The History of Torture and Execution

The History of Torture and Execution

5.0 1
by Jean Kellaway
     
 

Throughout history, cultures around the world have found justice for the most extreme crimes by condemning the guilty to death. Retribution has been sought by many methods, from beheading, garroting, entombment, and burning to modern means such as electrocution and lethal injection. For the infliction of torturous pain, even more ingenious devices have been

Overview

Throughout history, cultures around the world have found justice for the most extreme crimes by condemning the guilty to death. Retribution has been sought by many methods, from beheading, garroting, entombment, and burning to modern means such as electrocution and lethal injection. For the infliction of torturous pain, even more ingenious devices have been employed. While torture has usually been carried out behind closed doors, it is only recently that executions have ceased to be a popular public spectacle.The History of Torture and Execution examines these fascinating but grisly subjects by time, region, and method. Beginning with the often crude methods of meting out justice used by early and first-millennium civilizations, and evolving from the sadistic tools of the medieval age to the modern search for humane execution methods, controversial issues are authoritatively covered. More than 180 black-and-white and color images illustrate the many and varied engines of this final punishment, and the inclusion of stories told by the victims themselves gives chilling insight into the horrors faced by prisoners condemned to die for their crimes.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The evolution of humankind reveals a grisly history of torture, persecution, and execution. With every civilizing achievement, there have been corresponding examples of state-sanctioned torture or execution. The Bible itself applies the death penalty to 30 different misdemeanors, while the Middle Ages were highlighted by barbarous forms of torture. Farrington (Natural Disasters: The Terrifying Forces of Nature) provides hundreds of photos and illustrations in a full-color account of the many cruel and violent ways in which punishment has been administered. She chronicles a large number of past state-sanctioned acts of punishment (e.g., stonings, festivals of death) as well as modern forms of capital punishment (lethal injections, gas chambers). The author concludes that the use of execution in religious ritual is older than recorded history and is universal to all cultures; state-sponsored executions, moreover, have been used both as deterrents and as punishment. Although this book does not offer new insights, it does provide an excellent chronological perspective that is easy to read. Recommended for specialized collections in criminology and deviant behavior.--Tim Delaney, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Booknews
Military historian Kellaway chronicles these fascinating but grisly subjects by time, region, and method, beginning with the methods used by early civilizations, then covering the evolution from the sadistic tools of the medieval age to the modern search for humane execution. She includes hundreds of color photographs and illustrations as well as stories told by the victims themselves. Not recommended for the faint of heart. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585746224
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
03/28/2003
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >