From the list on the history of torture.
Who am I?
I have been fascinated by this topic ever since the first newspaper stories exposing American involvement in torture began to appear in the early years of the so-called War on Terror. This fascination has persisted up to the present, as it remains clear – given recent accounts of Ron DeSantis’ time at Guantanamo – that this story refuses to die. Equally fascinating to me have been accounts revealing the extent to which this story can be traced back to the origins of the Cold War, to the birth of the National Security State, and to the alliance between that state and the professions (psychology and behavioral science) that spawned “enhanced interrogation.”
Andreas' book list on the history of torture
Why did Andreas love this book?
In many ways the best account of the history of modern torture.
As Rejali shows, this has all too often been mis-remembered as the history of Soviet and Nazi torture. Torture, in his account, has been widely practiced by modern democracies.
He identifies the French (in the context of the Algerian War of Independence) as the real innovators in the field of modern “stealth” or invisible torture, ie. torture designed not to leave marks: waterboarding and electro-torture.
I particularly like this for the way it explodes many of the myths surrounding the history of modern torture.