The images from Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad have been a grim reminder of warfare's undiminished capacity for brutality and indiscriminate excess. What happened in Abu Ghraib has happened before: the World War II, and more recent wars and insurgencies in Algeria, Congo, Angola, Vietnam, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, and many others, all bear witness to the ever-present human capacity to commit barbaric acts if circumstances allow.
What drives people to mistreat, humiliate, and torment others? In an age when real time war, violence, and torture are becoming addictive forms of entertainment, it is now more critical than ever to deepen our understanding of the extraordinary distortions of the human psyche and spirit that occur in wartime. Eight distinguished scholars explore, in this first collective effort, the effects of the barbarization of warfare on our cultures and societies.
Contributors: Joanna Bourke, Niall Ferguson, Jay Winter, Richard Overy, David Anderson, Hew Strachan, Paul Rogers, Kathleen Taylor, Marilyn Young, Paul Rogers, Anthony Dworkin, Amir Weiner, Mary Habeck, and David Simpson.