From Publishers Weekly
Harvard professor of aesthetics Scarry (The Body in Pain
) develops a forceful condemnation of Bush-era government excesses while articulating a broad philosophy of governance and consent. Scarry makes a provocative case against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for conspiracy to murder American citizens, based on the willful misrepresentation of facts that led America's military into war. She examines how American soldiers, in turn, were led to practice not just torture but all manner of treachery and perfidy as defined by the Geneva and Hague Conventions and by the rules and standards of our own military, including attacks on hospitals, denial of medical treatment to prisoners, and inciting the assassination of enemy leaders. Scarry reserves her greatest indignation for how the Patriot Act has perverted the relationship between citizens and their government, eliminating privacy for citizens while shrouding the actions of their government in secrecy—rendering hollow the citizenry's consent to be governed. A cogent and frightening reminder of what's at stake for us as a nation. (Apr.)
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"Excoriating and elegant, Elaine Scarry takes us to the big issues: why the rule of law matters, what went wrong, and what is needed to put it right." Philippe Sands, author of Lawless World and Torture Team, Professor of Law, University College London
"Some of the most trenchant and passionate analysis of the politics of democracy and terror in the United States. These essays are a searing call to conscience, an eloquent plea for justice, and a damning indictment of the Bush administration's response to 9/11." David Cole, Professor of Law, Georgetown University, coauthor of Less Safe, Less Free: Why America Is Losing the War on Terror