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From the Publisher"One part cultural analysis, one part exploration of liberal political thought, The Culture of Vengeance gives vengeance a sympathetic and nuanced treatment. This makes Aladjem’s critique and rejection of it all the more powerful. From start to finish this is a masterful book, rich in insightful analysis, and filled with originality."
-Austin Sarat, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Jurisprudence & Political Science, Amherst College
"Terry Aladjem's arresting insight that revenge threatens democracy in its resistance to reason and doubt becomes a clarion call as he examines how revenge is awash in America. Reactions to 9/11, debates over the death penalty, soaring rates of incarceration, pop cultural preoccupation with violence, law, O.J Simpson, the victim-focus of TV and radio talk and reality shows, and cowboy foreign policy are some of the vivid examples that this perceptive book traces to waves of enraged grief. Assessing the neglect of this moral desperation within the language and institutions informing American law and justice, The Culture of Vengeance and the Fate of American Justice revisits classical and modern scholarship to etch a course where truth-seeking and moments of mercy can reconnect justice-seeking with democratic respect.
-Martha Minow, Jeremiah Smith Professor, Harvard Law School
"Terry Aladjem has written a deep and moving book on the inevitable impact of passions of revenge on political practice, including in modern liberal democracies. In response to these passions he calls not merely for dispassionate rights-based legality but for skepticism in the face of epistemological difficulties, an acceptance of fallibility, and humility. His book is a salutary corrective to the main tendency in liberal political thought to discount the permanence of anger, loss, and agitated memories in political life."
-Danielle Allen, UPS Foundation Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
"'The Culture of Vengeance and the Fate of American Justice' is a remarkable book. Drawing on the resources of political theory, psychoanalysis, and Greek tragedy, it engages a host of issues concerning the theory and practice of punishment in liberal democracies. Aladjem asks not only why we punish, but why we punish in the peculiar way we do."
-Dana Villa, Packey J. Dee Professor of Political Theory, University of Notre Dame
"Aladjem probes the current tendency among Americans to equate justice with vengeance so as to show that the thinking and passion behind vengeance is incompatible with democratic justice...[an] exceptionally rich meditation on these themes...Recommended."
-C.E. Butterworth, University of Maryland, College Park, Choice