The Culture of Vengeance and the Fate of American Justice

The Culture of Vengeance and the Fate of American Justice

by Terry K. Aladjem
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521713862

ISBN-13: 9780521713863

Pub. Date: 01/14/2008

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

America is driven by vengeance in Terry Aladjem’s provocative account – a reactive, public anger that is a threat to democratic justice itself. From the return of the death penalty to the wars on terror and in Iraq, Americans demand retribution and moral certainty; they assert the “rights of victims” and make pronouncements against

Overview

America is driven by vengeance in Terry Aladjem’s provocative account – a reactive, public anger that is a threat to democratic justice itself. From the return of the death penalty to the wars on terror and in Iraq, Americans demand retribution and moral certainty; they assert the “rights of victims” and make pronouncements against “evil.” Yet for Aladjem this dangerously authoritarian turn has its origins in the tradition of liberal justice itself – in theories of punishment that justify inflicting pain and in the punitive practices that result. Exploring vengeance as the defining problem of our time, Aladjem returns to the theories of Locke, Hegel and Mill. He engages the ancient Greeks, Nietzsche, Paine and Foucault to challenge liberal assumptions about punishment. He interrogates American law, capital punishment and images of justice in the media. He envisions a democratic justice that is better able to contain its vengeance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521713863
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/14/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
260
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.20(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Liberalism and the Anger of Punishment: The Motivation to Vengeance and Myths of Justice Reconsidered; Part II. Violence, Vengeance and the Rudiments of American Theodicy; Part III. The Nature of Vengeance: Memory, Self-Deception and the Movement from Terror to Pity; Part IV. Revenge and the Fallibility of the State: The Problem of Vengeance and Democratic Punishment Revisited or How America Should Punish.

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