In Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People John Conroy examines how an ordinary person becomes a torturer, what happens to people who become torture victims, and why societies rarely punish torturers. He does this through interviews with former torturers and victims, but primarily by extensive reporting of three case studies. To drive home the point that the crime is done by “people like us,” he uses examples of western democracies taking up the torturer’s tools in Northern Ireland, the West Bank, and in Conroy’s hometown – Chicago.
“Gripping ….audacious….[Conroy] has dared to place himself at the emotional center of his difficult, troubling subject and forced us to follow him there.” – Chicago Tribune
“Conroy’s reporting is inspired.” — New York Times
“He approaches the torturers not as monsters but as fellow human beings.” — Washington Post
“Intelligent and insightful” — Newsday
“It seems wrong to say Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People is a “good book” – it is an amazing piece of journalism.” – Library Thing
Published in hardcover by Alfred A. Knopf (2000)
Paperback edition by University of California Press (2001).
Available at: Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Unspeakable-Acts-Ordinary-People-Dynamics/dp/0520230396
University of California Press http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520230392
Professors: For review copies for course adoption: