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Shattered Voices: Language, Violence, and the Work of Truth Commissions (Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights) Paperback – February 15, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0812219494 ISBN-10: 081221949X

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Product Details

  • Series: Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (February 15, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081221949X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812219494
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #608,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"If you want peace, you must work for justice. Teresa Phelps presents challenging and provocative ideas of justice and explains what truth commissions can and cannot do as vital parts of the justice process. Building on works of literature, philosophy, psychology, and history, as well as on the language of the truth reports themselves, she breaks new ground for understanding what we must do in our continual quest for justice."—Theodore M. Hesburgh, author of The Humane Imperative



"This vivid and moving book will help shape the emerging form of truth commissions in many places around the world."—James Boyd White, author of The Edge of Meaning

From the Publisher

Teresa Godwin Phelps is Professor of Law and Director of the Legal Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
An excellent book. Phelps restores the desire for revenge to a natural place within the human psyche. But then she explores alternatives to violence as ways of accommodating this basic human need. She is remarkably adept at exploring storytelling as a means of satisfying the need for revenge, particularly in relationship to social justice. Her range of reference in these arguments is amazing. Relying on history, psychology, philosophy, and literature, she creates a very rich read, full of ideas and insights. You keep stopping to rethink things you thought you already knew.
If you think there's no reason for hope because of all the violence in the world, give this book a chance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Chrystal on September 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Phelps skillful conflation of an international history, philosophy, law, and literature persuasively argues that truth commissions contribute to personal and public healing and resist the cycle of retributive vengeance. Shattered Voices should be read by all who fear the consequences of existing hostilities in Bosnia, Iraq, and Sudan as well as those who consider language and storytelling as markers of civilization and essential to justice.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Drawing from Ariel Dorfman's play, "The Death and the Maiden", Phelps studies the value for victims of human rights violations of their lost voice, and of thier right to know the truth about the crimes suffered. She studies how those ideas had been made concrete by the work of four early truth commissions (Argentina, Chile, South Africa and El Salvador), in what could be seen as an early development of what has come to be known as the right to truth, recognized now by several UN documents and the UN Convention for the Protection of all persons from Enforced Disappearances. The book provides interesting conclusions about how to provide adequate opportunities for victims to exercise this right and for transitional justice policies to recognize it. As it was published in 2004, unfortunately, the book doesn't include how these ideas had been followed by later truth commissions that made great efforts in these areas, as Guatemala, Timor-Leste, Peru or Sierra Leone. An update including these experiences will be welcomed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is interesting but very intellectual and difficult to read. Amazon's review of it is not well done so I did not get what I thought I was getting - more of a review of of Reconciliation strategies. It wanders all over the place.
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