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From the Publisher"William Ian Miller has written a marvelous book that I found absolutely riveting. Eye for an Eye succeeds brilliantly in demonstrating that the lex talionis was often meant and taken literally; that it still plays a powerful, if submerged, role in our thinking about revenge and justice today; and that, in practice, it was not nearly as brutal or unfair as other, putatively more civilized ways of dealing with the need for revenge. The book is superbly written and often hilariously funny. I loved it."
-Wendy Doniger, University of Chicago
"In Eye for an Eye William Ian Miller provides a full-bodied defense of retributive justice, of just deserts, and of an explicitly arithmetic approach to right and wrong that counts up the eyes, limbs, bodies, and lives on our various social fields of battle, and seeks to right the scales. Miller shows just how pervasive this drive to account for our rights and wrongs has been in legal history, how deeply we continue to feel it, and how limply inadequate are our modern liberal and utilitarian understandings of justice that try to aggressively to purge this elemental instinct from our law and laws. Provocative, erudite, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny — it is also, often, convincing. Where it is not, it is nevertheless successful: Miller tells his stories in such a way as to make palpable just how much we have sacrificed, as we've turned our collective backs on the age-old project of seeking the precise correction of commensurate wrongs."
-Robin West, Georgetown Law Center
"A provocative reminder of the primal passions hidden by sanitized legal theories."
"...anyone interested in issues of honor, revenge, or desert would be well served giving this book her time and attention." —Jacob Held, University of Central Arkansas: Philosophy in Review