Torture is my great and terrible obsession. I think, read, write, and talk about torture all the time, as anyone who knows me can attest. I was inspired to write this book in order to share my knowledge, my passion, and—to be blunt—my anger about torture with college students, although hopefully people who are not students also will find it interesting. This book, like others in the Routledge series, Framing Twenty-First Century Social Issues, is geared primarily to college classroom teaching; it costs less than ten dollars, is about sixty pages long, has discussion questions at the end of each chapter, and a glossary of key terms and concepts at the back.
Of course everyone who writes books hopes lots of people will read them. But my inspiration for writing this book is partly instrumental: I hope that many students will be assigned Torture in a class, and that reading it will inspire them to contribute to changing the national conversation about torture. The national conversation in the US continues to be dominated by those who propagate falsehoods, like the ludicrous assertion that torture produces “good intelligence,” or that waterboarding is not “torture” if Americans do it, or that some people have no right not to be tortured. I wrote this book in order to arm students with information and analysis so that they might be intellectually empowered to be boldly, aggressively, and unapologetically anti-torture. This book is a cri de couer to the next generation of leaders and voters.
You can also access one of Lisa’s early essays here.