History of Torture

Overview

'Morality is nothing more than an expression of expediency' a notorious torturer reportedly once replied to objections about his profession. From the primitive snake pit to sophisticated methods of brainwashing, literally thousands of techniques have been devised to distort both the body and the mind - and to satisfy the sadistic needs of those who command, perform and witness human torture. In The History of Torture, Daniel P. Mannix examines with honesty and thoroughness every aspect of torture: the professional torturers, many of them ...
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Overview

'Morality is nothing more than an expression of expediency' a notorious torturer reportedly once replied to objections about his profession. From the primitive snake pit to sophisticated methods of brainwashing, literally thousands of techniques have been devised to distort both the body and the mind - and to satisfy the sadistic needs of those who command, perform and witness human torture. In The History of Torture, Daniel P. Mannix examines with honesty and thoroughness every aspect of torture: the professional torturers, many of them history's most famous men and women; their theories and techniques; the role torture has played in history; and the refinements brought to the practice of torture by individual fanatics, religious groups, the military and entire cultures. The result is information on the infliction of pain for punishment or coercion from pre-history to modern times.

This remarkable work discusses not only the history of torture but its moral implications as well. Everyone interested in the long and difficult course of human rights, personal and political freedom and in the history of crime and punishment will find the book fascinating and enlightening.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440136132
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/1/1983
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback

Meet the Author

Daniel P. Mannix (1911-1997) was born in Pennsylvania and after graduating from college he joined a circus working as a sword-swallower, mind-reader, escapologist and lock-picker. A renowned journalist, he wrote some twenty books including Memories of a Sword-swallower, and co-wrote with Malcolm Cowley Black Cargoes, about the African slave trade.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2005

    The horrifying history of humanity and torture

    This book was fascinating. Torture has played a huge role in all societies, ours being no different. It was hard to read at times because of the subject matter being discussed, but overall it was interesting and well written. The only criticisms I have are that some of the stories sound too outlandish to be true. Also I felt the author spent too much time on European history and did not devote enough time to other areas. All in all though, this is a great book with good insight into the human condition. The conclusion of the book also did a wonderful job of making me question my own opinions and feelings on torture, morality, and corporal punishment.

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