact with torture victims, and reflect on the burdens faced by therapists themselves.
Buy “At the Side of Torture Survivors:Treating a Terrible Assault on Human Dignity,” by Sepp Graessner
The book puts individual experience in a broader political frame, arguing that psychological trauma can be understood only in a social context. Meticulously documented and frequently using the victim’s own words as well as those from classic literary works and prison diaries, Trauma and Recovery is a powerful work that will continue to profoundly impact our thinking. Recognized as a classic in the field, Judith Herman’s book has changed the way we think about traumatic events and trauma victims
Buy “Trauma and Recovery,” by Judith Herman
“Torture and Truth: American, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror,” includes documents outlining acceptable interrogation techniques and reports revealing prisoner abuse and torture — including a memo signed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld concerning “Interrogation Techniques,” the reports by Major General Antonio M. Taguba, and the report by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad.
Buy “Torture and Truth: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror,” by Mark Danner
In the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, many have suggested that torture may be an acceptable weapon in the war on terror. Articles in this anthology address the question of whether torturing other human beings can ever be justified. Topics include the definition of torture, the use of torture warrants, and the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
“Guantanamo: What the World Should Know,” teams human rights lawyer Michael Ratner with political journalist Ellen Ray to reveal the truth about Guantanamo Bay Naval Station and the creation of a new network of U.S. detention camps around the world.
Buy “Guantanamo: What the World Should Know” by Michael Ratner
A Lexicon of Terror examines the full impact of this catastrophic period from its inception to the present, in which former torturers, having been pardoned and released from prison, live side by side with those they tortured. Passionately written and impossible to put down, Feitlowitz shows us both the horror of the war and the heroism of those who resisted and survived — their courage, their endurance, their eloquent refusal to be dehumanized in the face of torments even Dante could not have imagined.
Buy “A Lexicon of Terror” by Marguerite Feitlowitz
In this analysis, the author contends that the Eucharist is the Church’s response to the use of torture as a social discipline. He develops a theology of the political which presents torture as one instance of a larger confrontation of powers over bodies, both individual and social.
Buy “Torture and Eucharist” by William T. Cavanaugh
Reviewing the history and practice of torture, and the arguments used to justify it, Perry takes us into minds of both the torturers and their victims. Ultimately, showing why torture is different from other acts of war, and why it is fundamentally immoral: not only because it violates the dignity we owe to the human person but also because it directly or indirectly degrades any society that would tolerate it.
Buy “Torture: Religious Ethics and National Security,” by John Perry
“The History of Torture and Execution” examines these fascinating but grisly subjects by time, region, and method. Beginning with the often crude methods of meting out justice used by early and first-millennium civilizations, and evolving from the sadistic tools of the medieval age to the modern search for humane execution methods, controversial issues are authoritatively covered. More than 180 black-and-white and color images illustrate the many and varied engines of this final punishment, and the inclusion of stories told by the victims themselves gives chilling insight into the horrors faced by prisoners condemned to die for their crimes.